Photos Courtesy: Dave Johnson
The Pirate softball team traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Saturday to face off with two premier NCAA Division I softball teams. In the first game of the day PSC took on the Cowgirls of McNeese State university (MSU). MSU is the reigning champion of the Southland Conference and went 43-18 last season while making an appearance in the NCAA tournament.
The Cowgirls struck early and never looked back after they utilized three hits and an error to plate three runs in the top of the first inning. The Pirates had four hitters collect base hits but could never string anything together to get on the board. Danielle de Ruiter, Kaeleen Koehler, Haley Willis and Kayla Leibman all picked up hits, including a double from Koehler. PSC sent three pitchers to the mound in the game with Shelby Griffin having a strong outing throwing three innings and striking out two while scattering three hits. The final score of the game was 6-0.
Later in the day the Pirates went head-to-head with the host Louisiana State Tigers (LSU). The Tigers are coming off of a 48-22 season and they made an appearance in the Women's College World Series. The Pirates got on the board first in the top of the second inning when Natalie Sorenson led things off with a walk and advanced to third on a single from Kayla Leibman. Sorenson then scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Alexis Guzman. Later in the inning Lia Johnson reached on a error that also allowed Leibman to score the games second run and was immediately followed by Brittney Rayfield being driven in by Danielle de Ruiter to make the score 3-0. LSU struck back in the bottom of the third and exploded for six runs with the help of five hits, a base on balls and hit by pitch. In the top of the fifth Jensen Strickland started things off with a single to center field and advanced to second on a walk to Madison Marshall. A single up the middle from Alexandra Verardi then loaded the bases and Strickland scored on a fielder's choice from Kayla Leibman to make the score 6-4. The Tigers answered back with a run in the bottom half of the inning before they rounded out the scoring in the game with two more runs in the sixth. All five of the Pirates pitchers saw time on the mound with Strickland receiving the start and Brittney Rayfield closing out the game strong by retiring the only three batters she faced.
The Pirates will close out their fall season on Sunday, November 5th when they travel to Tallahassee to face Florida State University.