April 26, 2014
RUSTON - Anna Cross recorded a three-hit game and Bianca Duran worked out of trouble all day to lead Louisiana Tech to a 6-2 victory over East Carolina in game one of a Conference USA doubleheader Saturday at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.
ECU (24-18, 11-9 C-USA) rebounded to shut out LA Tech (19-29, 7-12 C-USA) by a score of 7-0 in game two. The two teams will complete the three-game series Sunday with a single game slated for 12 p.m.
LA Tech 6, East Carolina 2 (Game 1)
Louisiana Tech erupted for five runs in the bottom of the second inning as the Lady Techster capitalized on a couple of East Carolina errors as Tech recorded an impressive 6-2 win over the Pirates in the first game of the twinbill.
Tech junior pitcher Bianca Duran (6-17) picked up the win in the circle, constantly pitching her way out of trouble all game long. Duran allowed only two runs - one earned - on eight hits and two walks while striking out four as she forced East Carolina to strand nine runners in the game.
ECU took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-out RBI double by Abby Wynn, which scored Kristi Oshiro who had reached on an infield error by the Lady Techsters. The Pirates added to their lead in the top of the second inning as Jordan Lewis led the frame off with her team-leading 11th home run of the season, a shot deep over the right field wall as ECU led 2-0.
Tech responded in the bottom of the frame. Janine Godwin singled and Duran walked to put runners on first and second. Katelynn Hill then singled to right field, scoring Godwin while Duran scored on a throwing error by ECU right fielder Shelby Johnson.
With Hill on third base on no outs, Courtney Lowe hit a grounder that was fielded cleanly. However, the throw home was dropped when Wynn tried to apply the tag on Hill, who scored to give Tech a 3-2 lead.
One out later, Anna Cross walked and stole second base to put runners on second and third. Kristen Miles then followed with an RBI ground out to second base, giving Tech a 4-2 advantage. With Cross on third base and two outs, Pauline Tufi followed with a run-scoring single to right center, scoring Cross with the final run of the frame.
Trailing 5-2, East Carolina threatened to score in each of the next four innings as the Pirates stranded two runners on base in each of the third, fourth and fifth frames.
Tech added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning as Lowe singled, advanced to second on a ground out and then scored on a close play at the plate on a single by Cross to centerfield.
Duran retired ECU in order in the seventh to preserve the win.
Cross (3-3, 1 run, 1 RBI, 1 SB), Lowe (2-3, 2 runs), Tufi (1-2, 1 RBI), Hill (1-3, 1 run, 1 RBI), Godwin (1-3, 1 run), Duran (1-2, 1 run), Tori Charters (1-3) and Miles (1 RBI) led Tech offensively.
East Carolina 7, LA Tech 0 (Game 2)
East Carolina pitcher Carolina Umphlett threw a complete-game three-hit shutout to lead the Pirates to a 7-0 win in the second game of the day.
Tufi (13-9) started in the circle and struggled against the Pirates, allowing five earned runs on six hits and four walks in 3.0 innings of action in the circle.
East Carolina plated two runs in the first, two in the second and one in the third to take a 5-0 advantage over the Lady Techsters. Cross came on in relief of Tufi, making her first appearance in the circle since March 5 against Baylor.
Cross pitched admirably, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks in 4.0 innings of work.
The two teams will complete the series Sunday at 12 p.m.