LSU softball is once again facing elimination from the NCAA Women’s Softball Regional after clawing their way back from elimination.
NOLA is reporting that the LSU softball team survived a 10-inning battle with Nebraska, winning 3-2 to advance to the regional finals today against Arizona State, who defeated LSU softball 1-0 on Friday. The LSU softball team has to win to force a second game on Sunday. If Arizona State wins first, then the Sun Devils will advance to the Super Regionals.
LSU softball, led by pitcher Allie Walljasper, and Nebraska, led by pitcher Emily Lockman, dueled into the later innings keeping everything level at 1-1 until the tenth inning. Lockman walked batter Bailey Landry with one out in the tenth, putting the go-ahead run on. After a missed fielder’s choice put runners on first and second, catcher Karlie Kloss singled into right field, scoring Landry, who almost stumbled on her way home, giving LSU softball a 2-1 lead. After a failed steal attempt at third, Sahvanna Jaquish singled to left to take a 3-1 lead.
Nebraska was not done, however. Cornhuskers Cassie McClure and Madi Unzicker both singled to start the tenth. A fielder’s choice left runners at first and third, when Laura Barrow lifted a single to left, scoring McClure. Walljasper was relieved by closer Carly Hoover, who recorded the last two outs to give the LSU softball team the 3-2 victory.
The Big Ten Network is reporting that both teams and pitchers played evenly throughout the game. Both teams scored in the fourth inning. LSU softball scored when Bianka Bell got a base hit and was safe due to an error by Nebraska at second base. With two out, Bell then scored on a single by Sandra Simmons.
In Nebraska’s portion of the fourth, Kiki Stokes started the inning with a single. M.J. Knighten then laid down a bunt that LSU catcher Kloss waited to see if it would roll foul, which it did not. That led to Knighten being safe at first, and Stokes advancing to third. Alicia Armstrong then hit a sacrifice fly to score Stokes to tie the game. An inning-ending double play by the LSU softball team ended Nebraska’s threat in the fourth.
Nebraska’s Lockman took the hard-luck loss, though she pitched one of her better games of the year. She allowed two runs in 10 innings, the first time Lockman went past seven innings this year. Walljasper earned the victory, allowing two runs on eight hits in 9.1 innings.
[Image courtesy of State Press]