Softball wins Purple & Gold Tourney

The LSU Tigers won their fourth consecutive Purple and Gold Challenge tournament title Sunday defeating the Houston Cougars 8-0 in the championship game.

The LSU Tigers won their fourth consecutive Purple and Gold Challenge tournament title Sunday defeating the Houston Cougars 8-0 in the championship game.

LSU head coach Yvette Girouard said she confronted her team after losing to Houston on Saturday.

"We challenged their (players) pride," Girouard said. "Houston came in and beat us yesterday and there was no way we were going to let them walk away with our trophy."

The Tigers (16-5) were paced by the duo of All-Tournament team members Tessa Lynam and Kristin Schmidt. Lynam, making her return to the plate for the first time this season, went 7-for-15 (.467) and had four doubles to go along with eight runs.

Lynam and Schmidt were joined on the All-Tournament team by Leigh Danos, centerfielder LaDonia Hughes, and infielder Alicia Owen.

The four all-tournament team members combined to go 28-for-57 (.491) with 11 doubles, 21 RBI's, one home run and 24 runs scored; all together combined for a .737 slugging percentage.

Schmidt was the MVP of the tournament as the Houston Texas junior went 3-0 in four tournament appearances, hurling three complete game shut-outs. In 20 and one-third innings of work, Schmidt allowed just eight hits and walked three batters while striking out 24.

"She's pitched well all year," Girouard said. "She's a very good pitcher and when she's on she's tough to beat."

Schmidt was very pleased with her performance in the circle.

"I was surprised," Schmidt said. "But I also was excited."

Championship Game: LSU 8, Houston 0

Thanks to another percision performance in the circle to go along with clutch hitting, LSU left no doubt to who was the dominant team of the weekend in clinching their fourth consecutive Purple and Gold Challenge title with an 8-0 win over Houston.

The Tigers jumped on the Cougars early, scoring six runs in the first two innings putting the Cougars away.

An RBI double by All-Tournament member Leigh Ann Danos and a two-run RBI single by Blair Smith helped the Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 first inning lead.

The Tigers were able to score two more runs in the following inning as Julie Wiese pitched in an RBI double. Two pitches later, Lynam drove in Wiese with a run-scoring single giving LSU a 6-0 lead.

Looking for the eight-run, mercy rule victory, the Tigers pushed across two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning with some clutch two-out hitting, something the Tigers had struggled to do all season.

Right-fielder Camille Harris led off the inning with a walk and stole second. But LaDonia Hughes and Sara Fitzgerald both flied out.

Wiese stepped up with the first clutch hit of the inning as the Baton Rouge junior smacked a double off the right field wall that scored Harris raising the score 7-0.

On the next pitch, Lynam gave the Tigers the eight runs they need slapping an RBI single which scored Wiese making the score 8-0.

The Tigers scored eight runs, but tournament MVP Kristin Schmidt (8-4) proved she needed only one as the junior was again dominant in the circle, hurling a complete game, two-hit shutout. Schmidt walked only one Cougar batter and struck out seven.

"I thought today it was a good performance all-around," Schmidt said. "I felt really good in the circle."

Semifinal Game: LSU 9, Jackson State 1

The Tigers advanced to the championship round of the Purple and Gold Challenge with a 9-1 win over Jackson State; a team LSU had beaten 19-0 in the opening day of the tournament.

Jackson State (3-14) took their first lead of the entire tournament in the top of the first inning. After two infield hits and a walk, the Jaguars had the bases loaded with no outs. Shortstop Tunisha Ford was then hit by a Tessa Lynam pitch which scored a run for a 1-0 JSU lead.

Lynam eliminated the rest of the threat retiring the next three Jackson State batters in order to escape the inning.

The Tigers then took the lead for good in the second as Lynam led off the inning with a walk. She then scored on a Jackson State error tying the score at one. Owen, who reached on the same error, gave LSU the lead for good scoring on a Blair Smith sacrifice fly increasing the score 2-1.

The one run lead would be all Lynam (8-1) needed as the sophomore pitcher held Jackson State to just one hit after the first inning in route to a brilliant six-inning, three-hit, and nine strikeout victory.

Leigh Ann Danos made sure the game would not go the complete seven innings as the Lafayette sophomore launched her first career home run, a two-run shot over the left field wall capping a seven-run, sixth inning giving the Tigers a 9-1 victory.

Megan Steege, Sara Fitzgerald, Lauren Delahoussaye, and Lynam all drove in runs in the sixth giving the Tigers the eight-run rule victory.

"We had a little struggle," Girouard said of her team's performance against Jackson State. "I was ready to literally kill my team, but we woke up in the end and got the victory."

PURPLE & GOLD CHALLENGE ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

Leigh Ann Danos, LSU
Jeanie Davis, Houston
Tammy Edwards, Southern Miss
Jamie Falco, Houston
LaDonia Hughes, LSU
Auriel Jenkins, Southern Miss
Tessa Lynam, LSU
Alicia Owen, LSU

MVP-Kristin Schmidt, LSU


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