@LATechSB Falls Twice to UTEP
May 5, 2018
EL PASO, Texas – Louisiana Tech saw late-game leads evaporate as the Lady Techsters dropped a pair of crucial Conference USA games to UTEP by the scores of 5-3 and 7-4 Saturday at Helen of Troy Field.
Tech (33-20, 15-8) entered the weekend in control of the path to the Conference USA regular season tile but now enter Sunday’s final game needing to win and needing FIU and FAU to lose games in order for the Lady Techsters to recover.
The story of the day for Tech was its inability to score base runners. The Lady Techsters were a combined 5-for-35 from the plate with runners on base in the two games, leaving 11 runners on base in the first contest and eight more in the second game.
Sunday’s finale will start at 1 p.m. CT.
Game 1: UTEP 5, LA Tech 3
Louisiana Tech held a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning but a two-out, three-run home run by Taylor Sargeant capped a four-run frame and gave the Miners (20-33, 9-14) the game one win.
Tech had opportunity after opportunity to blow the first game open but time after time stranded runners in scoring position, going 0-for-11 in the game with runners in scoring position. The Lady Techsters loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning on three straight walks but only scored one run on a sac fly by Sloane Stewartson.
UTEP tied the game in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single by second baseman Courtney Clayton.
Tech retook the lead in the top of the fourth inning with a two-out, bases loaded walk by Morgan Turkoly. UTEP centerfielder Ariel Blair then made the play of the day on a diving grab in left centerfield for the final out, robbing Katie Smith of a double and three RBI.
Tech added a run in the fifth inning when pinch runner Kailey Anderson scored on a wild pitch from third base. However, once again, Tech stranded the bases loaded.
UTEP finally struck paydirt in the bottom of the sixth against Tech starter Preslee Gallaway. Four hits in the frame plated four runs with the big hit being Sargeants second home run of the season – a three-run shot over the left field wall.
Tech lost despite drawing 11 walks in the game off of two UTEP pitchers. However, Tech managed only two hits in the seven innings – a double by Turkoly and a single by Karlee Jensen.
Gallaway (17-7) took her first loss in over a month, allowing five runs on nine hits while striking out five in the complete-game performance.
Game 2: UTEP 7, LA Tech 4
For the second straight game, LA Tech built a lead and for the second straight game, the Lady Techsters saw it disappear with a big inning late.
Tech took an early 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run single by Jazlyn Crowder, scoring Kimmie Atienza and Turkoly. Tech upped the advantage to 4-0 in the second scoring two runs on two hits, including a two-out RBI double by Turkoly to right centerfield.
UTEP cut the Tech lead in half in the bottom of the third inning on a two-out, two-run home run by Clayton over the left centerfield wall against Tech starter Krystal De La Cruz.
The lead remained 4-2 until the bottom of the fifth when UTEP plate four runs on four hits and one error to take a 6-4 lead. The Miners added a single run in the sixth to go up 7-4.
Tech had one last chance, loading the bases with two outs in the seventh before Stewartson ground out to the pitcher to end the game.
Turkoly recorded half of her teams hits in the doubleheader, going 5-for-6 with two walks. She saw her Conference USA leading batting average go up to .420.
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