March 6, 2012
WACO, Texas - Louisiana Tech played toe-to-toe with 15th ranked Baylor in both games of a softball doubleheader but the Lady Techsters came up just short in a pair of 3-1 losses to the Bears.
In the first game of the day, junior Michelle Jones gave up three runs on six hits in the first two innings before settling down and holding Baylor to only two hits the rest of the game.
However, despite putting numerous runners in scoring position throughout the game, the Lady Techsters (10-11) were never able to come up with the big hit.
Tech stranded multiple runners on base in four of the first five innings as the Lady Techsters left a total of 11 runners on base in the game.
"We didn't hit poorly by any means," said Tech head coach Sarah Dawson. "We just couldn't get the big hit when we needed it. We could string enough hits together to advance runners and push more than just the one run across."
The top of the third inning might have been the critical moment for Tech as Kendra Harmon hit a one-out double. However, pinch runner Janine Godwin was picked off second base for the second out of the inning as Amanda Krueger walked and Janna Frandrup followed with what would have been a run-scoring single. With runners on first and second and two outs, Dacia Hale hit a grounder for the final out of the frame.
Tech had another great opportunity in the top of the fourth inning, loading the bases on an error, a walk and a single by Hailey Winter. However, Harmon hit a line drive that the pitcher grabbed for the third out of the frame as the score remained 3-0.
Tech brought the tying run to the plate in both the top of the sixth and seventh, but Baylor reliever Liz Paul prevented the game-tying hit as she picked up the save.
Jones (6-4) took the loss, allowing three earned runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out one in the complete-game performance.
"Michelle pitched really well," Dawson said. "I felt like after the first two innings she did a better job of wasting pitches effectively. She struggled a little in the early innings to find a zone. The umpire wasn't giving a lot low strikes and that's where she has to be effective.
"It took a while to make the adjustment. She gave up six hits in the first two innings and only two the rest of the way. She went after batters when they were being passive. I thought she threw her off speed a lot more effectively later in the game. I was proud of her for her resiliency."
Frandrup led Tech with two hits while Hill (RBI), Hale, Harmon and Winter each registered one.
In the night cap, Frandrup got the nod in the circle and found herself in a pitcher's duel with Paul as the two hurlers prevented any scoring through the first four innings of action.
Baylor finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning. With runners on second and third with one out, Baylor dropped down a bunt to plate a run and a second scored when Frandrup's throw to first hit the runner and bounded away from Knowles for the only error of the game.
Tech answered in the top of the sixth. Hale doubled down the left field line and scored when Hill singled to left field, cutting the deficit to 2-1. It was Hill's second RBI of the day.
"Katelynn has been hitting well for us all year," Dawson said. "It's important for where she is at in our lineup as she continues to come up with runners in scoring position. She has been pretty steady and is level-headed; she seems comfortable in that situation. We always coach our kids to hit line drives and hard ground balls and that is what she did today to get the two runs across."
Baylor answered with a single run in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 3-1 and the Lady Techsters failed to bring the tying run to the plate in the top of the seventh.
Frandrup (1-2) took the loss, allowing three runs - only two earned - on nine hits and three walks while striking out one.
"Janna started off stronger than where she finished," said Dawson. "I credit Baylor's players for making the adjustment against her the third and fourth time through the order. It was good to see her come out so strong from the beginning. We just needed to give her some run support and we didn't."
Hill's two hits and RBI led Tech while Amanda Krueger, Hale, Frandrup and Alyana Kipp each registered one hit.
Tech returns to action this weekend when it travels to Alabama to compete in the War Eagle Classic hosted by Auburn Friday through Sunday. Tech opens the event with a 12:30 p.m. game against 20th ranked Auburn on Friday. The Lady Techsters will also face George Washington, Evansville, Drexel and Presbyterian in the six-team tournament.