Late Comeback lifts LSU past Wichita State
WICHITA, Kan. – Trailing 3-1 midway through the game the No. 13 LSU softball team scored three unanswered runs in each of the final three frames, powered by a Sydney Springfield solo home run in the top of the eighth to help seal the team’s 4-3 comeback win over the Wichita State Shockers Thursday night at Wilkins Stadium in Wichita.
After pulling within one thanks to an Allie Walljasper pinch-hit RBI single in the sixth, the Tigers had a runner at second and two outs on the board when a routine grounder to the circle and throw to first should have been the end of the game, but instead sailed high allowing Nicky Dawson to score from second to tie the game at three.
The momentum completely shifted to the Tigers at that point thanks to an Elyse Thornhill pinch-hit single for LSU in that seventh, with WSU’s first and only error of the contest eventually extending the game to extras.
Springfield wasted little time in sending the first pitch of the eighth over the fence in left center to give LSU its second lead of the game as she finished the day going 2-for-4 with a double, belting her team-leading sixth long ball of the year, with an RBI and run scored. Springfield and Bailey Landry each finished with multiple hits, as the duo combined for four of LSU’s nine hits on Thursday.
Sophomore Sydney Smith pitched six innings for LSU and held Wichita State to just three runs on four hits, striking out five and walking two. Carley Hoover (5-3) came on in relief in the sixth and effectively shut down the Shocker offense, earning the win as she struck out one and pitched a shutout final two innings of play.
Shockers pitcher Katie Malone (10-6) suffered the loss for Wichita State, as she had the error in the seventh that allowed the tying run to score and giving up the home run in the eighth. She pitched the entire game, tossing 125 pitches, striking out three and was on the hook for three of the four runs LSU scored.
Paige Luellen had the first of WSU’s two home runs to tie the game at 1-1 in the second, while Ryleigh Buck hit a two-run shot in the fourth to give the Shockers its only lead.
The Game Turned When…
After pulling within one the inning before, LSU took to the seventh with three outs between them and a loss if they were unable to mount a comeback. After a fly out to center, Thornhill came on to pinch hit and lifted a single to left center, with Dawson coming on to pinch run. A diving catch in foul territory at third allowed Dawson to tag up and move to second, with one out left. Landry hit a chopper back to the circle, but the throw in to try and get her out sailed high over first base and allowed Dawson to score from second to tie the game at 3-3. LSU would not be able to score again in the inning, but Springfield would hit her solo shot in the very next set of LSU at-bats.
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