By Jessika Harkay | Sports Writer
Baylor softball has not defeated LSU since 1981. The Tigers hold a 10-2 overall advantage, but the Lady Bears hope to snap the eight-game losing streak to LSU this weekend at Getterman Stadium.
The Louisiana State Tigers and Lady Bears’ not only have a long history of contests, but also a history full of familiar faces.
Nineteenth-year head coach Glenn Moore had a career at LSU from 1998 to 2000, where he led the Tigers to a 10-5 and 8-4 victory series against Baylor.
During Moore’s tenure at LSU, the team won four SEC championships and two Western Divisions. Regardless of his success there, he said this year’s team is one of the better LSU teams he’s seen.
“They have a lot of speed. They’re the full package,” Moore said. “As much success as they’ve had, this is one of the best teams they’ve had down there. So we’re going to see good pitching, hitting and fielding and base running. We’re going to do our best to hold them at bay and be a little creative. Certainly haven’t thrown in the towel. This team will never do that as long as I’m here.”
Not only does Moore hold a personal connection to the weekend opponents, but junior infielder and Louisiana native Nicky Dawson played her freshman year at LSU, where she hit an average .310 in 38 games in 2017. Dawson said she’s not familiar with the younger players the team will likely face this weekend, but with the friends she will play against, she hopes to come out with the win.
“It’s hard because individually I would want my friends to succeed. But, I want us to come out with the team [win],” Dawson said. “It will always be fun. It’s always fun for me, just a challenge. It makes it kind of like being a little kid again, just in the backyard, playing with your friends.”
This season the Tigers sit at 38-11, outscoring opponents by an average of four runs (6.7 to 2.7), with nearly 40% of hits going for extra bases. With seven players hitting better than .300, LSU is led by senior infielder Amanda Sanchez and junior outfielder Aliyah Andrews hitting above .400.
Dawson leads the Lady Bears hitting at .348 and 22 runs. With the chance to reach base for the 33rd straight game, Dawson can be tied for the third in program history. The one piece of advice Dawson had was to continue building a united team.
“We’ve had a lot of team meetings and making sure we’re all on the same page to understand that there’s always something to get better at,” Dawson said. “Whether it’s actual ground balls, hitting or team chemistry. We’ve tried to incorporate some different bonding here and there to make sure that doesn’t change because we don’t want to be divided and then that come onto the field.”
The Lady Bears take the field at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Getterman Stadium.