Sydney Smith didn’t even know she pitched a perfect game until it was over.
The freshman pitcher effortlessly shut down Tennessee Tech in an 8-0 win in Game 2 of the LSU softball team’s doubleheader as part of the LSU Invitational on Friday. Smith, who has improved with each start, needed only 54 pitches to stymie the Golden Eagles in a six-strikeout performance.
She wasn’t wanting for run support, either.
The No. 5 Tigers dominated in all phases, outscoring Memphis and Tennessee Tech by a combined score of 25-2 as they picked up a pair of mercy-rule wins at Tiger Park. LSU coach Beth Torina said those games constituted two of the most complete outings her team has had this season.
LSU opened the doubleheader with a 17-2 win over Memphis.
“Honestly I thought it was some of our best softball played all year,” Torina said. “We played from top to bottom. We made only one error in Game 1. Overall, I thought it was a lot more solid performance defensively, and then our offense just continued to score throughout both games.”
The Tigers will return to action Saturday with a doubleheader against Liberty and Louisiana Tech beginning at 5 p.m.
LSU 17, MEMPHIS 2: After the first three games of the tournament ran late, LSU (16-2) had to wait two hours and 20 minutes longer than scheduled to begin its five-game weekend slate.
So the Tigers wasted no time putting some runs on the board.
LSU jumped out to an early lead behind a four-run first inning and poured it on late against Memphis. LSU put up a season-high 16 hits, six of which came during its explosive nine-run fourth.
“We had a lot of fun out there,” junior third baseman/catcher Sahvanna Jaquish said. “We were relaxed and focused as a team and made a lot of adjustments.”
LSU scored two runs before recording its first out courtesy of a double that senior shortstop Bianka Bell crushed down the left-field line. Memphis (6-12) sandwiched two errors around an RBI single from freshman left fielder Amber Serrett.
The bats quieted down for only one inning, but LSU struck for another four runs in the third.
Jaquish led off the inning with a solo home run, her fourth home run in as many games. Senior first baseman Sandra Simmons faced a bases-loaded situation five batters later and came through with a two-RBI double.
Simmons, however, ended the inning being thrown out at home trying to tack another run onto sophomore center fielder Emily Griggs’ RBI single.
LSU topped its run total up to that point with a nine-run fourth inning. Memphis freshman pitcher Adriana Morgan walked three of the first four batters, setting the stage for Serrett’s two-RBI single.
LSU’s starters didn’t put in all the work, though.
Four of LSU’s runs were driven in by pinch hitters, highlighted by senior Alayna Falcon’s two-RBI double. Fourteen players recorded an at-bat during the inning, which lasted half an hour.
“The key behind that inning was feeding off of each other,” Jaquish said. “We say it a lot in softball, but hitting is contagious. A lot of us have the ‘pass-the-bat’ mentality, and I think that was apparent in that inning.”
While the offense flourished, junior pitcher Baylee Corbello excelled in the circle. She retired the side in order in all but the third inning, when Memphis smacked two RBI singles after an error by Jaquish.
“Baylee threw a nice game, did exactly what we needed her to do,” Torina said. “She got in trouble in that one inning, but she was able to pitch out of it. She’s throwing strikes, limiting walks and getting ahead of hitters, which is nice to see from her.”
LSU 8, TENNESSEE TECH 0: The Tigers couldn’t manage a nine-run inning against Tennessee Tech (4-11), but they didn’t need to with Smith in the circle.
“I was just focusing on hitting my spots,” Smith said. “I worked with coach and knew my team had my back. We scored eight runs and got it in five.”
Jaquish put LSU on the board with an RBI double in the first inning before the Tigers added four runs on six hits in the next inning. Sophomore Sydney Bourg, making her first start in left field this season, sparked LSU’s offense with a triple to drive in junior right fielder Bailey Landry.
Griggs smacked a one-out double in the fourth inning and scored on Jaquish’s single two at-bats later. Junior second baseman Constance Quinn hit the walk-off single in the bottom of the fifth inning after Serrett, who finished the day 5-for-6, got things going with a one-out double.