@LATechSB Opens Season in Mexico

Feb. 5, 2018

Media Guide

Schedule (Links to Live Video/Audio)

Tournament Central Page

Season Preview (Video)

PUERTA VALLARTA, Mexico -- Louisiana Tech will open up the 2018 softball season Thursday when the Lady Techsters travel to Nancy Almaraz Field for the Puerta Vallarta Collegiate Challenge.

The Lady Techsters will play five games in three days starting with match-ups Thursday against Nevada (1 p.m.) and Long Beach State (4 p.m.). Tech will play a pair of Friday games against Nevada (5 p.m.) and #21 James Madison (8 p.m.) before wrapping up the tournament with a match-up against James Madison Saturday (8 p.m.)

All five games will be streamed live (video/audio) through CBS Sports Digital and can be accessed through the live video link on the softball schedule on LATechSports.com. The two Nevada games and the Long Beach State game will be free while fans will have to purchase a subscription to watch the two James Madison match-ups. A free audio-only broadcast for all five games is also available and can be accessed through the link on the softball schedule on LATechSports.com.

Head coach Mark Montgomery and Co. have high hopes coming off a 2017 season that saw the program win 38 games, captured the Conference USA Tournament title and earn an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Tech returns 15 letter winners, including eight position players that started at least 40 games each, and welcomes 10 talented newcomers.

Tech has already been picked as the Conference USA favorite by the league coaches.

"I don't know that it changes anything that we do," said Montgomery. "It's part of the growth of the program. It allows our players to understand that they are getting better so it's a different mindset when you take the field. You can't pick and choose when you want to play your best. You know you have to play your best every single day because you know people are going to play their best against you. That's the way we want it."

The Lady Techsters return six all-conference award winners from a year ago, including outfielder Morgan Turkoly (1st team), pitcher Krystal De La Cruz (1st team), outfielder Ali Galaz (1st team), pitcher Preslee Gallaway (2nd team), outfielder Jazlyn Crowder (2nd team) and catcher Marilyn Rizzato (2nd team).

 

 

In addition to being the deepest LA Tech team in recent memory, Montgomery said he feels like the experiences of last year will help this year's team.

"I think last year's experiences means a great deal," said Montgomery. "It gives us that taste of what postseason is like. Playing against great competition and rising to the challenge in key moments in big games. I think it gives us a sense of confidence and a sense of awareness of what we need to do and how we need to perform. We need to do that in the regular season and not just the postseason."

The tournament field will be a great opening weekend test for LA Tech. James Madison is the Colonial Conference champion and won 52 games last season. The Dukes will be without All-American pitcher Megan Good this year after it was announced she will miss the season due to an injury. However, JMU is loaded with talent and has been picked in both the preseason Top 25 polls.

Nevada softball is coming off one of its most successful seasons in recent history and looks to capitalize on its postseason appearance from a year ago in 2018. With a 30-win season in 2017 and its most Mountain West victories (13) since joining the conference, the Wolf Pack has now reached the 30-win mark in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2008-09.

Long Beach State brings an experienced team to Mexico, featuring 15 upper classmen. The 49ers roster features 16 letter winners, including eight starters, and 10 newcomers, including Ole Miss transfer Grayce Majam and Ohio transfer Jamie Wren.

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