March 29, 2013
RUSTON - Melanie Goff continued her offensive tear and Louisiana Tech received impressive pitching performances and stellar defensive play to sweep a Western Athletic Conference doubleheader from UT Arlington by identical scores of 4-1 Friday at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.
"I just thought we had great energy," said Tech head coach Mark Montgomery. "In the first game to score some early runs was important, and we managed to hold on. I am really proud of them. We played well, our energy was high, and we hit the ball well against both of their pitchers. Overall, I am proud of the girls. We executed, our pitchers performed and defensively we were stellar."
Tech (16-15, 3-2 WAC) and UT Arlington (17-15, 2-3) are scheduled to play the third and final game of the series Saturday at 1 p.m. However, the start time could change depending on the weather forecast in the morning.
Tech 4, UT Arlington 1 (Game 1)
Anna Cross recorded her second straight impressive performance in the circle and Melanie Goff was 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBI as the Lady Techsters handed Teri Lyles and the Mavericks the 4-1 loss.
Lyles entered the game leading the WAC in wins (15) and earned run average (1.77) but was outpitched by her freshman counterpart as Cross (3-2) picked up her third win of the year, allowing only one run on five hits and one walk in the complete-game performance.
"Anna did it against Northwestern State Wednesday, and this was just another outstanding performance today, Montgomery said. "I felt like she did a great job. They squared it up a couple of times at the end, but this was the first time she has gone seven innings. It was great to see her finish the game.
Tech took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning off of Lyles as Amanda Krueger walked. One out later, Erin Kipp reached on a force out with Krueger being retired on the play. Kipp then stole her 10th base of the season and scored on Goff's two-out double to left centerfield, giving Tech the 1-0 lead.
The Lady Techsters added onto that lead in the bottom of the second inning. Meghan Knowles singled with one out and then Dacia Hale reached on a fielder's choice. Cross singled to put runners on first and third before UT Arlington catcher Rachel Forshaw threw the ball away on an attempted double steal, allowing Hale to score from third with the second run of the game. Krueger than followed with an RBI double to left centerfield as Tech led 3-0.
Tech scored its final run of the game in the bottom of the third as Erin Kipp led off with a double and then scored on an RBI double by Goff.
Cross kept UT Arlington off the scoreboard until the top of the sixth inning. Kallan Thompson and Taylor Zink recorded back-to-back singles to lead the frame off. After a force out put runners on first and third with one away, Maegan Michelle singled to centerfield, scoring Thompson and cutting the Tech lead to 4-1.
However, that's when the Tech defense made the play of the game. With runners on first and second and one out, Lyles hit a screaming line drive that was headed to left centerfield that Tech shortstop Michelle Jones snared and turned into an inning ending double play.
Cross pitched around a two-out single in the seventh to pick up the win.
In addition to Goff's big day at the plate, Erin Kipp (2-2, 2 runs, 1 SB), Cross (2-2, 1 run, 2 SB), Knowles (1-3), Krueger (1-2, 1 RBI) and Hale (1 run) all contributed offensively.
Lyles (15-6) took the loss for UTA, allowing four runs - two earned - on nine hits and one walk with two strikeouts.
LA Tech 4, UT Arlington 1 (Game 2)
Melanie Goff picked up two more hits and earned her first save of the year in the circle as LA Tech withstood a late UT Arlington rally to claim the second win of the day.
With Tech leading 4-1 in the top of the seventh, UT Arlington mounted a two-out rally as Britni Barilli singled and Meagan Michelle walked to bring the tying run to the plate in Teri Lyles. The senior promptly hit a towering fly ball to left field that Tech outfielder Kristen Miles caught at the top of the fence for the final out of the game.
Goff picked up the save, working 3.0 innings of relief while allowing no runs on three hits and one walk while striking out four. Michelle Jones (9-8) picked up the win, working 4.0 innings while giving up one run on three hits and four walks while striking out three.
For the second straight game, Tech took an early 1-0 lead in the first. Amanda Krueger led the game off with a single and eventually advanced to third with two outs. Krueger then scored when UTA starter Callie Collins was called for an illegal pitch, sending the Tech runner home.
UT Arlington answered in the second inning when Rachel Forshaw hit a solo home run - her second of the year - over the left centerfield fence, tying the game at 1-1.
The game remained tied at 1-1 until the bottom of the fourth inning. Erin Kipp led off with a double - one of three on the day by the junior - and scored on Goff's RBI double to left centerfield, giving Tech the 2-1 lead.
The Mavericks put runners on first and second to start the top of the fifth before Goff came on in relief of Jones. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third with one out, Goff struck Barilli out and then induced a fly ball by Michelle to end the threat.
Tech upped its lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning on a strange play. With two outs and nobody on, Kristen Miles laid down a bunt single. However, the Mavs third baseman threw the ball into right field allowing Miles to go to third. On the relay in from right field, the UTA second baseman threw the ball away into left field, allowing Miles to score on the play.
After Goff pitched around a couple of Mavericks hits in the sixth - thanks to a spectacular diving catch by Katelynn Cook to rob UTA of a third hit in the frame - , Tech added one more run to its lead in the bottom of the frame when Dacia Hale blasted an opposite field solo home run - her second of the year.
Collins (2-9) took the loss, allowing four runs - three earned - on seven hits and six walks with two strikeouts.