FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The No. 12 LSU softball team scored three runs in the first three innings and surged for six in the sixth to earn a sweep of Arkansas with a 9-1 win Sunday that doubled as the program’s 1,000th victory.
The Tigers (40-13, 13-11 Southeastern) got three-RBI days from Bianka Bell and Sahvanna Jaquish, while Sydney Smith scattered four hits as LSU closed conference play with its second consecutive sweep and extended its overall winning streak to 10.
“It’s tough to get three wins against anyone in the country, much less the SEC, so it’s nice to see our team come away with three wins this weekend,” coach Beth Torina said. “We may not be in the spot where we expected to be at this point in the year, but I think we are a team that’s playing good softball, with everything this group wants to accomplish still within striking distance.”
Jaquish was 3-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and a run. Bell was 2-for-4 with a double, her 11th home run, three RBIs and two runs.
Smith (10-2) earned her third straight win and has not allowed an earned run in her past four appearances, striking out four and scattering four hits in the complete game win Sunday. Smith needed just 79 pitches to get through the Razorbacks (17-36, 1-20), retiring the side in order three times.
“Sydney did a great job, and that’s three weeks in a row that she’s really carried us in games,” Torina said. “She’s performed really well, and it’s been nice watching her grow all season.”
Arkansas’ Grace Moll (12-29) took the loss after allowing nine runs on 10 hits with six walks and four strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Tori Cooper went 2-for-3 with the Razorbacks’ lone run.
A leadoff walk to Sandra Simmons to open the game put an LSU runner on, and Emily Griggs dropped in a bunt double that moved Simmons to third. Jaquish came through next, sending a single to right-center to score both.
Bell opened the third with a stand-up double. Nine pitches later and with a 3-2 count, Jaquish did the same and drove in her third run on a double to the gap in right to give LSU a 3-0 lead.
A double to left put an Arkansas runner on with one out in the fourth, and an infield single put runners at the corners. Smith’s errant throw to try to pick off the runner at first went into the dirt, allowing the runner from third to score on the error, making it 3-1.
Allie Walljasper drew a walk to open the LSU sixth, and Akiya Thymes came on to pinch-run at first. The freshman stole second, setting up Amber Serrett, who singled to center as Thymes slid in safely to give LSU a 4-1 lead. Bailey Landry singled to put two on, and Simmons roped a single through the right side to score Serrett and make it 5-1.
Bell followed with a three-run homer to right-center to put the game well out of reach at 8-1. With the bases cleared, Jaquish singled and moved to second after a wild pitch. Kellsi Kloss roped a single to left as Jaquish motored home to give LSU an eight-run advantage.
LSU closes the regular season next weekend, hosting Washington for a three game series Saturday and Sunday at Tiger Park. The SEC tournament begins May 11 at Mississippi State.