The LSU softball team completed a perfect weekend at Tiger Park to open the 2015 season Sunday, beating N.C. State 4-2 to improve to 5-0.
After tossing seven innings of two-run ball for the win in her first outing Friday, LSU sophomore Baylee Corbello looked to keep her momentum rolling. But N.C. State junior third baseman Lana Van Dyken had other plans, lifting a ball over the center-field wall to give the visiting squad a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
But the Tigers soon provided some fireworks of their own. With a runner on base in the bottom of the first, LSU junior shortstop Bianka Bell crushed the ball over the hill in left field to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
“It was just elevated, up and in,” Bell said. “I’m not sure what pitch it was, but I was just seeing it really well and got a hold of it.”
The hits kept on coming. An inning later, LSU freshman left fielder Emily Griggs continued her impressive start, bouncing an RBI single up the middle to extend the home squad’s lead to 3-1. Senior center fielder Andrews followed with an RBI single of her own, shooting a pitch into right field to make it 4-1.
N.C. State struck back with a run in the third. Corbello lasted four innings, allowing two earned runs and four hits while striking out four. She also walked two.
“I’m feeling good,” she said. “It was nice to get rest (Saturday). That’s just the advantage of having four pitchers.”
LSU redshirt freshman Carley Hoover come on in the fifth to try to maintain the Tigers’ two-run lead. After allowing a leadoff single, she proceeded to blow fastballs by the next three batters.
Hoover finished the contest, tossing three innings of one-hit ball and striking out five. She has had an impressive start to her LSU career, posting 15 strikeouts and holding a 0.70 ERA in two appearances.
“I don’t mind closing,” she said. “It’s fun for me because our speeds are a little different. They’ve been seeing Baylee and her spin, and it’s fun for me to come in and just kind of throw it in there and throw it as hard as I can. I think it’s a momentum-changer.”
The Tigers have a week of practice before battling four squads in the Tiger Invitational next weekend.
“I think it’s a great start,” coach Beth Torina said. “We’re excited about it. We saw a lot of good things out of our team, and we saw a lot of things we still need to work on. We’ll make sure we get after it in practice this week and keep getting better.”