In their final opening weekend as college players, senior pitcher Allie Walljasper and senior outfielder Emily Griggs delivered once again.
Walljasper recorded eight strikeouts in LSU’s 4-0 win against Southern Miss and Griggs drove in the tying run and the go-ahead run in LSU’s 9-2 win over UT-Arlington. Griggs was one of three players with two RBIs in the win.
In the top of the fourth inning against Southern Miss, Walljasper already recorded her fifth strikeout. She allowed two hits in that time frame and ended up allowing only two more hits to finish the night.
Walljasper credited her dominant performance on the mound to her ability to spot her pitches better.
“I’ve been working for a long time on just having a new me out there,” Walljasper said. “I just went out there and tried something different and I had my team behind me for the entire time, so it was a fun outing.”
After the Tigers trailed UT-Arlington 2-0 in the middle of the second inning, sophomore outfielder Claire Weinberger got the ball rolling with an RBI single to put the Tigers on the board.
On the very next play, Griggs recorded her first RBI single of the night to tie the game up.
Griggs followed it up with another RBI single in the bottom of the fourth to help the Tigers take the lead. A scoring frenzy soon followed for the Tigers in the next inning, as junior shortstop Amber Serrett recorded a two RBI double to extend LSU’s lead to 6-2.
Later in the fifth inning, junior infielder Becca Schulte and sophomore outfielder Aliyah Andrews recorded RBIs of their own to give the Tigers a seven-run lead.
The freshmen on the team have already gotten a dose of collegiate action as pitcher Shelbi Sunseri started for the Tigers against UT-Arlington and catcher CC Caccamise was present in both games.
Sunseri allowed two runs on six hits against the Mavericks and had one strikeout in the top of the fifth inning.
“It’s so cool to see Shelbi go out there and have so much success,” Walljasper said. “It’s hard to pitch with Carley, Maribeth and I as a freshman coming in there, so it’s cool to see her have the success she did. She’s been working so hard in the bullpen every day, picking our minds apart to see what she could do to be better.”
Although Sunseri had her struggles early on against UT-Arlington, LSU coach Beth Torina still liked what she saw of her young player.
“She did well,” Torina said. “She did a good job at adjusting to it and our team responded well to that and she responded well in return.”
LSU continues playing in the Tiger Classic by playing in another doubleheader tomorrow as they face UMass at 5 p.m. and Syracuse at 7:30 p.m.