LSU softball splits games with Penn State

Clyde Verdin
LSU's Kellsi Kloss. Photo by LSUsports.net.

The No. 21 LSU softball team pounded out 11 runs on 12 hits, getting back-to-back home runs from Bianka Bell and Kellsi Kloss and two triples from Allison Falcon amid five total extra-base hits to power the Tigers to an 11-3 win over Penn State in game one of a doubleheader between the two teams on Monday.

LSU (8-3) scored four runs in two of the first three innings, needing just four innings to score all 11 to pull ahead of the Nittany Lions (4-4) for good with little resistance. As a whole, the Tigers struck out just once and stranded only three runners over the course of the game, capitalizing on every opportunity they had with runners in scoring position.

A little over a week since the incurring the feat, it was fitting that the top two hitters on the night in Bell and Kloss notched the 20th time in program history that two teammates homered in consecutive at-bats, with Kloss going 3-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored, while Bell went 2-for-2 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

"I haven't been struggling by any means, but I have been trying to get back to seeing the ball well," Kloss said. "Luckily, I got a pitch I knew I could handle, and I pounced on it. I wasn't trying to hit it over, but thankfully I did."

For Falcon, who has had one of the hottest bats on the team as of late, she doubled her triple total in one game as she had two coming into the contest and exited with four for her career. The Tigers had three three-baggers, as Jacee Blades had one of her own, as it is the first time since 2004 that any LSU player had two in a contest and for the team to have three as a group.

After holding a no-hitter through three, starting pitcher Baylee Corbello gave up three runs on two hits, all coming in the Penn State fourth inning well after LSU had taken a sizeable lead. The three runs were the most she's given up in a game this season as she struck out four batters with seven walks, but she continued her streak of consecutive complete game performances in the process.

"We were able to see what Bailey Landry, Constance Quinn and freshmen pitchers were able to do," assistant coach Howard Dobson said. "We now get to put them out against some Pac 12 teams and west coast teams. We will see what we are made of and where we stack up before conference starts."

After putting together another top notch offensive performance in the first game, the No. 21 LSU Tiger softball team seemed poised to repeat its efforts in game two of the team's doubleheader against Penn State, but the Nittany Lions countered and came back twice, including taking the lead, scoring three unanswered runs in the fifth and sixth innings to win 6-5 to close out the 2014 Tiger Invitational.

LSU (8-4) racked up the hits against Penn State (5-4), cranking out 12 base knocks with doubles from Sahvanna Jaquish and Kellsi Kloss, but the Tigers as a whole stranded eight runners on base, even as PSU stranded 10 but capitalized on its eight hits when it counted most.

Ten of the Tigers' 12 hits on the night came from four players, led by A.J. Andrews and Jacee Blades, who combined to go 6-for-7 with two runs scored. Kloss and Allison Falcon each went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Simone Heyward and Jaquish had the other two hits.