March 22, 2014
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - After starting the season slow on the road, Louisiana Tech has found its mental toughness the last few days as the Lady Techsters swept a Conference USA doubleheader over Middle Tennessee by the scores of 7-5 and 1-0 Saturday afternoon.
Tech (11-19, 2-6 C-USA) has now won three straight road games after dropping its first nine road contests of the season. The Lady Techsters will look for the series sweep on Sunday when they face the Blue Raiders in a single game that starts at 12 p.m.
LA Tech 7, Middle Tennessee 5 (Game 1)
Anna Cross' two-run double to right centerfield in the top of the seventh inning proved to be the difference as the Lady Techsters recorded the program's inaugural C-USA win with a 7-5 victory over the Blue Raiders.
With Tech leading 5-3, Cross drove home Taylor Penn and Pauline Tufi with her extra base hit to up the lead to 7-3. Tufi had singled and Hailey Winter singled before being replaced by the pinch runner in Penn.
The runs would prove important as MT answered in the bottom half of the frame. The Blue Raiders capitalized on three hits in the frame to close the gap to 7-5. However, Tech starter Bianca Duran recorded the final out on a ground ball with the tying runs on second and third as the Lady Techsters picked up the win.
The lead remained 5-3 until both teams plated two runs each in the seventh.
Duran (4-12) picked up the win in the circle, allowing five runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out one in the complete-game performance.
Offensively, Tufi (2-4, 1 run), Winter (2-3, 1 run), Cross (2-2, 1 run, 2 RBI), Lowe (1-4, 2 RBI), Hill (1-4, 1 RBI), Godwin (1-4, 1 run), Duran (1-4, 1 RBI), Neyland (1 run) and Penn (1 run) led the way.
LA Tech 1, Middle Tennessee 0 (Game 2)
Tufi (7-4) was solid in the circle, shutting down the Blue Raiders on four hits and three walks while recording two strikeouts in 7.0 innings of action. The freshman outdueled MT starter C McClure (2-6) who only allowed one run on five hits and four walks in the game.
Tech scratched for the only run of the game in the top of the fourth inning. Tufi led the frame off with a walk and then was pinch run for by Neyland. One out later, Winter reached on an infield single and then Cross reached on a fielding error by the Blue Raiders infield as Neyland scored all the way from second base to give Tech a 1-0 lead.
Tufi kept Middle Tennessee in check in the fourth and fifth innings. However, the Blue Raiders had a great opportunity to tie the game or take the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning as the first two batters reached base. Following a sacrifice bunt that moved the runners to second and third with only one out, Tufi induced a shallow fly ball to centerfield for the second out and a routine fly ball to left field to end the threat.
Middle Tennessee went down in order in the seventh to end the game.
Cross (1-3, 1 RBI), Lowe (1-3), Hill (1-3), Tufi (1-2), Winter (1-3) and Neyland (1 run) were Tech's offensive leaders in the win.