LA Tech rallies for Saturday DH split at USM

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. – After a disappointing performance in a game one loss on Saturday, Louisiana Tech rallied from a three-run deficit in game two to register a 7-5 victory over Southern Miss at USM Softball Complex.

Tech (21-25, 9-6 C-USA) fell 3-1 to Southern Miss (21-27, 3-11) in the first game of the day.

With the weather forecast calling for rain on Sunday, the start time for the series finale has been moved up to 10 a.m.

Game 1: Southern Miss 3, LA Tech 1

Tip you cap to Karly Nicholls.

With Southern Miss down to one active pitcher for the weekend series, the senior utility player was asked to pitch for the first time since high school and she delivered.

Nicholls tossed a complete-game against Tech, allowing just one run on five hits over 7.0 inning to help the Golden Eagles snap a 13-game losing streak.

Tech took a first inning lead as Kylie Neel scored on Madie Green’s sacrifice fly to right field, but it would be the final run that crossed the plate in the game for the Lady Techsters.

Despite loading the bases with just one out in the top of the second inning, Tech was unable to add to its lead as Jordyn Manning lined into a double play to end the threat.

Amber Pack belted a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning against Tech starter Audrey Pickett and the Golden Eagles added a third run in the bottom of the third on a bases loaded walk to Terrica Williams.

The Lady Techsters had a few chances to score, but some inopportune outs on the base paths thwarted those chances to Nicholls picked up her first win in the circle since her senior year at Brandon High School.

Brooke Diaz led Tech with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate, while Green added two hits.

Pickett (5-11) took the loss, allowing three runs on five runs and three walks in 6.0 innings of work.

Game 2: LA Tech 7, USM 5

Tech found itself trailing 4-1 in the top of the fourth in game two, but the Lady Techsters erupted for six runs on seven hits in the top half of the frame and then rode the arms of Lauren Menzina and Bre Hernandez to the 7-5 win.

Menzina (4-0) recorded her third straight win in league play, allowing five runs – only three earned – on eight hits and five walks while striking out two in 6.0 innings. Hernandez picked up her second save of the year, retiring three of the four batters she faced in the seventh.

USM grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second before Tech tied the game in the top of the third inning on a Tristin Court two-out single to left field plating Lindsay Edwards.

The Golden Eagles responded with three runs in the bottom of the third to take a 4-1 lead.

That is when the Tech bats woke up.

Caroline Easom doubled, Amanda Gonzalez singled and then one out later, Kylie Neel singled to left field to score Easom. An error on the play by the Southern Miss outfielder allowed Gonzalez to score trimming the USM lead to 4-3.

One out later, Madie Green double to deep right center to tie the game at 4-4 and after a single by Zoe Hicks, Tristin Court drove two runs home with an RBI single to left field. Brooke Diaz rounded out the scoring with a RBI double to left centerfield as Tech led 7-4.

USM added a single run in the fourth but then Menzina and Hernandez held the Golden Eagles off the scoreboard for the final three frames.

Hicks (3-4), Neel (2-4, RBI), Court (2-3, 3 RBI), Green (2-3, RBI) and Gonzalez (2-4) all recorded multi-hit games.

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