April 23, 2014
NATCHITOCHES, La. - Kelly Kincannon gave Northwestern State an early 3-0 lead with her first inning home run.
And every time Louisiana Tech thought it had an answer, Kincannon had her own.
Kincannon's two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning led Northwestern State to an 8-7 victory over Louisiana Tech before 332 fans at the Lady Demon Diamond Wednesday night.
It capped a memorable night for the NSU freshman outfielder, as Kincannon finished 3-for-4 at the plate with seven RBI. It also sent the Lady Techsters to a heartbreaking loss in a game that saw Tech overcome a pair of deficits.
Following Kincannon's three-run shot over the centerfield fence off Tech starter Bianca Duran in the bottom of the first, Brittney Jones added a solo home run off Pauline Tufi leading off the second inning as Northwestern State grabbed a 4-0 advantage.
Skylar Cagle kept the Lady Techsters off the scoreboard until the top of the fifth inning. Courtney Lowe doubled to left center and Tori Charters followed with a single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw. Anna Cross then hit a slow roller to NSU second baseman Cali Burke who booted the ball, allowing Lowe to score and Charters to move to third, cutting the deficit to 4-1.
Tech then executed a double steal as Cross stole second and Charters came home on the NSU throw down to second. Kristen Miles followed with a single to put runners on the corners and Pauline Tufi then hit a sacrifice fly to right centerfield, scoring Cross for the third run of the inning.
Tech's momentum was short-lived. After retiring the first two batters in the bottom of the fifth inning, Tufi hit back-to-back NSU batters to put runners on first and second. Duran came on in relief and was greeted by Kincannon, who roped a two-run double to left field, giving NSU a 6-4 lead.
Lindsey Neyland led off the top of the sixth with a single and advanced to second on a one-out walk by Charters. Following a battle between Cross and NSU reliever Baylee Gray that saw Cross foul off six straight pitches, the Tech sophomore shortstop launched her fifth home run of the season - a three-run shot - deep over the centerfield fence as Tech led 7-6.
Tech maintained its one-run lead until the bottom of the seventh when Duran walked Burke and hit Brittany Virgoe with a pitch to put runners on first and second with one out. Tufi then came on in relief and walked Cassandra Barefield to load the bases, setting the stage for Kincannon's heroics.
Duran (5-17) took the loss, allowing five earned runs on five hits and one walk in 4.0 innings of action.
Cross (2-4, HR, 2 runs, 4 RBI), Miles (2-4, 1 run), Tufi (1 RBI), Winter (1-4), Hill (2-4, 1 RBI), Neyland (1-4, 1 run), Lowe (1-4, 1 run) and Charters (1-2, 2 runs) led Tech offensively.
The Lady Techsters host East Carolina in a three game Conference USA series this weekend with Saturday's DH starting at 2 p.m. and Sunday's single game at noon.