Lady Tigers drop final game of Tennessee series

Clyde Verdin
Former East Ascension Lady Spartan Bailey Landry. Photo by LSUsports.net

In the final game of the SEC series, the LSU softball team would be unable to replicate its play from the previous two games of the weekend in falling to the No. 2 Tennessee Lady Vols 9-0 in six innings Sunday afternoon at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge.

Although already clinching the series Saturday, the Tigers (22-16, 4-8 SEC) would be held to just three hits in the contest, while the Lady Vols (32-5, 9-3) pounded out nine runs on nine hits, including getting a two-run and three-run home run among three multiple run frames against two LSU pitchers to snap the team’s three-game winning streak.

“I think that first inning set a tone for us and put us on our heels,” head coach Beth Torina said. “We’ve struggled on Sundays throughout. We were trying to find a way to make an adjustment today with a different lineup to try to see something different on Sunday. We still got the same result.”

Allison Falcon, Bailey Landry and A.J. Andrews each garnered hits for LSU, with Falcon going 1-for-1 with a walk, Landry going 1-for-2 and Andrews going 1-for-3 for LSU.

With a win and save on the weekend, LSU starter Ashley Czechner took the loss and fell to 6-9 on the year after giving up three runs on four hits with a walk in 2.1 innings of work in the circle. Baylee Corbello came on in relief and pitched 3.1 innings, but did not fare much better in allowing six runs on five hits with four walks and two strikeouts.

“This weekend was huge. Getting the series win over Tennessee is something we needed as a team,” Czechner said “Today didn’t go the way we wanted, but this weekend will set us up nicely for our mid-week game and Georgia next weekend.”

After getting tagged for her first two losses of the season this weekend, UT pitcher Ellen Renfroe went the distance with a walk and strikeout on just 71 pitches to improve to 22-2 on the year.

The first four batters in the lineup for Tennessee earned six of the Lady Vols’ nine hits and eight of the nine RBIs, as Madison Shipman got UT going with her two-run home run in the first inning to finish 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Annie Aldrete had only one hit but made it count in the sixth with a three-run bomb to put the visitors up by nine at that point.

After Shipman’s home run in the opening inning to put UT up 2-0, Falcon earned LSU’s first hit and her sixth of the week in the bottom of the second to put one on for the Tigers but with two outs already, an infield popup ended the inning.

Trailing by three after an RBI single in the top of the third by UT, Landry reached first on a bunt single to third with one out. However on the next play, an infield popup turned into an inning-ending double-play to nullify the hit.

Corbello came on in relief of Czechner in the previous inning, but the next few innings would be unkind to the freshman as Tennessee got three in the fourth on two hits and three again in the sixth on Aldrete’s homerun to put the visitors up nine.

Andrews led off the bottom of the sixth with a single, but a fielder’s choice forced out the centerfielder at second on the next play, with a strikeout and grounder to third ending the game.

LSU returns to action on Wednesday, hosting the McNeese State Cowgirls at 6 p.m. at Tiger Park.