The LSU softball team had to wait and wait and wait to get rolling in the NCAA Baton Rouge regional.
Then LSU rolled over Texas Southern in a 15-0 run-rule victory after 4½ innings in an opening-round game Friday night at Tiger Park.
After starting more than two hours late because of two weather delays in an earlier game, then enduring another 27-minute weather delay after one batter in the bottom of the first inning of its game, LSU wound up sending 15 batters to the plate in the first and scoring 10 runs.
“That was a good way to start our first game,” said shortsop Bianka Bell, who had a home run and triple and four RBI. “We just have to carry it into tomorrow.”
That won’t have much time as LSU (45-11) will play Arizona State, which defeated Nebraska 5-2 in Friday’s first game, at 11 a.m. Saturday.
An elimination game between Texas Southern 25-17 and Nebraska is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
The winner of Saturday’s first game advances to the championship Sunday. The loser of the first game and the winner of the second game will meet at 4 p.m. Saturday.
“I asked (the players) to make sure they go straight home and get some rest and not go out to dinner with their families or whatever they had planned,” LSU coach Beth Torina said. “It’s disappointing that we have such a short turnaround for such an important game.
“But they’re prepared for it. They’re young kids. They’ll bounce back a lot better than I will.”
LSU right-hander Kelsee Selman (9-0) struck out the side in the top of the first, allowing just a two-out single.
A.J. Andrews walked to lead off the bottom half, then came the nearly half-hour rain delay. When play resumed LSU was more relentless than the day-long rain.
Andrews immediately stole second, Bailey Landry lined a home run down the right-field line and Bell followed with a homer to center for a 3-0 lead. It was Bell’s 17th homer of the season, tying the school record set by Sahvanna Jaquish last season and tied by her this season.
TSU starter Sammantha Jimenez (7-5) then allowed consecutive walks to Jaquish and Kellsi Kloss and was replaced after not recording an out.
Brianna Bryant relieved and Sandra Simmons beat out a bunt to load the bases before Constance Quinn struck out for the first out.
Bryant hit Sydney Bourg, forcing in a run, and Emily Griggs singled home two for a 6-0 lead.
Andrews singled home a run, Landry walked and Bell was hit by a pitch, forcing in a run. Jaquish hit an RBI grounder and Kloss had an RBI single to make it 10-0.
LSU scored five on four hits and an error in the second inning before lightning forced a 1-hour, 19-minute delay.
After play resumed, Torina started a parade of pinch hitters to get starters some rest with another game looming in less than 12 hours.
Selman went the distance for the eighth time, allowing just three hits and striking out seven.
“I thought Kelsee did an excellent job,” Torina said. “She gave us exactly what we needed. She threw hard and she threw strikes.”