May 7, 2013
RUSTON - The Louisiana Tech Lady Techster softball team hopes its last tournament as a member of the Western Athletic Conference is a memorable one.
No. 3 seed Louisiana Tech will open play as host of the 2013 WAC Tournament Wednesday when it faces No. 6 seed UT Arlington at 7 p.m. at the newly-renovated Lady Techster Softball Complex. The four-day double elimination tournament officially opens earlier in the day when No. 4 seed Texas State faces No. 5 seed UTSA at 4:30 p.m.
LA Tech's first round game will be broadcast live on the LA Tech Sports Network on KPCH 99.3 FM with the pregame show beginning at 6:45 p.m. with Hebert's Town and Country serving as the title radio sponsor for the Lady Techster games. Fans can also watch every game live on the internet by purchasing a subscription to WAC.TV by logging onto www.WACSports.com.
The Lady Techsters (26-24) have a history of success in the WAC Tournament, including a 10-11 overall record and the 2008 WAC Tournament title crown won in Honolulu. All 10 of LA Tech's wins in the WAC Tournament have come against higher seeded teams.
Head coach Mark Montgomery said he believes his senior-laden team will draw confidence from its previous successes at the event over the years.
"Our girls have never been afraid of anybody ... Hawaii, Fresno ... teams that would sometimes strike fear into the hearts of other teams," Montgomery said. "Our girls were like `Oh, Fresno ... tournament ... no problem. We will just score 17 runs and make sure we win the game.' I really believe they feel supremely confident in whoever they play. I believe that feeling of confidence will carry into this tournament. Doing it on our own home field will only allow things to be better."
In its 12th and final season as a member of the Western Athletic Conference - LA Tech will make the all-sports move to Conference USA on July 1 - the Lady Techsters are hosting their first ever WAC Softball Tournament. Montgomery said it is a great opportunity for the Tech faculty, staff and students and Ruston community to support his team.
Tickets for the four-day event can be purchased through the Tech Ticket Office (Ticket Office will close Wednesday at noon and Friday at 11 a.m.) and then at the field each day starting 90 minutes before the first game. Tickets purchased at the field have to be paid for with cash-only. The Tech Ticket Office number is 318-257-3631.
Ticket prices for the tournament are as follows:
All-Session (all games) -- $25 for adults; $10 for youth (18 and under) and $5 for WAC students with a valid ID
Single-Day -- $10 for adults; $5 for youth (18 and under)
General Admission (outfield hill) -- $5 per day
WAC student tickets can only be purchased in person at the Tech Ticket Office or at the softball stadium on game-days during the tournament as buyers have to present a valid student ID.
The Lady Techsters enter the tournament following a three-game sweep at Seattle this past weekend that saw LA Tech win a pair of one-run games in the final at bat.
"The girls were very emotional last weekend," Montgomery said. "They talked about not letting anyone else determine whether they made the tournament or not. It was their job. Then even after we took the doubleheader on Friday and we knew we were in, they still came out Saturday and said we aren't done. We are going to take this last game. To hear that as a coach in the dugout was nice.
"I feel good about where we are at. I feel we will be well prepared and we are excited. San Jose and Louisiana Tech are the only two teams in the WAC that beat everyone in the conference at least once this season. That gives us confidence."
UT Arlington (24-26, 8-13 WAC) won five of its last six league games to edge out Seattle for the sixth and final spot in the WAC Tournament. The Mavericks won a trio of 1-0 decisions of Utah State in the next to final weekend of the season and then defeated UTSA two out of three games this past weekend.
LA Tech swept UT Arlington (4-1, 4-1, 9-3) in a three-game series in Ruston in late March, but Montgomery said that those games mean nothing at this point of the season.
"We won three, but man it's the tournament so throw out all the records," Montgomery said. "I don't care whether you went 3-0 or 0-3. I expect every team to come in here and every game to be a tight ball game. They have very good pitching and some good hitters in their lineup. It's going to be a battle. I believe in my heart of heart that every game out here this week will be an all-out war."
Louisiana Tech Athletics would like to thank the following businesses for their help with the upcoming WAC Tournament, including Roma Italian Bistro, Counter Culture, Andy Halbrook - Edward Jones Investments, Aramark Campus Dining, Bank of Ruston and Brennan Dodge.
For all the latest on Lady Techster Softball, log onto www.LATechSports.com and follow Twitter updates at @LATechSB. Fans can also follow the Lady Techster Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LouisianaTechSoftball