Softball thrashes Bama A&M 7-0

Three days before their biggest series of the year against seventh-ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa, the fifth-ranked LSU Tigers beat Alabama A&M 7-0 Wednesday night in Tiger Park.

LSU (28-7) jumped on Lady Bulldogs starter Tasha Sloan for three runs in the first inning. After Camille Harris led off the inning with a walk and stole second base, designated player Lauren Castle launched a two-run homer deep over the right-field wall to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.


The sophomore from Lafayette finished the game 2-for-3 with a pair of runs driven in.


"She (opposing pitcher) through me an inside pitch on the first one which I had to swing to protect the runner," Castle said. "I figured she'd throw it again."


Three pitches later, left fielder Leslie Klein deposited her ninth home run of the season over the right-field wall to push the LSU lead to 3-0.


"It felt good after a struggling weekend," Klein said. "It felt good to overcome a struggle and break through with a home run."


The Tiger lead extended to 5-0 in third inning. After leading off the inning with a double into right field, Lauren Delahoussaye scored on an RBI single by first baseman Stephanie Hill. Hill would later score on an RBI single by Sara Fitzgerald.


An RBI single by pinch-hitter Leigh Ann Danos to go along with an unearned run in the fifth inning finished out the Tigers scoring at 7-0.


LSU coach Yvette Girouard said her Tigers took care of business.


"We did what we needed to do tonight," Girouard said. "We hit the ball hard at times. Alabama A&M was a better team than we thought. They made some nice plays, but we know we have got to continue to get better because we know what looms ahead."


Playing against a weaker out-of-conference school, Girouard shook up the Tiger lineup, moving Camille Harris to the lead-off position and putting LaDonia Hughes in the ninth spot of the order.


"We just wanted to see if we could get some more production," Girouard said. "Maybe a bit more pop at the top of the lineup."


Despite a 13-hit performance, Girouard said her team still can improve at the plate.


"We have got to show more consistency," Girouard said. "We want more. We have to swing at good pitches. Nine times out of ten, it is usually us who is getting us out."


Emily Turner (11-3) was impressive in the circle. The freshman right-hander held the Lady Bulldogs hitless until the sixth inning and only gave up two hits and struck out seven while not walking a batter.


"She continues to get better," Girouard said of Turner's performance. "She continues to control batters. The growth continues."


Despite the two-hit shutout, Turner was not completely satisfied with her performance.

"I'm not happy with the two hits," Turner said. "I know I could do better."

The Tigers now travel to Tuscaloosa this weekend for a pivotal three-game set against the Crimson Tide. Saturday's double-header begins at 1:00 with a single game Sunday at 1:00. All games can be heard on the LSU Sports Network (107.3 FM) and Sunday's game can be seen on Fox Sports Net (Cable Channel 38).

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