Tech Softball Falls 1-0 to No. 7 Kentucky
Feb. 14, 2014
AUSTIN, Texas - Louisiana Tech dropped a pair of games to NCAA Tournament teams on the first day of the Texas Classic, falling 1-0 to 7th ranked Kentucky and 7-2 to defending Summit League champion IPFW.
No. 7 Kentucky 1, LA Tech 0
Bianca Duran pitched four strong innings and Pauline Tufi threw well in relief but the Lady Techster offense was no-hit for the second straight game as 7th ranked Kentucky edged LA Tech 1-0 in the first game of the day in Austin.
Kentucky (6-0), which already owns a win over defending national champion Oklahoma this year, scored the lone run of the game in the bottom of the third inning. After Christian Stokes reached first base on a slow roller to third base that was ruled as a base hit, Duran retired the next two batters as Stokes moved to third base.
UK catcher Griffin Joiner promptly hit a soft dying line drive to right field that fell for a hit, scoring Stokes from first base and giving the Wildcats the 1-0 lead.
"We did a good job pitching," said Tech head coach Mark Montgomery. "I thought Biance did a great job. I called timeout to go out and talk to her about the one batter she gave up the single to when they scored the run. We had an open base, and I wanted to pitch carefully too her. If you walk her, you walk her. She gave her a pitch she could handle. Minus that one mistake, I thought she pitched fantastic. Pauline pitched really well too."
The Lady Techsters offense failed to record a hit for the second straight game as Kentucky pitcher Lauren Cumbess tossed her second career no-hitter. Cumbess walked just one and struck out seven in the complete game performance as her only blemish was a walk to Anna Cross in the second inning.
"It wasn't so much that she controlled us," Montgomery said. "We hit a few balls really hard right at people and a few that were just foul down the line. Now we did hit a lot of balls that didn't really challenge them either."
Duran (1-2) took the loss, allowing one run on four hits and no walks with two strikeouts in 4.0 innings of action. Tufi pitched 2.0 complete innings, allowing one hit and one walk.
IPFW 7, LA Tech 2
IPFW blew open a tied game by scoring five runs with two outs in the top of the sixth inning as the defending Summit League champions defeated Louisiana Tech 7-2 in the second game of the day at the Texas Classic in Austin.
Tech pitchers Anna Cross and Pauline Tufi had held IPFW to only four hits and two runs through the first five innings until the Mastadons exploded for five runs in the sixth. The inning was kept alive because of a pair of mental mistakes by the Tech defense.
"We gave them five outs that inning," Montgomery said. "Hailey (Winters) and Anna both made mental errors in the inning. Those two mistakes hurt us. You can't spot a team five outs in an inning, especially an experienced NCAA Tournament team."
After a leadoff single that started the top of the sixth, IPFW laid down a sacrifice bunt that was fielded cleanly by Winters at third. However, she hesitated and then threw to second to try to get the lead runner and failed to record the out. After Tufi retired the next two batters, she then surrendered an RBI single as the Mastadons took a 3-2 lead.
Duran relieved Tufi and appeared to have gotten the next batter to pop out in foul ground. However, Cross misjudged the carry of the ball and it fell to the ground, keeping the inning alive. With the bases load and two outs, IPFW recorded three straight run-scoring singles to push the advantage out to 7-2.
With IPFW bringing in their top pitcher to close the game, Tech successfully put runners on base. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Winter walked, Tori Charters singled to third and Katelynn Cook walked to load the bases with two outs. However, M. Kramer struck Tufi out looking to end the threat.
"There itching was pretty good," Montgomery said. "The girl they brought into close was legit. We should have done a better job against their starter when she was in there. However, I honestly thought we did a really nice job against their closer. We just couldn't push across any runs."
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Cross and Duran both singled with one out to put runners on first and second but Kramer retired the next two batters to end the game.
Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Tech plated a pair of two-out runs. Duran walked and Winters singled to right field and then both runners advanced a base on a ground out by Katelynn Hill. Sophomore catcher Lexi Callan then pitch hit and promptly hit a deep fly ball to center field that the IPFW outfielder lost in the sun as the ball ricocheted off her glove, allowing pinch runner Lindsey Neyland and Charters to score.
Tufi (1-1) took the loss in the circle, allowing three runs on four hits in 2.2 innings of action.
Erin Kipp recorded two of Tech's seven hits while Cross, Duran, Winter, Hill and Charters each registered one hit.
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