Another milestone

Anissa Young and Ashley Langoni provided grand slams in the first two innings as the No. 23 LSU softball team never looked back in a 10-2 triumph over defending national champion and No. 10 national seed Arizona State Saturday at Farrington Stadium in the NCAA Tempe Regional winner's bracket game.

The win for the Tigers (34-16-1) was head coach Yvette Girouard’s 1,200th career victory. She joins Margie Wright (Fresno State), JoAnne Graf (Florida State), Gayle Blevins (Iowa) and Mike Candrea (Arizona) as the only coaches in softball history to reach that feat.

“We recruited Anissa and Ashley because they are power hitters and it showed up in a big way today,” Girouard said. “It’s great for them when they can make positive history . We still have our work cut out for us.”

LSU also hit two grand slams in a game for the first time in program history and will await to see who emerges from the loser’s bracket. The regional final is set for Sunday at 4:30 p.m. CT on ESPN U. The game also will be broadcasted live on The X 104.5/104.9 FM in the Baton Rouge area.

Ashley Applegate, Rachel Mitchell and Juliana Santos drew a trio of one-out walks in the first inning to set the table for Young, who belted the first pitch for a home run down the right field line.

The Tigers sent 10 batters to the plate and struck for six more runs in the second inning. Jessica Mouse was hit-by-a-pitch and a wild pitch moved her to second base.

Kirsten Shortridge reached on a fielder’s choice and both runners moved into scoring position on an error by ASU third baseman Krista Donnenwirth trying to get Mouse out in a rundown.

Applegate knocked a two-run single off the right centerfield fence to make it 6-0. After starting Mitchell with a ball, ASU starter Megan Elliott was relieved by Hillary Bach.

The Tigers loaded the bases after Mitchell reached on a fielder’s choice coupled with a Juliana Santos single and Young being hit-by-a-pitch. Langoni cranked a 2-1 pitch over the left field fence to push the LSU lead to 10-0.

Arizona State (41-17) strung together a trio of singles highlighted by a Kaylyn Castille RBI-single and added an unearned run in the third inning.

Shortridge responded by retiring eight of last 10 batters she faced to improve to 5-3. She scattered two runs, one earned, on five hits and recorded four strikeouts.

“Our game plan was to come out and be aggressive,” Shortridge said. “I trusted the defense behind me to make plays. We have confidence in each other, and I didn’t want to let my teammates down.”

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