March 23, 2013
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - After winning its league opener Friday night, Louisiana Tech dropped a pair of games Saturday afternoon falling 11-3 and 9-7 to New Mexico State at NMSU Softball Complex.
Tech (13-15, 1-2 WAC) and New Mexico State (18-13, 2-1 WAC) played under tough conditions with the winds constantly blowing 25 to 35 miles per hour for the entirety of both games. The Aggies capitalized on the conditions, belting five home runs, including a grand slam in the opener.
NMSU 11, LA Tech 3 (6 innings)
Louisiana Tech opened the game by plating two runs in the top of the first inning off NMSU starter Celisha Walker as Amanda Krueger singled, advanced to third on an error on a Kristen Miles ground ball and eventually scored the first game on a passed ball.
Miles would make the score 2-0, scoring on an RBI ground out by Alayna Kipp as the Lady Techsters took the early lead.
However, NMSU answered quickly, plating four runs on three hits in the bottom of the first. The big blast came on a grand slam home run off the bat of Kelsey Dodd over the left field fall, giving the Aggies a 4-2 advantage.
The Aggies would add three more runs in the bottom of the second inning on a two-out, three-run home run by Staci Rodriguez off Tech starter Michelle Jones, upping the advantage to 7-2.
Jones (8-8) took the loss for Tech, allowing nine runs - all earned - on seven hits and two walks in 2.2 innings of action. Walker (3-1) picked up the first of her two wins on the day, allowing three runs - one earned - on seven hits in 6.0 innings of action.
New Mexico State 9, LA Tech 7
The Aggies used a five-run fifth inning to build a 9-3 lead and then hung out late as Louisiana Tech made a valiant comeback before falling 9-7 in game two.
"The loss in the second game is 100 percent on me," said Tech head coach Mark Montgomery, who saw runners thrown out on the base paths in three of the first four innings. "I gave NMSU too many cheap outs trying to run the bases. I was playing a national league style when I should have been playing an American League style. In this ball park I should have been letting my hitters decide the game. Unfortunately, I felt like I dug ourselves a hole. I was proud of the way our kids fought back and gave us a chance to win."
After NMSU took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first off starter Anna Cross, Tech tied the game in the top of the third when Amanda Krueger hit an opposite field solo home run - her team-leading fourth of the season.
The Aggies retook the lead with a single run in the bottom of the frame before Tech responded. Erin Kipp led the top of the fourth off with a double and then Goff, Alayna Kipp and Janna Frandrup registered back-to-back-to-back singles to tie the game at 2-2. With the bases loaded and no outs, NMSU went to its third pitcher of the frame as Celisha Walker entered the game.
NMSU retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth, plating two runs, before the Aggies then exploded for five runs on eight hits in the bottom of the fifth inning grabbing a 9-3 lead.
In the top of the sixth, Erin Kipp led off with her second double of the game and scored on Frandrup's two-out RBI single to right field. Meghan Knowles then belted a two-run home run to right centerfield, her third of the year and the 18th of her career as Tech cut the advantage to 9-6.
After NMSU failed to score in the bottom of the sixth, Tech made one last push in its final at bat. Cross led the frame off with a solo shot to left field, her team-leading fourth of the year, to cut the lead to 9-7. Krueger then reached on a bunt single to bring the tying run to the plate. However, Walker retired the next three batters in order to seal the win for the Aggies.
Cross (1-2) took the loss, allowing five runs - four earned - on 10 hits and six walks in 5.1 innings of action. Walker picked up the win in relief, allowing four runs on five hits over the final 4.0 innings.
Krueger (2-4, 1 run, 1 RBI), Miles (2-4), Erin Kipp (2-4, 2 runs), Goff (1-4, 1 run), Alayna Kipp (1-2, 1 run), Frandrup (2-3, 1 run, 1 RBI), Knowles (1-3, 1 run, 2 RBI), Hale (1 RBI) and Cross (1-3, 1 run, 1 RBI).
Tech returns to action Wednesday when it hosts Northwestern State at 6 p.m.