Bailey Landry was in the middle of nearly all of the LSU softball team’s offensive success Tuesday night.
In the bottom of the first, she walked with one out, setting a patient tone for an inning in which the Tigers loaded the bases on walks. Though LSU didn’t get the hit it needed to bring Landry home, she came up with a two-run single in the next inning to erase ULM’s early 2-0 lead.
Landry had another two-run single in the middle of a four-run third that put the Tigers in control. Her fourth and final at-bat produced a single that helped create the final run in LSU’s 7-3 victory.
The productivity that Landry has provided from the No. 2 spot in the batting order has been a big reason the Tigers (33-3, 6-3 Southeastern Conference) are ranked No. 2 going into a series against Ole Miss (22-13, 5-7) that begins at 6 p.m. Friday at Tiger Park.
When asked what Landry, a sophomore outfielder from East Ascension, brings to the team, LSU coach Beth Torina replied: “What doesn’t she bring?”
“She’s phenomenal,” Torina continued. “She’s such a great offensive player. She has so many offensive weapons. She can bunt for a hit, she can hit the ball over the scoreboard, she can do so many things on top of being clutch and coming through when we need her.”
Landry is second on the team in batting average and doubles, and she’s third in runs scored. Even though she hasn’t hit a home run, she’s third in RBIs.
“Don’t underestimate her power,” cleanup hitter Sahvannah Jaquish said.
Torina said Landry’s exceptional speed enables her to turn potential sacrifice bunts into base hits.
“We’re able to do a lot because of her speed,” Torina said. “We’re not always just giving up an out in that situation.”
Landry often finds herself charged with advancing leadoff hitter A.J. Andrews, who leads the team in on-base percentage and runs scored, as well as providing run-producing opportunities for Bianka Bell and Jaquish when they follow her.
“If A.J. gets on base leading off, I might bunt her over,” Landry said. “Sometimes my job is to hit the ball to one side of the field or put it on the ground and run or slap it through the infield or swing away. It’s good to have those tools for whatever situation.”
Torina said Landry, who grew up in a family of LSU fans and regularly attended football games in Tiger Stadium, “has as much love for LSU as anyone I’ve met in a long time.”
“It’s my dream school,” Landry said.
Follow Les East on Twitter: @EastAdvocate. Landry