The LSU softball team has shown an ability to win in a variety of ways during its record-setting start.
The Tigers have won 15 games by shutout, have run-ruled 14 opponents and have played solid defense during their ascension to the top of the national polls for the first time.
“I think that’s the key to our record. I think that’s the reason we are where we are,” coach Beth Torina said. “We have a lot of different weapons that we have the ability to utilize on any given day. We can hit, pitch and play defense. I tell them all the time that you have to do two of the three. We’ve done that a lot of days this season.”
LSU (32-3, 6-3 Southeastern) didn’t do that as well this past weekend as it lost two of three games at No. 16 Kentucky. The Tigers host Louisiana-Monroe at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Tiger Park.
“The midweek games help us stay focused and keep our confidence up,” catcher Sahvanna Jaquish said. “They really shed light on what we need to work on for SEC play.”
The Tigers had just six hits while losing the series opener at Kentucky 3-1. They lost the second game 5-2 after committing three errors and stranding 11 runners. They led 2-1 through four innings before surrendering the tying run in the fifth and three more in the sixth. They avoided a sweep Sunday behind Baylee Corbello’s complete game in a 2-0 victory, but they committed two errors.
For the series, the first LSU has lost this season, the team hit .244 and stranded 21 runners.
It remains to be seen whether the Tigers will be No. 1 when the new polls are released Tuesday. But regardless of the rankings, the Tigers will try to build on Sunday’s victory and use Tuesday’s game to prepare for their next SEC series, at home against Ole Miss starting Friday.
LSU is 23-0 at home this season and has won 24 consecutive nonconference games dating to last season.
ULM is 24-8 and 8-2 in the Sun Belt. It has won its past five games, including a three-game sweep at Georgia State last weekend.
The Tigers have won all eight meetings with the Warhawks, including a 14-1 victory in five innings last season. But ULM is much improved, needing one more win to match last season’s overall total and already having won two more Sun Belt games than last season.
Follow Les East on Twitter: @EastAdvocate.