April 2, 2014
RUSTON - McNeese State used some stellar pitching performances to sweep a mid-week non-conference doubleheader from Louisiana Tech by the scores of 3-0 and 4-2 Wednesday evening at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.
In the first game of the night, the Cowgirls (24-10) - who entered the night with an NCAA RPI of 29 and victories over Alabama and Texas A&M - scored single runs in the first, fourth and fifth innings and capitalized on an impressive performance in the circle by Jamie Allred.
Allred struck out nine batters while scattering five hits and issuing zero walks to pick up her 14th victory of the season.
The Cowgirls took an early lead on an RBI single by Emily Vincent in the top of the first inning, scoring Lauren Langner for the first run of the game.
Techster starter Bianca Duran then settled down, retiring 10 straight batters. While Duran was limiting the Cowgirls offense, Tech had a golden opportunity to tie the game in the bottom of the second inning.
Janine Godwin doubled to left center and with two outs, Katelynn Hill reached on an infield single to shortstop. On the play, Godwin tried to score all the way from second base but was called out on a bang-bang play at the plate as Tech head coach Mark Montgomery argued that the McNeese State catcher had missed the tag.
McNeese State added a run in the fourth as Taylor Goree tripled and scored on sacrifice bunt by Katie Roux, upping the lead to 2-0. The Cowgirls added their third run in the fifth inning, once again capitalizing on a triple and an RBI single.
Tech had one final opportunity in the bottom of the seventh inning as Duran and Godwin recorded back-to-back two-out singles. However, Allred induced a ground ball out to end the game.
The first four batters reached against Tufi as a single, triple and back-to-back doubles to start the game gave the Cowgirls a 3-0 lead. The top of the second inning started tough against for Tufi who allowed back-to-back singles by the eight and nine-hole hitters, but the freshman settled down and retired 14 of the next 15 batters she faced.
While Tufi was keeping the Cowgirls in check, Tech cut into the deficit. In the bottom of the second, Godwin singled and advanced to second on an error by McNeese State on a ground ball by Katelynn Hill. After both runners advanced on a wild pitch, Godwin scored on an RBI ground out by Courtney Lowe, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
Tech added a single run in the fourth inning. Duran singled and Godwin walked to start the frame and then Lindsey Neyland came on to pinch run for Duran. After Hailey Winter lined into a double play, Hill followed with a bloop single to right field, scoring Neyland and making the score 3-2.
McNeese State added a run in the sixth inning and Tufi pitched out of bases loaded jam in the seventh to give Tech one final chance. In the bottom of the seventh, Anna Cross reached on an error and Kristen Miles drew her third walk of the game to bring the potential game-winning run to the plate.
However, reliever Rachel Smith retired Tufi on a ground ball to shortstop to preserve the win.
Tufi (9-7) took the loss, allowing four earned runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out six batters.