@LATechSB Gives No. 7 LSU Scare in Heartbreaking Extra Inning Loss
Feb. 16, 2018
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Louisiana Tech split a pair of games in the first day of the Purple and Gold Challenge hosted by LSU as the Lady Techsters defeated Southern Utah 5-1 before falling to the 7th ranked Tigers 2-1 in nine innings.
"I am so proud of this team," said Tech head coach Mark Montgomery. "We are bloodied but we fought to the very end. We executed the game plan to perfection. Our pitchers were incredible. Carly Hoover is one of the best pitchers in the country. And they made a few defensive plays on some balls that against most people would have been hits. I couldn't have asked for any more from this group.
"We have to get a good night's sleep and come back tomorrow. We have two tough games against two very good teams in Central Arkansas and Oregon State."
Tech will play two more games Saturday, facing Central Arkansas at noon and Oregon State at 2:30 p.m.
Game 1: LA Tech 5, Southern Utah 1
Louisiana Tech capitalized on three Southern Utah errors while getting a solid pitching performance from senior Bailey Allen and freshman Jensen Howell to down the Thunderbirds 5-1 in the first game of the day.
Tech plated four runs in the second and one more in the third and then relied on pitching and defense to pull out the victory.
Sloane Stewartson and Ali Galaz led the bottom of the second inning off with back-to-back singles and then pinch runner Kailey Anderson scored when Marilyn Rizzato reached on a throwing error by the SUU third baseman.
Tech then tried a squeeze play as Berkley Calapp laid down a bunt and Galaz beat the throw home for the second run of the inning.
With runners on first and third and no outs, a pitch in the dirt allowed Calapp to break for second and the throw by the SUU catcher was errant, allowing Calapp to go all the way to third and Rizzato to score from third. Tech led 3-0.
With Calapp at third and two outs, Morgan Turkoly drove home the final run on a bunt single back to the pitcher.
SUU answered with a single run in the top of the third inning. Back to back infield singles and then a walk loaded the bases with one out against Allen. However, Allen induced a fly ball out that scored one run and then another fly ball out that ended the threat.
Tech responded in the bottom of the third, once again capitalizing on a SUU error. With two outs, Galaz walked and then Rizzato was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Calapp then grounded to short but the ball was thrown away, allowing Galaz to score to increase the Tech advantage to 5-1.
Howell came on in relief of Allen in the fifth and worked three solid innings, allowing only one hit and one walk. SUU put runners on first and second with one out in the seventh, but Howell recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the game. Howell earned her first collegiate save.
Allen picked up the win, allowing one run on five hits and one walk in 4.0 innings of action.
Turkoly (2 hits, RBI, SB), Galaz (hit, 2 runs), Stewartson (hit), Calapp (run, RBI), Anderson (run), Rizzato (run, SB) and Katie Smith (2 SB) led Tech offensively.
Game 2: LSU 2, LA Tech 1
Louisiana Tech and LSU played a classic in the night cap as the Tigers scored on a two out hit in the bottom of the ninth inning to down the Lady Techsters.
LSU ace Carly Hoover dueled against four LA Tech pitchers in a game that had a little bit of everything, including some tremendous pitching in late game situations.
The Tigers took an early 1-0 lead on Tech as a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the first inning against Lady Techster starter Preslee Gallaway. However, Gallaway would allow only a second inning single before pitching four straight frames without giving up a hit to LSU.
Hoover, who entered the game having allowed only three hits and no runs in 12 innings, was tough in the circle, retiring the first 10 batters of the game before Lady Techster shortstop Katie Smith reached on an infield single.
The score remained 1-0 until the top of the sixth inning. With one out, Morgan Turkoly ripped a single to centerfield and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Smith then followed with an RBI double to left centerfield to tie the game at 1-1.
LSU looked to respond in the bottom of the sixth as Gallaway walked the first two batters. Sophomore Jenny Chapman came on in relief and promptly retired three straight batters to get out of the jam.
After Tech went down in order in the seventh, LSU threatened again in the bottom of the frame.
Freshman Jensen Howell allowed back to back singles to put the winning run on second base. Junior Krystal De La Cruz was then called upon and recorded three straight outs to send the game to extra innings.
The bottom of the eighth innings saw more magic by the LA Tech pitching staff. After a leadoff double, LSU got a one-out single to put runners on first and third with only one out. Tech freshman third baseman Bayli Simon made a great defensive play, spearing a hard hit ball and gunning down the potential game-winning run at the plate for the second out of the inning before De La Cruz induced a fly ball out to end the frame.
Following a top of the ninth that saw Tech unable to score, LSU drew a leadoff walk that eventually moved to third with two outs. However, a hard hit grounder eluded the Tech infield allowing the runner to score with the game-winning run.
Smith (2 hits, 1 RBI) and Turkoly (1 hit, run) led Tech offensively.
Tech returns to action Saturday with a 12 p.m. game against Central Arkansas and a 2:30 p.m. game against Oregon State.
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