@LATech Overcomes Adversity in Win Over No. 21 James Madison
Feb. 11, 2018
PUERTA Vallarta, Mexico – Karlee Jensen’s two out RBI single to centerfield in the bottom of the seventh inning scored Bayli Simon from second base sending Louisiana Tech to a 3-2 win over No. 21 James Madison in the final game of the 2018 Puerta Vallarta College Challenge late Saturday night at Nancy Almaraz Field.
Tech (1-4) finally got in the win column after two heartbreaking one losses to James Madison (3-2) and Long Beach State (4-1) the previous two days, but it wasn’t without adversity.
The Lady Techsters appeared to have taken a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when Taria Page singled through the right side, plating Morgan Turkoly and Jazlyn Crowder. However, after the play ended, the umpires huddled and eventually called interference on Tech infielder Katie Smith, taking the two runs off the board.
Video replay showed that the call was incorrect. Following the call, Marilyn Rizzato lined into an inning ending double play to end the threat, sending the game to the seventh still tied at 2-2.
“I am so proud of this team for overcoming such adversity,” said Tech head coach Mark Montgomery. “We played two really good games against James Madison and Long Beach State but just fell short in both of them. We could have allowed the call to cost us again. The players kept the composure and their focus and found a way to win.”
After junior Preslee Gallaway pitched her way out of a jam in the top of the seventh thanks to a great defensive play by senior right fielder Ali Galaz who gunned down the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the top of the seventh, the Lady Techsters took advantage and came up with a timely hit.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, freshman Bayli Simon reached on a fielding error by James Madison shortstop Sara Jubas. After a sacrifice bunt by Berkley Calapp that moved Simon to third, Jensen hit a ground ball single up the middle to centerfield.
Simon was sent home on the play and was safe after James Madison catcher Ashley Samuels was ruled for obstruction at home plate.
The game didn’t start well for Tech. James Madison third baseman Morgan Tolle led the game off with a solo home run deep over the left field wall off of Lady Techster starter Krystal De La Cruz for an early 1-0 lead by the Dukes. De La Cruz settled down and retired the next six batters.
James Madison upped the advantage to 2-0 in the top of the third inning on a two-out RBI single by Odicci Alexander, scoring Madison Naujokas.
Tech finally found some offensive life in the bottom of the third inning. Simon led off with a single and then Calapp reached on a fielders choice on a play that Simon was thrown out at second. Jensen then followed with a single to right field to put runners on the corners. Jensen stole second base, Jazlyn Crowder hit a grounder to shortstop on a play that Calapp was thrown out at home trying to score. Crowder than stole second base and Morgan Turkoly followed with a two-run single to centerfield, tying the game at 2-2.
De La Cruz pitched four solid innings, allowing two runs on three hits with one walk. Preslee Gallaway took over in the fifth and tossed three scoreless innings to pick up her first win of the season.
Turkoly was 3-for-3 with 2 RBI while Jensen added two hits and one RBI. Crowder (1 hit, 1 run) and Simon (1 hit, 1 run) also contributed offensively.
Jensen, Turkoly and Simon were all named to the all-tournament team.
Tech returns to action Tuesday when the Lady Techsters travel to face Southeastern Louisiana.
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