LSU softball settles for split

Thanks to a sixth inning rally in which LSU scored three unearned runs, the Tigers remained perfect in the Purple and Gold Challenge, defeating Southern Mississippi 3-0. <br><br> The game featured two outstanding efforts in the circle as LSU ace Kristin Schmidt and the Lady Eagles' top hurler Jessica Holaway gave up a combined seven hits.

The Tigers (14-4) wasted their first opportunity to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning leaving the bases loaded when leftfielder Camille Harris flied out to end the inning.


Southern Mississippi's (7-8) biggest threat came in the fourth inning as leftfielder Amanda Brown drew a one-out walk. First baseman Tammy Edwards singled and stole second giving the Lady Eagles runners on second and third with one out. However, Schmidt struck out the next two batters, designated player Sara Boyd and catcher Laura Smith ending the Lady Eagle threat.


Catcher Jennie Reeves led off the fifth inning with a single. After Camille Harris reached on a walk giving the Tigers two base runners with no outs, again the Tigers failed to put any runs across as LaDonia Hughes and Sara Fitzgerald grounded out to the pitcher. Christy Connor flied out to right field ending the inning.


LSU was finally able to scratch across three unearned runs in the sixth inning.


After loading the bases, Harris' infield fly was mishandled by shortstop Jessica Huerta, allowing second baseman Alicia Owen and shortstop Blair Smith to score, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead.


Reeves scored LSU's third run of the game after Hughes reached on an error by Edwards giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead.


Head coach Yvette Girouard was pleased with her team's never-say-die attitude.


"Once again it was a Tiger team that refuses to die," Girouard said. "Clawing, scratching, and fighting the whole game. We hit the ball hard and a lot of times it was right at people but we got the breaks and took the most advantage of it."       


Schmidt (7-4) was again magnificent in the circle as the Houston, Texas native picked up the complete game shutout victory. She allowed just three runs while striking out two.


"I felt like I kept getting stronger throughout the game and I thought it was a good win for the team," Schmidt said.


Schmidt said she didn't feel any additional pressure with the Tigers lack of offense early in the game.


"We were hitting the ball real hard," Schmidt said. "We weren't finding the hole because it was going right to people. I didn't feel any pressure. I knew we'd come through in the end."


Girouard was pleased with the performance of her junior pitcher.


"I was real proud of Schmidt," Girouard said of her ace. "She wasn't completely on but she kinda settled down and found a groove midway through the game."



Game Four:  Houston 3, LSU 1


Houston avenged an earlier tournament loss to LSU Saturday night by defeating the Tigers 3-1.


Houston (9-9) smacked the ball very well against LSU throughout the game. The visiting Lady Cougars broke through for one run in the third inning when second baseman Jeanie Davis launched a two-out double off the centerfield wall scoring centerfielder Kim Nesloney giving Houston a 1-0 lead.


The Tigers (14-5) answered in the next half inning with a double of their own as Alicia Owen slapped a one-out double off the centerfield fence scoring starting pitcher Tessa Lynam tying the score 1-1.


The Cougars put the game out of reach in the fifth getting to Lynam for two additional runs. Both scores came with two outs as Davis launched a towering two-run home run over the left field wall giving the Cougars a 3-0 lead. Davis finished the game as Houston's top hitter as the Devine, Texas sophomore went 2-for-3 driving in two runs.


LSU head coach Yvette Girouard credited the Cougras for clutch hitting and their resiliency throughout the game.


"They (Houston) were very aggressive," Girouard said. "They came into the tournament with probably the best batting average and they are very aggressive with their sticks. They took it to us tonight."


While Houston was able to get the

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