Tech Splits with No. 12 Fresno State
April 11, 2008
RUSTON - Krissi Oliver pitched Louisiana Tech to a 5-3 victory over 12th ranked Fresno State Friday during the first game of a Western Athletic Conference doubleheader at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.
Fresno State (38-8, 4-3 WAC) bounced back in the second game and defeated the Lady Techsters 9-0.
In game one Tech (24-22, 4-6 WAC) fell behind early, allowing three runs in the top of the second inning as the Bulldogs (37-8, 3-3) capitalized on two hits and three Lady Techster errors in the frame.
"We got distracted before pre-game, and the kids weren't focused," said Tech head coach Sarah Dawson. "You could tell when the errors occurred we looked like nine individuals instead of a team working as unit."
Fresno State freshman hurler Morgan Melloh retired the first 10 Tech batters in order, including striking out six straight Lady Techsters.
However, junior Danielle Sheridan took a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall in the bottom of the fourth to spoil the perfect game and cut the lead to 3-1. The home run gave Tech the momentum it would need.
Amberly Waits followed with a walk and Regan Clark singled to put runners on first and second. Kylie Bassett then loaded the bases by reaching on a fielder's choice where Fresno State third baseman Ashley White tried unsuccessfully to get the runner on third.
Oliver then helped her own cause, singling through the right side of the infield to tie the score at 3-3. Melloh then retired the final two batters to get out of the inning.
"We found some motivation and got on the same page," Dawson said. "We took advantage of our opportunities. I was proud of the kids. We've always known key to success is disciplined and responded, and against a quality opponent like Fresno Stat that's not always easy to do."
In the bottom of the fifth, Heather Doiron walked and Emma Barnes followed with a single through the left side of the infield. Sheridan sacrificed the two runners over before Waits popped up to the pitcher for the second out of the inning.
Clark walked loading the bases for Kylie Bassett, who came up with the clutch hit, lining a single to left field scoring two and giving Tech a 5-3 advantage.
Oliver retired Fresno State in order in the top of the sixth. After Tech went down in order in the bottom of the sixth, Oliver recorded the first out of the seventh before walking Haley Gilleland.
With one out and the tying run at the plate, Jennifer Cervantez lined into a game-ending double play where Techster third baseman Summer Young snagged the drive and threw Cervantez out at first.
Oliver (11-10) picked up the win, allowing three runs - one earned - on four hits.
"Krissi did a good job," Dawson said. "She has started to throw better. She made good adjustments and started hitting her spots. She induced some fly balls and gave our defense a break. She really did a great job."
The win by Tech was its first over a Top 25 team since 2006 when the Lady Techsters upset Top 25 Fresno State.
In game two, Melloh (27-5) dominated on the mound, allowing only three hits while striking out 10 and walking none in the complete game victory.
Fresno State jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first and then plated three unearned runs in the top of the second as two Techster errors opened the flood gates.
The score remained 4-0 until the fifth when Fresno State scored three more runs to up the advantage to 7-0. The Bulldogs plated two more in the seventh for the 9-0 win.
Tech's four errors led to five unearned runs in the game.
Bertsch (8-7) picked up the loss, allowing two runs - one earned - on three hits in 1.0 inning of work.
Sheridan, Waits and Clark each registered one hit for the Techsters.
The two teams complete the three-game series Saturday at 3:30 p.m.