Feb. 9, 2013
HAMMOND, La. - Louisiana Tech received two stellar pitching performances by senior Michelle Jones as the Lady Techsters split two games in the second day of the Jimmy John's Lion Classic.
Tech shutout Nicholls State 3-0, before falling 4-3 to Delaware in heartbreaking fashion in eight innings. The Lady Techsters will face St. Louis Sunday at 10 a.m.
Tech 3, Nicholls State 0
Jones (1-0) picked up the win, allowing only three hits and no walks while striking out four. Frandrup (1) picked up her first save of the season, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out one over the final 1.1 innings of work.
"Michelle pitched great all day," said Tech head coach Mark Montgomery. "She was hitting her spots and had good movement. She was in complete control of this game all day."
Tech (1-3) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when senior centerfielder Dacia Hale recorded her first home run of the season. The Lady Techsters added to the lead in the bottom of the third inning when Amanda Krueger recorded a one-out single and then scored on a double to right field by Alayna Kipp, making the score 2-0.
After retiring the first 10 batters of the game, Jones finally allowed a one-out double to Denise Phillips in the fourth but retired the next two batters to keep the two-run lead intact.
"We had a lot of opportunities to score," Montgomery said. "We came up with some two-out hits to scratch for a run in a couple of innings. We are still missing a bat in the middle of the order, and I think once Mel (Goff) returns, that will really help us.
"All in all, I saw a lot of good things today in both games. We were better today than we were yesterday. I saw a lot of improvement from a number of our players."
Nicholls State put two runners on base with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, but Frandrup recorded the third and final out to preserve the victory.
Tech outhit Nicholls State 7-4 as seven different Lady Techsters recorded a hit, including Krueger (1 run), Kristen Miles, Alayna Kipp (1 RBI), Frandrup, Hale (1 run, 1 RBI), Meghan Knowles (1 hit) and Cross (1 RBI, 1 SB).
Delaware 4, LA Tech 3 (8 innings)
For the second straight day, Louisiana Tech fell in extra innings as the Lady Techsters lost in heart-breaking fashion to the Delaware Blue Hens 4-3.
"This is a game we should have won," Montgomery said. "I felt we outplayed them throughout the entire game. We had chances to score, and we just didn't. It's a matter of learning the dynamics of this team in situations, and those are the things I'm still figuring out.
"You have to give (Delaware) credit as they didn't give up when they got down in the eighth inning. They fought and came up with the big hit."
Tech hurler Michelle Jones was stellar once again, blanking the Blue Hens (4-0) over seven innings, allowing only three hits and two walks while striking out three. Just as impressive was Delaware's combination of Hannah Rust and Chenxi Jiao who held the LA Tech bats in check for the majority of the day.
The Lady Techsters threatened to score early in the game as Amanda Krueger was hit by a pitch and Kristen Miles followed with a single. One out later, Janna Frandrup singled to load the bases before Dacia Hale flied out to right field with Miles being doubled up at second base on the play, ending the threat.
Tech put two runners on base again in the top of the third inning as Krueger walked and Miles singled. However, Krueger was called out for leaving the base early and despite an Alayna Kipp walk, Tech wasn't able to muster a run.
The Blue Hens were unable to get multiple runs on a base until the seventh inning when Jones issued a walk to Tori Conrad. With two outs, Shelby Jones singled to left field but Miles threw Conrad out at third for the final out of the frame.
Using the international tiebreaker rule, Anna Cross started the top of the eighth on second base as Tech utilized its short game. Amanda Krueger reached on a fielder's choice as Cross was safe at third base and then Miles picked up an RBI on a ground ball that was booted by the Blue Hens shortstop, giving Tech a 1-0 lead.
Following an Alayna Kipp sacrifice bunt that moved Krueger to third and Miles to second, Katelynn Cook picked up an RBI on a sacrifice bunt where all the base runners were safe on the play as Tech led 2-0. Dacia Hale then followed with another sacrifice bunt that plated Miles for the third and final run of the frame for the Lady Techsters.
With Jones having worked 12.2 innings on the day, Frandrup came on in relief in the bottom of the eighth inning. After picking up the first out on a ground ball, Frandrup surrendered an RBI single to centerfield by Hannah George, making the score 3-1. Jessica Grisler followed with a single putting runners on first and second before Lara Andrews hit a walk-off, three-run home run over the centerfield fence, giving Delaware the 4-3 win.
"Again, I feel like we played a lot better today than yesterday," Montgomery said. "Defensively, we are getting better. Offensively, we just need to come up with a few more timely hits. We need someone to break the seal ... get that big hit with runners in scoring position. Once that happens, the rest of the team relaxes and starts hitting better."
Frandrup (0-2) took the loss, allowing four runs - three earned - on three hits.