LACKIE TOSSES TWO-HIT SHUTOUT AND ALLEN AND KRZYWIECKI HOMER AS JAGUAR SOFTBALL ADVANCES

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Freshman pitcher Olivia Lackie tossed a two-hit shutout, and Abby Allen and Abby Krzywiecki both homered as the third-seeded University of South Alabama softball team defeated second-seeded Baylor Friday afternoon at the Gainesville Regional at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium on the campus of the University of Florida.

UP NEXT
– South Alabama (31-19) will advances to take on (1) Florida on Saturday with first pitch set for 2 p.m. at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

(3) SOUTH ALABAMA vs. (2) BAYLOR
Date: 5/21
Place: Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium (Gainesville, Fla.) – Gainesville Regional – NCAA DI Softball Championship

Final Score: (3) South Alabama 2, (2) Baylor (0)
Records: South Alabama (31-19), Baylor (27-22)
Pitchers of Record: WP – Olivia Lackie (19-10)  LP – Gia Rodoni (11-12)
Home Runs: USA: Abby Allen (3), Abby Krzywiecki (9)

GAME FACTS
– Lou Gilbert walked after a five-pitch at-bat to lead off the game for the Bears, who then moved into scoring position with her 17th stolen base of the spring. Lackie though answered back with a pair of strikeouts sandwiched around a pop out on the infield to get out of the inning.
– Allen reached on a one-out walk after a 10-pitch at-bat in South’s half of the second. The freshmen fouled off four two-strike pitches before drawing the free pass. Allen then stole her first base of the season to move into scoring position for the Jaguars with two outs, but Rodoni was able to get a strikeout to end the frame.
– Meredith Keel lined a single through the right side of the infield to lead off the top half of the third and turn the lineup over. She moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Caroline Nichols, and later in the inning, Keel advanced to third on a wild pitch, but a ground out to first got Rodoni out of the jam.
– Gilbert walked for the second time in the bottom half of the third as she reached with two outs in the inning. Emily Hott was then hit by a pitch to put two aboard for Baylor, but Lackie was able to get Goose McGlaun swinging – her third strikeout of the game.
– The Jaguars got on the board with Allen blasted her third home run of the spring over the wall in left to give South a 1-0 advantage.
– Josie Bower singled the next half inning for the Bears and a two-out walk was issued to Zadie LaValley, but for the second straight inning, Lackie left the Bear runners stranded as she ended the inning with a strikeout looking.
– Gilbert reached for the third time in as many plate appearances as she was hit by a pitch with one out in the Baylor fifth. With two away, Gilbert stole her second base of the game, but a fly out to center again left a runner in scoring position for the Bears.
– Taylor Ellis recorded just the second hit of the afternoon for the Bears with a one-out single to left in the bottom of the sixth. Bower was clipped by a pitch – the second hit batter for Baylor, and two batters later, Sydney Collazos drew a walk to load the bases after trailing 0-2 in the count and fouling off four-two-strike pitches. Lackie though left them there as she recorded her second strikeout of the inning and her eighth of the game.
– Krzywiecki lifted her ninth home run of the season that just cleared the left field fence with two away in the seventh to give the Jaguars some insurance as she hit the first pitch she saw.

NOTES
– Friday’s meeting marked the third in the all-time series and the first in the postseason. It was also the first postseason meeting versus an opponent from the Big 12 Conference.
– With the win, South improves to 4-1 in opening round games of a regional.
– Ortiz posted her fourth consecutive game with a hit with her fourth-inning single.
– The two hits also marked the eighth multi-hit game of the season for the Jag outfielder and the 22nd of her career. The 22 career multi-hit games are the 24th-most in program history.
– Allen extended her reached base safely streak to five games with her second-inning walk.
– The fourth-inning home run marked the second-straight game that the freshman has homered as she also had a solo blast in the Sun Belt Conference Championship game versus Louisiana.
– Allen’s home run marked the 12th by a Jag at an NCAA Regional and the first since Amanda Minahan’s versus Tennessee Tech (5/16/2015) at the Auburn Regional.
– With her two hits, Keel extended her team-leading multi-hit game tally to 16. It was also the 27th game of her career with two or more hits.
– Krzywiecki 18th of her career moving her into a three-way tie for seventh all-time at South with former Jags Jenny Stevens (2007-08, ’11) and Katelyn Gurich (2017-21).
– Baylor had at least one runner in scoring position in five of its seven innings, but the Bears were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
– The two-hit shutout marked the seventh individual shutout of the season for Lackie, which set a new freshman record for the program and tied for fifth both for a single season and for a career.
– Of her 21 put outs, Lackie struck out nine, recorded 11 fly-ball outs and just one ground ball out.

THEY SAID IT
Head coach Becky Clark

– Opening statement:
“Today was a great way to start the tournament. I’m proud of our team for the fight that they showed. I didn’t think overall that it was one of our best games that we’ve played, but we came away with a win, and that’s a good thing this time of year. We’re extremely happy to be here, but we don’t want to be a team that’s just happy to be here; we want to be the team that’s here to compete and win.
“Thank you to Florida and the NCAA for everything they’ve put together for us this week. We’re just looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
– On the win:
“Getting that first win under our belt is huge. Liv pitched a gritty game and offensively we did enough to get the win. We have some things we need to clean up before tomorrow but overall you are always happy with an opening win in Regional play.”

Pitcher Olivia Lackie
– On playing in a postseason atmosphere:
“From a pitching standpoint, as a true freshman it was awesome to come out and play in this atmosphere. It’s like a new season for everyone. Everyone is ready to go and no one feels worn down or tired.”
– On how playing in so many close games this season helped the team today:
“I think it helped us. I don’t know the exact number, but we’ve had a lot of 1-0 or one-run ball games this season. I wouldn’t say that we’re used to those types of games, but we’ve definitely seen them a lot.”
– On feeling a sense of pride for both the Sun Belt Conference and the state of Alabama for the amount of teams that received bids:
“I feel that there’s definitely some pride involved. It’s awesome to see four teams from our league get in, as well as the other teams from Alabama. It’s great to see so many teams ready to come out and play some ball.”
– On carrying confidence from this win into tomorrow’s game against Florida:
“The biggest thing for us heading into tomorrow is to not make it bigger that it is. There are definitely going to be a lot of fans cheering, and it may be hard, but we have to play the game that we know how to play and everything else will fall in place.”
– On what was working for her in the circle today :
“I was working in and out and on my rise ball, and that strategy seemed to work pretty effectively today.”

Designated player Abby Allen
– On playing in a postseason atmosphere:
“I took the approach of not making it bigger that it is. It’s just another game and I needed to go attack and be ready.”
– On how playing in so many close games this season helped the team today:
 “Last weekend at the Sun Belt tournament, what we saw as hitters prepared us for today. It definitely helped us.”

For more information about South Alabama athletics, check back with www.usajaguars.com, and follow the Jaguars at www.twitter.com/WeAreSouth_JAGS. Season tickets for all Jaguar athletic events can be purchased by calling (251) 461-1USA (1872).

Join the Bullpen Club, the softball specific support club of the Jaguar Athletic Fund.  Members have access to purchase parking passes and receive Jaguar Softball gear.  All donations to the Bullpen Club go directly to support the South Alabama softball program.  For more information on how you can join visit:  jaguarathleticfund.com/bullpenclub.

—USA—

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