Feb. 9, 2014
Feb. 9, 2014
RUSTON - Following a pair of emotional games late Saturday night, Louisiana Tech was unable to rebound Sunday as Houston Baptist blanked the Lady Techsters 8-0 in five innings at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.
Kendall Stiefel recorded a perfect game for the Huskies, retiring all 15 batters she faced, while Houston Baptist capitalized on home runs from Shay Orsak, Kirsten Schwirtlich, and Kay Schroeder in the victory.
Tech (2-2) took the field less than 15 hours after back-to-back emotional contests in a 10-9 extra inning loss to Wichita State and 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Saint Louis.
"We just didn't have the energy and focus we needed," said Tech head coach Mark Montgomery. "We played two very tough, emotional games last night, and I think we showed signs of the effects of those two contests. I told our players we simply aren't good enough to just walk out onto the field and go through the motions and expect to win.
"I think they understand that. It's early in the season and hopefully we will learn from this. Houston Baptist came out, they were rested and energetic and they took it to us."
The Huskies scored five runs in the top of the first inning off Tech starting pitcher Bianca Duran. After the first two batters reached on a single and a walk, Schwirtlich blasted her first home run of the season - a three-run shot - to give HBU an early lead.
Following two more hits and a Tech error which extended the inning, the Huskies plated two more runs on a two-out single by Danielle Rodarte as the lead increased to 5-0.
It would be more than Stiefel would need as she recorded six strikeouts while registering five straight three-up, three-down innings.
"I thought we had three good at bats the entire game," Montgomery said. "We just didn't have a good approach today, and I think it showed. I don't want to take anything away from (Stiefel); she threw well. However, we didn't provide her much competition."
Following Duran's rough first inning, freshman Pauline Tufi entered the game with a runner on first and no outs in the top of the second. Tufi threw the final 4.0 innings for Tech, allowing only two hits - both home runs - and three runs, only two earned while striking out four.
Tufi joined teammate Alayna Kipp on the all-tournament team following the three-day event. Tufi batted .333 with two RBI while recording a 1-0 mark in the circle with a 1.27 earned run average. Kipp batted .385 with two doubles, one home run and eight RBIs in the four games.
Tech returns to action Wednesday when the Lady Techsters host Top 25 UL-Lafayette at 5 p.m. at the Lady Techster Softball Complex. Following that contest, Tech will travel to compete in a three-day tournament in Austin this weekend that includes the Top 25 Longhorns, Top 25 Kentucky as well as IPFW.
"I'm excited about the next week of competition," Montgomery said. "I really think we will bounce back and play really well. It will be a big challenge, but I honestly believe it is one that our players will embrace."