Montgomery Reaches Milestone in Sunday Sweep

April 8, 2018

Box Score

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – Morgan Turkoly hit two home runs and drove in seven runs to lead Louisiana Tech to an 11-2 win over Charlotte in the first game of a doubleheader sweep by the Lady Techsters Sunday afternoon at Sue M. Daughtridge Stadium.

Tech (23-17, 10-5 C-USA) won the second game 9-4 to complete the three-game sweep and extend its season long winning streak to seven games. The final win of the weekend was a milestone for head coach Mark Montgomery who picked up his 500th career win on the collegiate level, the 170th during his six years in Ruston.

“It’s certainly an honor and I’ve been blessed to have that much success but it comes on the shoulders of a lot of assistant coaches and a lot of amazing players, and the support of some wonderful University Presidents and Athletic Directors,” said Montgomery. “And of course I couldn’t have done any of this without the support of my amazing family. They have been with me this entire journey.”

After winning its 14th Conference USA series in its last 18, the Lady Techsters moved into a first place tie in the league standings with North Texas. It also marked the third straight season that Tech has swept a three-game road series against the host team for the Conference USA Tournament (North Texas – 2016, Southern Miss – 2017, Charlotte – 2018).

The 33 runs scored set a new program record for most runs in a three-game conference series, snapping the old mark of 30 set against Utah State in 2011.

“I think this was one of our best weekends of the year,” said Montgomery. “We played well in all three facets of the game. It was certainly nice to see our hitting continue to get better this weekend.”

Game 1: LA Tech 11, Charlotte 2 (5 innings)

 

 

With most teams pitching around junior Morgan Turkoly this year, the Sanger, Texas native entered the contest with season totals of one home run and 11 RBI through the first 38 games of the year.

Charlotte challenged her and lost. Turkoly hit a pair of three-run home runs – one in the third inning and one in the fifth – and added an RBI single to lead the Lady Techsters to the 11-2 run-rule victory. Turkoly finished 3-for-4 with seven RBI, tying her for the second most RBI in a single game in Lady Techster history.

Kimmie Atienza and Katie Smith joined Turkoly with multi-hit efforts. Atienza was 2-for-2 with two walks, three runs and an RBI while Smith was 2-for-3 with a walk and one RBI. The top three hitters in the Tech order combined for seven of the team’s 10 hits in the win.

Jazlyn Crowder reached base all four times, going 1-for-1 with two walks and a HBP and scored three runs. Sloane Stewartson hit her fourth home run of the season – a solo shot to right centerfield giving Tech a 1-0 advantage in the top of the second inning.

Crowder walked to start the third inning and then Atienza appeared to hit a two-run home run to left centerfield that hit off the bushes behind the outfield wall, ricocheting back onto the field. However, the umpires ruled it hit off the top of the wall and Atienza was held to a double.

On the very first pitch following the hit, Turkoly launched a monster home run over the right field fence, scoring all three runs and upping the Tech advantage to 4-0.

Crowder, Turkoly and Smith each registered run-scoring singles in the top of the fourth inning as Tech pushed its advantage to 7-0.

Tech starter Krystal De La Cruz surrendered a solo home run to 49ers catcher Becca Shipper leading off the bottom of the fourth inning, cutting the lead to 7-1.

Marilyn Rizzato walked and Crowder was hit by a pitch with two outs in the fifth before Atienza singled to drive home Rizzato for an 8-1 lead. Turkoly then drilled her second three-run shot of the day, this one to deep right centerfield as the Tech lead ballooned to 11-1.

Charlotte added one run on three hits in the bottom of the fifth before Jenny Chapman recorded the final out on a pop up.

De La Cruz (3-7) picked up the win, her third in C-USA play, allowing two runs on five hits in 4.2 innings of action.

Game 2: LA Tech 9, Charlotte 4

Louisiana Tech continued its offensive onslaught recording 13 hits in the 9-4 victory in the second game of the doubleheader.

Kimmie Atienza, Morgan Turkoly, Taria Page, Marilyn Rizzato and Bayli Simon each recorded two hits in the game as Tech plated three runs in the first, two in the fifth, three in the sixth and one more in the seventh.

Tech jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on only one hit as Charlotte starter Allison Green saw her defense let her down despite no errors. Atienza walked and Turkoly followed with a single and advanced to second on the throw.

Katie Smith then lay down a sacrifice bunt that plated Atienza as the 49ers throw home was not in time. With runners on the corners, Tech executed a double steal as Turkoly crossed home plate for the second run of the inning.

Smith advanced to third after a walk to Taria Page and then scored on a fielders choice ground ball by Rizzato as once again the 49ers throw home was not in time.

Charlotte scored a run in the bottom of the frame and threatened for more. However, Page caught a foul ball and then threw home to Rizzato who applied a tag on a runner tagging up for the final out of the frame.

The 49ers threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth inning but Preslee Gallaway struck out Emma Ocker looking for the final out with the tying runs on second and third.

Tech added a pair of runs in the fifth all coming with two outs. Page doubled to right center and scored on Ali Galaz’s single to left field. After Rizzato walked, Simon singled up the middle to plate Galaz and give the Lady Techsters a 5-1 advantage.

Charlotte plated two unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth as Jenny Chapman came on in relief to get out of the frame.

Once again, the Lady Techster bats came to life in the sixth aided by three errors by the 49ers. Turkoly reached on an error with one out and Smith walked. Page then hit a sharp grounder to the right side that took a bad hop, ricocheting off the shoulder of the 49ers second baseman and bounding away, allowing Turkoly to score from second.

With runners on the corners, Tech started Page on a steal attempt but the 49ers catcher Becca Shipper tried to pick Smith off of third base. Shippers throw was wide, allowing Smith to score. Charlotte left fielder Spenser Gray allowed the errant throw to go under her glove and role all the way to the wall as Page raced all the way home. Tech led 8-3.

Charlotte tried to fight its way back in the game in the bottom of the sixth. Three straight hits plated a run to cut the deficit to 8-4 before Bailey Allen came on in relief of Chapman. On a full count pitch, Allen induced a hard ground ball up the middle that Tech second baseman Karlee Jensen fielded, starting a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Smith added an RBI bunt single in the top of the seventh inning to plate Atienza, who also singled.

Allen recorded the final three outs in the seventh to pick up her first save of the season.

Gallaway (12-6) got the win, allowing three runs – one earned – on six hits and two walks in 4.0 innings of action.

Tech returns to action Wednesday at Stephen F. Austin before returning home to host UTSA in a three-game C-USA series Saturday and Sunday.

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