March 2, 2013
NATCHITOCHES, La. - While the vast majority of their graduating classmates were participating in winter commencement exercises on the Louisiana Tech campus Saturday afternoon, Lady Techster seniors Michelle Jones and Amanda Krueger were leading their team to a pair of victories.
Both Jones and Krueger earned their bachelor degrees Saturday even though they were 100 miles away from the Ruston campus lifting Louisiana Tech to a 4-3 win over Northwestern State, snapping the Demons 11-game winning streak, and a 10-9 win over UL-Monroe.
LA Tech 4, Northwestern State 3
Jones (5-4) picked up the win in the circle for the Lady Techsters, allowing three runs - only two earned - on seven hits and one walk while striking out three in 5.2 innings of action. The Scurry, Texas native gave way to fellow senior Melanie Goff with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the sixth and Goff induced a ground ball out from NSU's best hitter in Tara McKenney to end the threat.
Goff earned her first save of the season by retiring the Demons without allowing a run in the seventh to seal the win, Tech's second in as many days at the Natchitoches Historic Development Commission Lady Demon Classic.
While Jones was stellar in the circle, Krueger came up with the eventual game-winning hit as her two-run single in the top of the fifth inning capped a four-run frame for the Lady Techsters. Krueger finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate with the two RBI and her seventh stolen base of the year.
Northwestern State took a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and third innings. After allowing a leadoff single by Krueger to start the game, Demon pitcher Brooke Boening settled down and kept LA Tech hitless until the top of the fifth inning when the Lady Techsters bats came to life.
After Cross stole her WAC-leading 12th base of the year to put runners on second and third, Krueger delivered a two-run single to give the Lady Techsters a 4-2 lead. Kayla Guidry came on in relief for the Demons and retired the first two hitters to get out of the jam.
Brianna Rodriguez led the bottom of the sixth inning off with a solo home run for Northwestern State, cutting the Tech lead to 4-3. A single, walk and fielding error then loaded the bases for the Demons with no outs before Jones induced a pop up for the first out of the inning. Jones then got Shanequa Abby to ground back to her for a force out at home for the second out before giving way to Goff who recorded the final out of the frame.
Offensively, Tech was led by Krueger (2-4, 2 RBI, SB), Kipp (1 hit), Katelynn Cook (1 run), Frandrup (1 hit, 1 run), Knowles (1 hit, 1 run), Hale (1 hit), and Cross (1 hit, 1 run, 1 RBI, 1 SB).
LA Tech 10, UL-Monroe 9
Michelle Jones pitched out of a bases-loaded, no out situation in the top of the seventh inning to preserve Louisiana Tech's 10-9 win over UL-Monroe as the Lady Techsters prevailed despite committing a season-high six errors.
With Tech (8-8) leading 10-9 heading into the seventh, UL-Monroe loaded the bases with a double, walk and infield single before Jones struck out two of the final three batters and recorded a ground ball force out at home. It marked the only inning of the game that the Warhawks (8-10) didn't plate a run.
Tech scored in four of its six at bats with the big inning being a six-run third that saw the Lady Techsters take a 7-4 lead.
After UL-Monroe took a 4-1 lead with a single run in the second and two more in the third, LA Tech answered with a six-spot in the bottom of the third. Freshman Anna Cross started the assault with her first career home run - a solo shot to centerfield - cutting the deficit to 4-2. Krueger doubled and Kristen Miles walked and both runners scored on a two-run triple by Erin Kipp to centerfield, tying the game at 4-4.
Kipp came home to score on a Melanie Goff sacrifice fly as Tech took a 5-4 lead. Following an Alayna Kipp walk, Meghan Knowles hit a two-run home run to left field, her first of the year and the 16th of her career as Tech led 7-4.
UL-Monroe scored two in the fourth to cut the Tech lead to 7-6 before the Lady Techsters answered against Warhawk pitcher and former teammate Savannah Dollar. Frandrup led the bottom of the fourth off with a walk and then scored on Krueger's two-run home run, her team leading third of the season making the score 9-6.
After the Wawhawks plated a run to cut the lead to 9-7, Tech added one more in the fifth inning as Knowles doubled home pinch runner Dacia Hale to make the score 10-7.
UL-Monroe added two runs in the top of the sixth inning on the strength of two hits and three LA Tech errors as the Lady Techsters lead shrunk to 10-9.
However, Jones - who came on in relief for starter starter Melanie Goff in the fourth - pitched her way out of the bases loaded jam to preserve the win.
Jones (6-4) picked up the win, allowing five runs - three earned - on eight hits and three walks while striking out three.
Offensively, Tech was led by Krueger (3-3, HR, 3 runs, 2 RBI, SB), Knowles (2-3, HR, 1 run, 3 RBI), Erin Kipp (1-2, 1 run, 3 RBI), Cross (1-3, HR, 1 run, 1 RBI), Alayna Kipp (1-2, 2 runs), Miles (1 run, 1 SB), Goff (1 RBI), and Frandrup (1 run).
Tech returns to action Sunday with a 10 a.m. contest against Alcorn State and a 12:30 p.m. match-up against Northwestern State.