PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — The fourth-ranked LSU softball team broke a one-all tie with a four-run fifth to defeat UC-Santa Barbara 5-2 and rallied for a 6-5 win over No. 16 UCF on Saturday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
LSU closes out the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic on Sunday, facing UCLA at 11 a.m.
LSU 6, UCF 5: UCF used a four-run second to go up 5-3, but LSU scratched for a run in the bottom of the third on Sandra Simmons’ sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 5-4.
LSU (7-2) took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth as a failed pickoff attempt at first with the bases loaded allowed Sahvanna Jaquish to score, and Constance Quinn singled to knock in another run for a 6-5 edge.
A walk and single in the top of the fifth ended Carley Hoover’s day. Allie Walljasper gave up a sacrifice bunt but got back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.
Quinn went 3-for-3 with an RBI and run scored, while Bianka Bell was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored as six players got hits for LSU.
Hoover (3-0) earned the win, allowing two earned runs, striking out five and allowing six hits in four innings.
Walljasper got the save, striking out four and allowing one hit over the final three innings.
LSU 5, UC-SANTA BARBARA 2: In the first game, LSU saw a one-run advantage evaporate in the top half of fifth inning but came back to score four on three hits and an error to regain the lead and hold off UCSB (3-6).
Seven players earned a hit for LSU, with Bianka Bell, Sandra Simmons and Shemiah Sanchez each driving in a run.
Bailey Landry and Sahvanna Jaquish each scored runs and had a hit, while Amber Serrett and Emily Griggs each had hits.
Allie Walljasper (1-2) earned the win in relief, finishing with three strikeouts while giving up an unearned run on two hits.
Starter Sydney Smith pitched four innings, allowing one run on nine hits with four strikeouts. Neither pitcher issued a walk.
With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Landry legged out a single to first.
Jaquish singled to left to put two on for the Tigers, and Bell singled through the right side to score Landry to put LSU up 2-1.
With an open base, Kellsi Kloss drew a walk to put three on, and Simmons connected on a deep fly to center for the sacrifice fly, scoring Jaquish to put LSU up 3-1.
A bobbled catch on what should have been the third out allowed Bell and Kloss to score to give the Tigers a 5-1 lead.
UCSB got a run back in the top of the seventh and put pressure on the Tigers to close, but LSU was able to preserve the victory.