May 16, 2014
TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Louisville softball team rallied from a 7-1 deficit to tie the game at 7-7 in the top of the fifth, but it wasn't enough as No. 23 LSU prevailed 13-9 in a slugfest that featured 24 hits including four home runs and nine doubles in the opening game of the Tucson Regional Friday evening.
Louisville (36-21) will face Boston University Saturday at 7 p.m. (EDT) in an elimination game which will be aired on ESPN.
"I'm really proud of the fight our team showed tonight," said UofL head coach Sandy Pearsall. "Obviously this was not the result we wanted - we hung too many pitches and you can't do that against a team like LSU - but our team fought back and never gave up."
LSU (36-22) used three solo home runs to jump to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. A.J. Andrew led off the home half of the inning with a shot over left center field. One out later, Sahvanna Jaquish and Bianka Bell connected the second home run of the inning to make the score 2-0. Senior Rachel LeCoq entered to pitch in relief of freshman Maryssa Becker and after surrendering a home run to Bianka Bell, retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.
The Cards got a run back in the top of the third when Hannah Kiyohara led off the frame with a double and took third on Kelsi Jones' fly out to deep right field. Jordan McNary's second hit of the game brought home Kiyohara to put Louisville on the scoreboard. Katie Keller drew a two-out walk to place the tying run on, but a groundout ended the threat.
The Tigers responded with four runs in the fourth. Bell reached on a fielder's choice and a two-out walk to Kellsi Kloss put two on for an RBI single by Sandra Simmons. Allison Falcon followed with a two-run double and after Tammy Wray was hit by a pitch, Bailey Landry's single sent Falcon home to make the score 7-1.
Louisville plated two runs in the fourth when Kayla Soles doubled and moved to third on Maggie Ruckenbrod's double. Kiyohara's sacrifice fly brought Soles home and an RBI single by Kelsi Jones made the score 7-3.
The Cardinals continued the rally to tie the game with four runs in the fifth. Brittany Duncan got the offense started with a two-out walk and was lifted for pinch-runner Morgan Meyer who moved to third on Taner Fowler's infield single and scored on a hit by Soles. An error allowed Ruckenbrod to reach and sent Fowler home and Kiyohara's two-run single tied the score at 7-7.
LSU used four hits, a walk and an error to score five runs in the home half of the fifth. Kloss led off with a hit and Falcon's single placed runners on the corners with one out for Wray's RBI double to put the Tigers back on top. A walk to Landry loaded the bases. Andrews sent a ball up the middle where second baseman Katie Keller fielded the ball and made an acrobatic throw to catcher Taner Fowler to tagged Wray out at the plate for the second out of the inning. Alayna Falcon singled Landry home to add another run. An error on Bell's groundout sent home two more runs to make it a 12-7 game.
The Cards cut the lead to three behind Brittany Duncan's two-run homer in the sixth. Keller's two-out single set up Duncan's full-count smash over straight centerfield - her 10th homer of the season made the score 12-9.
The Tigers added one more run when Allison Falcon and Wray hit back-to-back one-out doubles in the sixth.
Becker (13-8) took the loss, allowing four runs, three earned on five hits and struck out three in 1.2 innings of work. LeCoq gave up five earned runs on five hits in 2.1 innings. Caralisa Connell allowed four runs, three earned on three hits in 2.0 innings.
Kiyohara was 2 for 2 with a double and three RBIs to lead the Cardinals at the plate. Soles was 2 for 4 with a double, two runs and an RBI and Keller was 2 for 3 with a run.
Baylee Corbello (18-8) took the loss, allowing nine runs, six earned on 11 hits and striking out four in 7.0 innings. Falcon was 4 for 4 with three runs and two RBIs to lead the Tigers at the plate.