May 21, 2010

Courtesy of McNeeseSports.com

BATON ROUGE - An offensive show by LSU in two innings enabled the Lady Tigers to turn back McNeese State 6-0 here Friday in the opening round of the NCAA regional softball tournament.

The Tigers, 48-14 overall and top ranked in the regional at Baton Rouge, scored four runs in the second inning and two in the sixth to down the Cowgirls, now 38-26.

The loss puts the Cowgirls into the losers bracket where they will tackle Texas A&M (a 5-0 loser to UL-Lafayette in the early Friday contest) at 3 p.m. on Saturday. LSU and ULL meet at noon.

"I felt that we were ready to play when we started the game," said Cowgirl head coach Natalie Poole, the 2010 Southland Conference coach of the year. "We've played with LSU before but today we were just not good enough to play with them.

"I thought that we had some opportunities but we couldn't capitalize on them and we did struggle defensively."

It was the two innings - a four run second and a two run sixth for the Tigers - that did the Cowgirls in.

McNeese starter and loser Meagan Bond put the Tigers down in order in the first inning but in the second they struck for four runs on three hits and then added two runs on two hits in the sixth.

The big blow for LSU in the second inning was a two run opposite the field home run by Kristen Shortridge.

Bond gave up three hits and four runs in two innings on the mound, giving out a walk. Her record went to 22-11 with the loss.

Kayla Shepherd took the mound duties for McNeese in the third and she pitched the final four innings, relinquishing five hits, two runs- only one of them earned - while walking three and striking out four.

The Cowgirls only had four hits off two LSU pitchers, starter and winner Rachele Fico (now 20-5) who hurled five innings and reliefer Kirsten Shortridge who pitched the final two. Fico gave up three hits and one walk and struckout eight Cowgirls. Shortridge gave up one hit, walked three and struckout one.

In the first three innings the Cowgirls only had two base runners. In the second, Heather Mosser singled and got to second on a single by Dani Price. However, they were left there.

In the sixth inning the Cowgirls had their best chance to score as they loaded the bases on a single by Claire Terracina and walks to Heather Morvant and Molly Guidry.

Only a standout play by LSU second baseman Courtney Hollier on a liner by Mosser prevented the Cowgirls from scoring as many as two runs.

Morvant was the only other Cowgirl to get a hit in the game.

Saturday's meeting between the Cowgirls and Texas A&M will be the first this season. A year ago the two teams met in College State with then No. 19 ranked A&M posting a 3-0 victory in the Houston Classic.