Kentucky softball team follows similar script to beat LSU again _lowres

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --LSU catcher Kellsi Kloss holds up the ball after a close play at home as Kentucky's Maisie Steed scores the first run in Kentucky's 3-0 win over LSU on Sunday at Tiger Park.

The Kentucky softball team followed a similar script for a second consecutive day.

The Wildcats used excellent pitching and just enough offense to beat LSU 3-0 on Sunday night in Tiger Park.

About the only differences from Saturday’s 1-0 victory were that it was Meagan Prince instead of Kelsey Nunley pitching the shutout, and a two-run seventh inning that gave the Wildcats more breathing room than they had when they scored Saturday’s only run in the seventh inning.

“It was pretty much the same story as yesterday,” LSU catcher Kellsi Kloss said.

Prince (15-2) limited LSU to five hits and struck out five. And like Nunley, she threw a shutout without having a 1-2-3 inning.

“I had confidence in all my pitches,” Prince said. “I felt good about my command, about what spots to hit next.”

Allie Walljasper (6-5) allowed just hits as the Tigers squandered another solid pitching performance.

“They had another great pitcher that threw another really nice game against us,” LSU coach Beth Torina said. “They definitely get some of the credit for sure, but I don’t know that our mentality is where it needs to be right now.”

The Tigers left eight runners on base a day after leaving nine.

“We’re pressing too much with runners in scoring position,” said Torina, whose team is 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position in the series.

No. 16 Kentucky is 33-8 and 10-4 in the Southeastern Conference. No. 8 LSU is 29-11 and 5-9 going into the series finale at 6 p.m. Monday.

“I think (Monday), we have to come out and prove something,” said Emily Griggs, who had two of the Tigers hits.

The Wildcats broke a scoreless tie with one run in the third.

Maisie Steed walked with two out, moved to second on a wild pitch and came home on a single by Sylver Samuel, who drove in Saturday’s run.

Ten LSU batters reached base, but none reached third base.

Bianka Bell walked with two out in the fourth, and Sahvanna Jaquish grounded out. Constance Quinn walked with one out in the second before Walljasper grounded out and Amber Serrett struck out.

Sandra Simmons reached on an infield single with one out in the third. One out later, Bell was hit by a pitcher, but Jaquish grounded into a fielder’s choice.

The leadoff batter reached for the first time when Kloss singled in the fourth, but pinch runner Akiya Thymes was thrown out trying to steal second. One out later, Walljasper singled before Serrett fouled out.

The Tigers got the leadoff hitter on again in the fifth when Griggs beat out an infield chopper. Griggs moved to second on Simmons’ groundout, but Bailey Landry fouled to left, and Bell grounded out.

Jaquish walked leading off the sixth, but Kloss grounded into a double play. Quinn reached on Prince’s throwing error and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Walljapser struck out.

After the Wildcats padded their lead on Steed’s two-run single in the seventh, Griggs singled with one out in the bottom half. Simmons hit into a force-out and Landry grounded out.

In the series, the Tigers are 10-for-24 with the bases empty and 0-for-28 with runners on base.

“Our mentality when we don’t have runners on base is really good right now,” Kloss said. “We need to carry that mentality with us when we have runners on base.”