Tiger Softball handles Centenary 4-0

SHREVEPORT- Perhaps looking forward to an important three-game set this weekend against the Georgia Bulldogs, the fifth-ranked LSU Tigers defeated the Centenary 4-0 Wednesday night in Shreveport.

Despite her team not playing well, LSU head coach Yvette Girouard was happy to come away with the victory.

 

"We're just happy to get the win," Girouard said.

 

Held scoreless for the first three innings, LSU (26-5) finally exploded for three runs in the fourth inning. After Leslie Klein popped out to the third baseman to begin the inning, sophomore shortstop Lauren Delahoussaye took a 1-1 pitch from Ladies starter Cheyenne Daires over the left field wall for her sixth home run of the season, giving LSU a 1-0 lead.

 

"I hit the ball hard and once I hit it I knew it was going out," the Lafayette native said.

Girouard continues to be pleased with the improvement at the plate of her shortstop.

 

"With Lauren there are times that she seems a little lost defensively, but she always seems to bring her game offensively," Girouard said. "If she gets fooled, she makes adjustments and that is the sign of a great hitter."

 

Rattled by the go-ahead homer by Delahoussaye, Daires proceeded to walk third baseman Julie Wiese on four straight pitches bringing first baseman Stephanie Hill to the plate.

 

Looking to come out of a recent slump at the plate, Hill deposited a Daires change-up over the left field wall for a two-run home run to push the LSU lead to 3-0. A pinch-hit RBI single in the fifth inning by Leigh Ann Danos push the lead to 4-0.

 

Finishing the game 2-3, Hill believes her bat is getting hot at just the right time.

 

"I was definitely happy to come away with the victory," Hill said. "Mid-week games are tough, but we got the job done at the end of the day. A win is a win no matter how ugly it is.

 

"It definitely gives me a lot more confidence at the plate this weekend. Last weekend I hit the ball hard and I knew I was coming out of my slump. I just wanted to not think too much out there and just get it done."

 

Girouard said Hill's bat will definitely be needed when the Bulldogs come to town this weekend.

 

"It was good to see Stephanie Hill's bat come back tonight," Girouard said. "She hit the ball with authority, waited on the changeup and hit the ball really hard. It is good to see her come back."

 

Centenary (13-14) had their chances to come away with the upset, but could not get the key hit when it was needed. The Ladies had the bases loaded in the second inning with two outs, but Lindsey Virdell popped out to Delahoussaye to end the inning. The bases were also loaded with one out an inning later, but designated player Megan Hall lined into a double play.

 

"Centenary is a better team than they showed in Tiger Park earlier in the year," Girouard said. "They showed that tonight."

 

Several Tigers said that they may have overlooked the Ladies.

 

"I think we may have overlooked Centenary a bit," Delahoussaye said. "The kind of game we played is a great example of why we shouldn't."

 

LSU starter Emily Turner echoed her teammates' sentiments.

 

"Getting the W is all that really counts and we got that tonight," Turner said. "I think we underestimated Centenary a little bit."

 

Turner (10-2) picked up the complete-game shutout victory after scattering seven hits and striking out seven. Struggling with her control her last two starts, Turner did not walk a batter against Centenary.

 

"For the most part I think I did a good job controlling the hitters and that's really my game right now," Turner said.

 

Making a rare trip to North Louisiana, the Tigers played before an overflow crowd of over 500 people in Shreveport, including several softball youth and high school teams that came to see the fifth-ranked team in the country play.

 

"I ended the post-game talk to the team tonight talking about the crowd," Girouard said. "They (LSU players) have to always remember that they represent LSU. Those fans were here tonight to see LSU; the National Championship football team, the National Champion Indoor Track and Field team, the top-ranked team in baseball and the fifth-ranked team in softball.

 

"They can never forget that. This crowd was here to see them play. They have to represent themselves accordingly and the institution."

 

Catcher Kristen Hobbs said she enjoyed signing numerous autographs after the game.

"Signing autographs for little kids is a lot of fun because it makes you feel really special," Hobbs said. "You know that they came to watch you play. I can remember when I was playing little league going to big college games and waiting for them to finish and looking at them like they were the best things in the world. I wanted to grow up to be just like them. It feels really great to know that little girls look up to us when we play."


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