After her teammates scored 10 runs in the first inning of Tuesday’s game against Northwestern State, all LSU pitcher Baylee Corbello had to do was maintain the Tigers’ hefty lead.
She did more than that.
For the first time in her collegiate career, Corbello hurled a five-inning no-hitter for the No. 5 Tigers, catapulting them to an 11-0 win just three days before the start of Southeastern Conference play.
“It’s feels great to finally see hard work pay off,” Corbello said.
Corbello finished her career night with a near-perfect line of zero hits, zero walks and eight strikeouts through five innings. It was the 35th no-hitter in program history and first since teammate Kelsee Selman did so last season against Jackson State.
The only frustration for Corbello was that she was one blemish away a more elusive feat — a perfect game.
With one out in the fourth inning, Northwestern State’s Brittany Virgoe stood her ground in the batter’s box as Corbello’s pitch bounced into Virgoe’s lead foot.
Corbello said it was the only time she attempted to throw an off-speed curve all night. Maybe if she had tried a changeup, Corbello would not have hit Virgoe with her pitch.
“When your offense puts up 10 runs in the first inning, it’s just like the only pressure is what you put on yourself,” Corbello said. “You just literally go out there and do what you do every day.”
The Tigers (22-0), adding onto the best start in school history, did their best to take the pressure off Corbello as they opened the onslaught by picking up right where they left off when they beat the Lady Demons 15-1 on Saturday.
A.J. Andrews, the reigning NFCA National Player of the Week, scored the first run when she crossed the plate on a Bailey Landry bunt just two batters into the game.
Landry eventually tacked on a run of her own when Kellsi Kloss hit into a fielder’s choice.
Landry finished with a game-high three RBIs and two runs on three hits, pushing her average to .484 this season.
“I definitely think it’s beneficial for our pitchers to know that we’ve got their back and that we can put up a lot of runs,” Landry said. “We just go up there and do what we prepared to do.”
Northwestern State (9-12) was forced to reach into the bullpen early as starting pitcher Shelby Sells allowed nine earned runs and six hits through only two-thirds of an inning.
It wasn’t until Lady Demons freshman Mikayla Brown entered the game in the second inning — as the third player to take the circle — that Northwestern State was able to slow down the LSU offense.
Brown allowed only two hits and a walk.
No LSU batter struck out during the course of the game.
“(Hitting is) very contagious, it seems like,” LSU coach Beth Torina said. “We’ve just shown to have a really potent offense and they’re just a tough out (Nos.) 1 through 9. Once they get the ball rolling, they’re tough to stop.”