GAINESVILLE, Fla - Brittany Mack fired a four-hit shutout as the No. 23 LSU softball team grinded out a 1-0 victory to earn a split of a SEC doubleheader versus No. 2 Florida Tuesday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
It marked LSU’s (33-16, 14-8 SEC) win over Florida (42-6, 19-3 SEC) in Gainesville since the 2005 season, and the Tigers second win over the No. 2 team in the nation under head coach Beth Torina. LSU knocked off then No. 2 Alabama by a 3-2 margin on April 7.
Mack notched eight strikeouts versus two walks to improve to 14-8 on the season. She escaped a bases loaded jam with one out during the sixth inning by forcing Bailey Castro and Ensley Gammel to pop out and ground out in succession.
The Tigers platted the contest’s lone run during the second inning. With one out, Ashley Applegate worked her way back from a 1-2 count to 3-2. She proceeded to rip a triple to centerfield.
Two batters later, Applegate scored on Lauren Houston’s two-out, RBI single. It was Houston’s first RBI since the Oklahoma State game back on March 3.
Game 1 – No. 2 Florida 2, No. 23 LSU 1 [8 Innings]
LSU carried a 1-0 advantage down the final strike in the seventh inning before Ensley Gammel connected for a solo home run on a 1-2 offering.
The Gators used a Michelle Moultrie RBI double that bounced off the chalk down the left field line to plate Jess Damico, who reached on a hit-by-pitch for the 2-1 victory.
Rachele Fico turned in a masterful performance and equaled a season’s best with 11 strikeouts. She limited the potent Florida lineup to a pair of hits in the first six frames.
LSU appeared to grab a 1-0 advantage in the fifth inning. Tammy Wray cranked a leadoff single through the middle, and pinch runner Alex Boulet alertly scooted to third base on Morgan Russell’s ground out to the catcher.
Boulet scampered home on Dylan Supak’s sacrifice fly, but home plate umpire Cindi Brunot ruled that Boulet left early from third base after a highly-contested appeal by Florida head coach Tim Walton.
LSU broke through for the game’s official first run during the sixth inning. Ashley Applegate coaxed a leadoff walk and advanced to second base on a Wray sacrifice bunt. That set the table for pinch hitter Kailey McCasland, who delivered a clutch RBI single to put the Tigers ahead by a 1-0 margin.
LSU wraps up the home portion of its schedule and welcomes No. 12 Georgia for a SEC weekend series. Game times are slated for 6 p.m. [Friday], 4 p.m. [Saturday] and 1 p.m. [Sunday].