Techsters sweep NMSU in Saturday Action
April 7, 2012
RUSTON - Michelle Jones and Janna Frandrup recorded impressive complete-game performances in the circle and Louisiana Tech hit three home runs in a doubleheader sweep of defending Western Athletic Conference champion New Mexico State Saturday.
Tech (18-19, 5-3 WAC) won the first game 4-0 and then came back to win the nightcap 5-1, sweeping the three-game series from the Aggies after prevailing 6-2 in Friday's opener. Tech is now in a two-way tie for fourth place in the highly competitive Western Athletic Conference.
Jones took the ball in the first game and controlled New Mexico State's offense the entire afternoon, limiting the Aggies to only three hits and three walks while striking out three in her third shutout of the season.
The shutout by Jones was the first against New Mexico State in WAC play in the last 78 games, dating back to a 4-0 loss by the Aggies in Fresno on May 3, 2008.
Tech took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on a pair of solo home runs off New Mexico State starter Karysta Dorinsthorpe. Mel Goff led off the frame with her first home run of the season, a towering shot over the right field wall to give Tech a 1-0 advantage. Two batters later, Meghan Knowles hit her third home run of the year, a line shot over the left field wall as Tech led 2-0.
New Mexico State's only real offensive threat came in the top of the third inning as the Aggies loaded the bases on two walks and an infield single. However, Jones got Teresa Conrad to pop up to second baseman Amanda Krueger to end the inning.
Tech added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kendra Harmon singled and Krueger reached on a fielding error by the Aggies infield. With two outs, Goff doubled to left field, plating both runners and giving the Lady Techsters a 4-0 advantage.
Jones retired 10 straight batters late in the game until Malena Padilla led the top of the seventh off with a single. However, Jones (11-9) retired the next three batters to pick up her second win in as many days.
Harmon (2 hits, 1 run), Goff (2 hits, 3 RBI), Knowles (1 hit, 1 RBI, 1 run), and Hill (1 hit) led Tech offensively in the win.
Dorinsthorpe (5-7) took the loss, allowing four runs - only two earned - on six hits and two walks while striking out five.
In the second game of the day, Frandrup (2-3) picked up her second victory of the season, scattering seven hits and two walks over 7.0 innings of action.
The Aggies took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Kelsey Dodd drew a two-out walk and then scored on a two-out throwing error by Jones at shortstop.
Frandrup pitched out of jams the first three innings as New Mexico State stranded six runners on base during that time.
With NMSU leading 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Tech erupted for five runs on three hits and two Aggies errors. Erin Kipp led the frame off with a single and one batter later, Meghan Knowles reached on a fielder's choice as Kipp beat the throw to second base.
With runners on the corners and one out, Alayna Kipp hit her fourth home run of the season - a three-run shot - off the left field foul pole, giving LA Tech the 3-0 lead and the momentum. Two walks and an error later, Frandrup stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and singled sharply off Aggies reliever Sidney Williard to drive home the fourth run.
Goff then was hit by a pitch as Harmon scored the fifth run of the frame and Tech led 5-1.
NMSU managed one hit in each of the final three innings but Frandrup retired the final three batters of the frame each time to preserve the win.
The three-game sweep of the Aggies marks the sixth in Tech history since joining the league and the first since sweeping Nevada at home in 2010. The Lady Techsters have also won 12 of the last 23 WAC series dating back to the start of 2009, an impressive feat considering Tech won only six of its first 41 conference series after joining the league in 2001.
Tech travels to face Northwestern State Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Natchitoches before embarking on a three-game road trip to Top 20 Hawaii next weekend.