Lady Tigers rally to sweep DH from Florida

Lady Tiger Softball

Four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the 10th-ranked LSU softball team a Southeastern Conference doubleheader sweep of No. 24 Florida, 2-0 and 7-6, on Saturday afternoon at Tiger Park.


With the wins, the Tigers improved to 47-9 overall and 20-6 in conference play. LSU is now in sole possession of third place in the SEC, standing two games behind Alabama and a game and a half behind Georgia. The losses dropped the Gators to 38-21 on the season and 14-12 in league play. Florida is now tied with Auburn for fifth place in the overall standings.


"I am very happy for this team that they could come back and pull this one out in a character winning fashion," said LSU head coach Yvette Girouard.


The Tigers will now go for their fifth series sweep of the season with a single game on Sunday. LSU will honor its four seniors in their final regular season home game. Presentations honoring Lauren Castle, Lauren Delahoussaye, Camille Harris and Stephanie Hill will begin at approximately 12:45 p.m., 15 minutes prior to the first pitch at 1 p.m.


With the Tigers trailing 6-3 in the seventh inning, LSU matched its largest comeback of the season with four funs in the bottom half of the inning for the win. The first run scored on a controversial call at the plate with one out, which saw the home plate umpire consult with the first and third base umpires and overturn the initial out call as the Tigers pulled within two.


After heated exchanged with all three umpires, Florida head coach Tim Walton and volunteer assistant coach Jeff Dabney were both ejected from the game following the overturned ruling at the plate. On the controversial play at the plate, Dee Dee Henderson scored as Florida catcher Kristen Butler bobbled the throw from third baseman Brooke Johnson on a bases loaded fielder's choice by Leslie Klein.


"Everybody who came up in that inning did their job, including Dee Dee, who is the fastest person on the team," said Girouard. "If it's not her on the play, then maybe we do not score there. Then, to be able to get that call changed things."


LSU went on to score two more runs on a sacrifice fly by Vanessa Soto and an RBI single by Quinlan Duhon. With the bases loaded and two outs, Killian Roessner knocked in the game winner on an RBI single to left center field, scoring Klein from third to win the game.


"Quinlan came through with a huge hit and of course Killian came through with a home run and the huge hit at the end. We showed a lot of guts in that last game," said Girouard.


Megan Jolly came on to earn the win in relief. She did not allow a hit with two walks and two strikeouts in two and two-thirds innings. She remains undefeated on the season at 6-0, dropping her season earned run average to 0.55.


"Everybody played their role to the max," said Girouard. "Megan Jolly has accepted the role of being a reliever, stepping aside from being a starter last year. She came in and gave us what we needed. She shut them down to give us an opportunity to come back and get the win.


In the first game, LSU got a two-RBI double by Andrea Smith in the bottom of the second that proved to be the game winner. It was the first triple of the season for Soto and the second of her career.


Emily Turner threw her 13th complete-game shutout of the season to improve to 21-5 on the year. She allowed just two hits with four walks, while striking out 12. It was her fifth double-figure strikeout performance of the season and her sixth appearance allowing two or fewer hits in a complete game.


"Emily was just dynamite in the first game for us," said Girouard.


In the first game, Florida loaded the bases in the top of the first inning. The Gators reached on an error, a walk and a bunt single. Turner came back to get Lacy Howard to foul out to third base before the first strikeout of the game by Turner ended the threat. Florida had only one runner reach scoring position the remainder of the game as Turner allowed only one more hit and only four over the minimum the rest of the way.


In the bottom of the second inning, Soto led off with a single to left field. With Heidi Robin running for her at first, she moved to second on a single through the left side by Duhon. A sacrifice bunt by Delahoussaye put runners at second and third. With two outs, Smith doubled to left center, scoring Robin and Duhon for what proved to be the winning runs.


In the second game, the Tigers came out and took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning. Castle led off with a bunt single. With one out, Hill singled to right center, moving Castle to second. Soto then tripled off the wall in left center to score Castle and Hill for the 2-0 advantage.


In the bottom of the second, LSU extended its lead to 3-0. Roessner led off with a line drive home run to left field. She drove a 2-2 pitch over the left field fence for her fourth home run of the season.


After allowing only one base hit through the first three innings, Dani Hofer got into trouble in the top of the fourth. Lindsay Cameron led off with a single to left field. A walk by Butler moved Cameron to second. With two outs, Florida tied the game on a home run by Roussell to left field.


A home run again proved to be the problem in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, Stacie Pestrak and Kim Waleszonia reached on back-to-back bunt singles. Cameron then homered to left field to give the Gators their first lead of the series, 6-3.


With on out and the Tigers trailing, 6-3, in the bottom of the seventh inning, Castle her team-leading 33rd walk of the season. With Henderson running for Castle at first, Henderson moved to second on an infield single by Harris. An infield single by Hill loaded the bases.


Klein then hit a ball to third base. On the play, Johnson picked it up and threw to Butler covering the plate. She appeared to bobble the ball just enough for Henderson to beat the throw and slide in for the first LSU run of the inning.


Home plate umpire Scott Brians initially ruled Henderson out on the play. Girouard came out to argue that the ball had been bobbled by Butler. After Brians consulted with both base umpires, Henderson was ruled safe on the play as an error was charged to Johnson on the throw.


A sacrifice fly to center field by Soto scored Harris from third. Duhon then singled up the middle, scoring Shannon Stein from second, who was running for Hill. After a walk to Delahoussaye again loaded the bases, Roessner came up with a single to left field on an 0-1 pitch that scored Klein from third for the game winner.


Hofer started the game for LSU and allowed six runs on two, three-run home runs, with six hits, a walk and three strikeouts in four and a third innings. It marked just the third no decision in 22 starts for Hofer this season.


Stacey Nelson took both losses for Florida to fall to 12-12 on the season. In the first game, she allowed two runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts in the complete game effort.


In the second game, she came on in relief in the seventh inning and allowed two unearned runs on three hits with a walk in a third of an inning. Stacey Stevens started the game and allowed five runs, three earned, on eight hits with two walks and a strikeout in six and a third innings.

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