It was a battle of the pitchers in Tiger Park as the LSU Tigers softball team defeated the Houston Cougars 1-0 at noon on Saturday.
LSU senior pitcher Allie Walljasper and Houston junior pitcher Savannah Heebner entered ranked eighth and 13th nationally in earned run average with ERAs of 1.00 and 1.14 respectively.
“I think (Walljasper) is one of the best in the game” said LSU coach Beth Torina. “She has so many weapons and she's able to keep people off balance so well. I didn't believe our defense was perfect today but they have played really well behind her and backed her up, and she just continues to be so efficient.”
The two pitchers held both teams scoreless for most of the game after both teams shut out their opponent in the opening game with Houston beating Louisiana Lafayette 1-0 and LSU beating Fordham 9-0.
The Tigers finally would score in the top of fifth after junior Amber Serrett hit a double to bring in junior catcher Michaela Schlattman to take a 1-0 lead.
The fifth inning saw two hits for the Tigers after LSU had been retired in order in three of the first four innings.
“It was nice,” said Serrett. “We had a lot of hard hits, but they were just straight at them. Sometimes we just need that one that falls. I think it was a great team win. We didn't have that one big hit but we had a lot of hits strung together.”
The Tigers defense shined under pressure as Houston left seven runners stranded in the game.
The defense would step up big in the bottom of the seventh as the Tigers retired the Cougars in order as Houston was retired in order by Walljasper.
Walljasper tallied seven strikeouts in the game to seal the shutout.
“A lot of credit goes to my defense,” said Walljasper. “They have been fantastic behind me and pumping me up the entire time. I'm just going out there trying to throw quality pitches and my defense has my back the entire time.”
The Tigers advance to the regional final on Sunday and will face the winner of the loser’s bracket.