Feb. 17, 2013
LAKE CHARLES, La. - Senior Michelle Jones tossed her first career no-hitter and her third complete-game shutout of the season to lead Louisiana Tech to a 10-0 win over Alcorn State Sunday morning at the Cowgirl Classic hosted by McNeese State.
Tech (5-4) completed the weekend tournament with a 4-1 record while outscoring its opponents 35-7 with three of the victories being shutouts. Four of the five Lady Techsters wins this season have been shutouts with Jones tossing three of them.
"Michelle pitched really well all weekend," said Tech head coach Mark Montgomery. "Even in the Houston Baptist game, she threw well. She struggled to find the umpire's strike zone (in that game) but it wasn't because she wasn't around the plate all night. She came back today and was impressive again."
Jones took the no-hitter into the top of the fifth inning and got a stellar defensive play by centerfielder Dacia Hale to preserve the gem. With one out and a runner on first, Alcorn State third baseman Chelsie Dahlbeck lined a ball into centerfield where Hale made a diving play on it.
Hale initially caught the ball, forcing the ASU base runner to head back to first but then dropped it when she hit the ground. However, the senior regained control and threw the base runner out at second base, erasing the hit.
"It was a no-hitter because of Dacia's great play," Montgomery said. "It should have been a single. Dacia came out of nowhere and laid out for the ball, and the runner started retreating. It was an all-out effort by her and a great play."
LA Tech plated runs in every inning as the Lady Techsters opened the game with a five-run first inning. Amanda Krueger and Kristin Miles both singled and scored on Erin Kipp's two-run double to right centerfield as Tech led 2-0.
After an Alayna Kipp single put runners on first and third, Janna Frandrup singled to drive home the third run of the frame. Meghan Knowles followed with an RBI groundout and then Dacia Hale drove home the fifth run of the game with an infield grounder that was misplayed by Alcorn State.
Tech added a single run in the bottom of the second inning as Miles singled, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out and then scored when she stole home. Miles ended the game 3-for-3 in stolen bases giving her seven on the season.
Hale led the bottom of the third inning off with a walk and then stole second base and third base before scoring on a passed ball as Tech upped its advantage to 7-0.
Jones cruised in the circle, retiring the first 10 batters before issuing a one-out walk in the top of the fourth inning.
The Lady Techsters put the finishing touches on the victory by plating three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Erin Kipp and Alayna Kipp led the frame off with back-to-back singles and then move to second and third on a double steal. Frandrup reached on an error to load the bases and one batter later, Hale drove home a run with a grounder that was misplayed by Alcorn State - allowing two runs to score.
Cassie Krieg drove home the final run of the game with an RBI groundout.
Erin Kipp (2 hits, 2 RBI, 1 run, 1 SB), Miles (2 hits, 2 runs, 3 SB), Krueger (1 hit, 1 run, 1 RBI, 1 SB), Alayna Kipp (2 hits, 2 runs, 2 SB), Frandrup (2 hits, 2 runs, 1 RBI), Knowles (1 run, 1 RBI), Hale (1 run, 2 RBI, 2 SB) and Krieg (1 RBI) led the Lady Techsters offensively.
"We were much better offensively this weekend," Montgomery said. "Our power numbers show that. We had more doubles and extra base hits. There was some definitely more pop in the bat throughout the lineup."
Tech recorded nine stolen bases in the game, giving it 34 stolen bases on the season. The Lady Techsters recorded 27 stolen bases in 58 games in 2012.
"I like to run, and I like to run in the count," Montgomery said. "Even bad catchers will throw you out if you always run on first pitch. We are picking our spots; we are running in situations. We are executing it well."
Tech returns to action next weekend when they play four games in the Southern Miss Tournament in Hattiesburg on Saturday and Sunday.