Your mission LSU, should you decide to accept it, is to beat Louisiana-Lafayette twice in one afternoon.
The Lady Tigers accepted that challenge with a vengeance Saturday night, as they 10-run ruled Central Connecticut 11-0 to advance into the championship round of the NCAA Baton Rouge regional at Tiger Park.
LSU (42-15) must now beat ULL (45-13) in a 1 p.m. game today and in a 4 p.m. game to advance to the Super Regional round. ULL handled LSU 3-0 early Saturday afternoon and took the rest of the day off.
ULL has owned LSU in recent postseason play, as the Lady Tigers fell to the Ragin’ Cajuns 1-0 in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Baton Rouge regional and 6-3 in the championship game of the 2008 NCAA Baton Rouge regional after losing 9-4 in the second round that year. That is four in a row.
“We’re looking at one game and not the whole,” LSU coach Beth Torina said. “At this point, we’ll focus on game one and try to win it. Obviously our offense needs to do some things differently. We had too many strikeouts (in the 3-0 loss). We swung at too many pitches out of the zone.”
ULL pitcher Jordan Wallace fanned 10 Lady Tigers and allowed just two hits in improving to 30-7. She is expected to be in the circle in game one today against LSU ace Rachele Fico (24-12), who took the loss to ULL Saturday.
“ULL is a great team and a great program,” said LSU pitcher Ashley Czechner, who allowed two hits and struck out nine for the six-inning, complete game victory over Central Connecticut.
“We need to come out with confidence,” said first baseman Sandra Simmons, who went 3-for-3 with four RBIs to lead LSU’s 12-hit attack in the win against Central Connecticut. “We had come out a little bit timid in the first game.”
LSU did just the opposite against Central Connecticut, as it put up four runs in the first inning, added two in the third and put it away with five in the sixth. Jacee Blades went 2-for-3 with a double, and Tammy Wray went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Bianka Bell went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs.
“I think we just came out and played LSU softball,” Simmons said. “We just wanted to show who we really were.”
LSU’s fans may want to do that for the ULL game or games. There were just 1,555 in attendance for the ULL game Saturday in 2,500-seat Tiger Park.
“It’d be great to see a lot of purple and gold out there,” Torina said. “If we could have a sea of purple and gold, I know it would be a huge help.”