Tigers blast past Hawaii

LSU set an NCAA Regional record with five home runs in its 9-4 win Thursday over Hawaii.<br><br>Alicia Owen and Blair Smith each had two homers to help the fourth-seeded Tigers advance past the Rainbow Wahini at McCombs Field in Austin, Texas.

LSU (50-16) will play again Friday at 11:30 a.m. against the winner of today's opening round game between Texas and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Smith broke open a scoreless game in the bottom of the third with a one-out solo home run. It was her fourth long ball of the season.

The breakout inning for the Tigers was the fourth when they scored five more runs. Sara Fitzgerald led off with a single and Owen stepped up with one out and went to left field for her fourth homer of the season for a 3-0 LSU lead.

Tessa Lynam kept the inning going with a double, and Leigh Ann Danos drew a two-out walk to bring Smith back to the plate. She made the most of her chance with another shot over the left field fence for a six-run LSU advantage.

"I think that when we are aggressive that we are obviously a much better team," said LSU head coach Yvette Girouard. "I think we might have had a few things in our favor with the time zone change for Hawai'i, but we have been through a rigorous four days as well. I am proud of our team. They went out and got the job done."

Hawaii (37-19) made the game tighter in the top of the fifth when they loaded the bases with three straight singles. Denise Dahlberg singled in two runs with one out, and Stacey Porter doubled in the Wahini's final two with two outs.

Owen got a run back for LSU with a two-out homer in the bottom of the fifth. She and Smith have each had two multiple home run games this season.

Megann Steege got into the home run derby with a two-run shot in the sixth inning. While the rest of the Tigers were practicing Wednesday, Steege stayed in her hotel room recovering from food poisoning and was not expected to play against Hawaii.

The fifth inning was the only trouble spot for LSU pitcher Kristen Schmidt (34-13), who allowed nine hits while striking out six and walking one.

Melissa Coogan (29-10) took the loss for Hawaii, who will face the Texas/Corpus Christi loser later today.

Melissa Reynaud of LSU Sports Information contributed to this story.

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