LSU softball stuns previously perfect Tide

VIKING SHINES FOR TIGERS: Airline product Raelin Chaffin, a freshman, shut down No. 2 Alabama in a 5-1 win Saturday.

JOURNAL STAFF

BATON ROUGE – Second-ranked Alabama rolled into Southeastern Conference softball play unbeaten, but No. 21 LSU dented that pristine slate with a shocking doubleheader sweep Saturday at Tiger Park, with Airline product Raelin Chaffin a key figure.

The Tigers (19-7) topped the Tide 13-6 and 5-1 before Alabama (21-2) salvaged Sunday’s game, 2-1. LSU outhit ‘Bama .280-.176 in the series.

A sixth-run fifth inning, highlighted by a three-run homer by Taylor Pleasants, erased a 6-5 Alabama edge in the first game.

In Saturday’s nightcap, Chaffin retired all but one of the 22 hitters she faced to stymie the hard-hitting Crimson Tide. Georgia Clark clubbed a grand slam in the third to give Chaffin, a freshman, all she needed.

“I guess I do not pay attention that much, but I didn’t know it was a one-hitter,” said Chaffin. “I did not even know I was going to start. I was freaking out a little bit … the last couple of games I pitched, I did not get the result I wanted. I know I can be so much better than what I have been doing, so I went in with the mindset, ‘Why not me? Why not LSU? Why not us?’ “

Said LSU coach Beth Torina: “You never know when your number is going to be called, and she was ready when her number was called today.”

BOSSIER PARISH: The Lady Cavs split a twinbill with Tyler JC, rolling 11-2 and falling 1-0.

Bossier Parish opened the doubleheader with a 9-run first inning and from that point on, it was a pitchers’ duel. Designated hitter Tuli Sosi was 2-for-2 including a 2-run home run in the big first inning and drove in three runs. Primrose Aholelei allowed four hits, two runs, one earned and struck out 9 for the win.

She started the second game, giving up no runs on four hits and striking out eight in four innings. TJC was able to push across a run in Alohilani Napalapalai’s first inning of work for the only tally.

GRAMBLING: The Lady Tigers were busy all weekend, most importantly opening Southwestern Athletic Conference competition at home Sunday with a 4-3, 8-1 sweep over Prairie View.

Saturday in Oklahoma City, Grambling ripped Langston 10-0 to wrap up its participation in the Red Dirt Classic. The Lady Tigers (12-7) lost to Oklahoma City 10-3 but started an ongoing four-game winning streak by dispatching Kansas Wesleyan 8-2 and Bethel 6-0, before Sunday’s twin wins at home.

Anaiyah Fultz singled in a pair of runs and later scored in a nine-run outburst in the fourth inning against Langston.

LOUISIANA TECH: The Lady Techsters dropped their Conference USA debut at Florida Atlantic, losing 4-3 on a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh Sunday after dropping 3-0 and 6-4 decisions Friday and Saturday.

Tech (15-11) got a pinch-hit two-run home run by Kara Goff in its closest loss.

NORTHWESTERN STATE: At Houston, the Lady Demons were winless in three tries, blanked on Sunday 5-0 after 7-3 and 5-3 defeats in a Saturday doubleheader.

Northwestern (12-11) equaled the hit total of UH (12-12) in the series but didn’t come up with the timely raps that the Cougars did, said coach Donald Pickett.

ULM: The Warhawks opened Sun Belt Conference competition with a series win at home over Georgia Southern, rebounding from an eight-inning 6-4 opening loss to prevail 10-9 in Saturday’s second game, then run-ruling the Eagles 10-2 Sunday. Both teams are now 6-13.

Photo courtesy of LSU ATHLETICS