College softball: Constance Quinn's walk-off home run gives No. 16 LSU a 1-0 win over No. 11 Tennessee
BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU senior infielder Constance Quinn broke a scoreless deadlock in the bottom of the seventh inning with a solo home run in the first at-bat of the frame to give the No. 16 Tigers a 1-0 victory over No. 11 Tennessee Sunday afternoon at Tiger Park.
Thanks to a complete-game, one-hit shutout in the pitching circle from junior Allie Walljasper (12-3), the Tigers (34-14, 9-9 SEC) didn’t need any more at-bats to keep the game from going to extra innings as Quinn had a 1-1 count and drilled the third pitch of the at bat over the fence in left to give LSU the win. It was Quinn's first long ball of the season, and it snapped Tennessee’s (41-6, 13-4) 20-game winning streak in the process, which was the longest active streak in the country.
"It was an unbelievable feeling to know that I am doing this for the team," Quinn said after the game. "Honestly, without Allie (Walljasper) pitching an awesome game we would not have been in that situation.”
A pitcher’s duel from the jump between Walljasper and Tennessee’s Caylan Arnold (18-5) was evident from the first few innings as neither side was able to get a rally going, with none getting to third until Quinn’s rocket in the seventh. The two sides each earned their respective hits in the second inning of the game, as Walljasper retired the side in four of the seven innings, while Arnold did so in three.
Walljasper finished the game and earned her team-leading fifth shutout of the season by striking out four and walking two. She tossed 95 pitches in the contest, with 64 for strikes, while Arnold struck out six and walked one, taking the loss after earning the win the day before.
“Getting a win against Tennessee is huge. The two people who really stepped up today are very deserving of great performances, Allie (Walljasper) and Constance (Quinn). Both of them have been continuing to push, doing the right thing and leading this team," LSU coach Beth Torina said. "The two of them have been huge leaders for us. I think the fact that those are the two heroes of the day is very fitting.”