LA Tech ups win streak to 10 with softball doubleheader sweep

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RUSTON, La. – Louisiana Tech continued its impressive play sweeping a Conference USA doubleheader from UTSA Saturday at the Lady Techster Softball Complex and increasing its win streak to 10 games.

Tech rallied for a 7-4 victory in game one and then led from start-to-finish in a 4-0 win in the nightcap, improving its record to 26-17 on year, 12-5 in C-USA action. The 10-game win streak is the first double-digit win streak by the program since it won 21 straight in 1996.

The Lady Techsters have now won eight straight Conference USA games, the longest regular season conference win streak in program history.

With the doubleheader sweep, Tech assured itself of winning its 15th conference series over its last 19 series played and improved to 39-17 in its last 56 C-USA games. Tech won for just the sixth and seventh times in the 26 meetings with UTSA.

The two teams will meet Sunday at 1 p.m. for the final game of the series.

Game 1: LA Tech 7, UTSA 4

UTSA third baseman Rylie Rodriguez gave the Roadrunners an early lead with a first inning grand slam home run off Tech starter Krystal De La Cruz. The blast came after a walk, single and hit-by-pitch and came with one out as it barely cleared the centerfield fence.

However, Tech used four different pitchers and held UTSA (16-21, 5-9) off the scoreboard for the remaining six innings. Sophomore Jenny Chapman came on in relief in the second inning and worked 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out two. Freshman Erin McDonald worked 1.1 scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one walk.

De La Cruz re-entered the game with runners on second and third and two outs in the top of the sixth and got C-USA home run leader Bailee Baldwin to fly out to left centerfield on a great defensive play by Morgan Turkoly.

Senior Bailey Allen picked up her second save of the season, retiring three of the four batters she faced in the seventh inning.

Offensively, Tech recorded 11 hits against UTSA starter Lizzy Fox and capitalized on four Roadrunner errors to record the comeback.

Tech plated a single run in the bottom of the second inning. Bayli Simon was hit by a pitch, Jazlyn Crowder walked and Kimmie Atienza reached on a bunt single to load the bases with two outs. Turkoly then hit a grounder to shortstop that was booted by Ashlynn Walls, allowing a run to score. Tech trailed 4-1.

The Lady Techsters then exploded for six runs on five hits and two more UTSA errors in the bottom of the third inning to take the 7-4 lead. Taria Page singled and then pinch runner Emily Daniel scored on a single by Sloane Stewartson down the right field line. One out later, Simon reached on a throwing error by Fox and then Rizzato singled to load the bases.

Crowder then singled to right field to score a run, cutting the deficit to 4-3. With the bases still loaded and one out, Atienza hit a ground to Walls at shortstop who then threw wide of home plate, allowing two runs to score as Tech took its first lead at 5-4. Turkoly followed with an infield single plating another run and Katie Smith hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score the final run of the frame.

Atienza (2-4, run), Turkoly (2-3, RBI, SB), Page (2-4), Crowder (2-2, run, RBI), Smith (1-3, RBI), Stewartson (1-4, RBI), Rizzato (1-3, 2 runs), Daniel (run) and Brooke Makemson (run) led Tech offensively.

Game 2: LA Tech 4, UTSA 0

Junior Preslee Gallaway tied her career-high with 12 strikeouts in a complete-game three-hit shutout in a 4-0 victory by Louisiana Tech over UTSA in the nightcap.

Gallaway (13-6) recorded at least one strikeout in six of the seven frames and multiple strikeouts in four of the innings. She surrendered just three singles and two walks in the victory.

Tech plated single runs in the first, second, third and fifth innings against UTSA starter Madison Nelson, who surrendered just five hits and two walks. Only two of the four runs were earned after three more errors by UTSA.

The Lady Techsters took a 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly by Taria Page to right field, scoring Kimmie Atienza who singled to start the game.

Ali Galaz walked to start the second inning for Tech and then stole second base. With two outs and Galaz on third base, Jazlyn Crowder lay down a perfect bunt single to score the run and up Tech’s advantage to 2-0.

Turkoly started the third inning with a triple to left centerfield and scored on Katie Smith’s RBI single to left field. Tech led 3-0.

Tech added its final run in the fifth. Turkoly reached on a bunt single and advanced all the way to third base on a throwing error by UTSA third baseman Rylie Rodriguez. Smith then lay down a sacrifice bunt, scoring Turkoly and providing Tech an insurance run it wouldn’t need.

Turkoly (2-3, 2 runs), Smith (1-1, 2 RBI, SB), Atienza (1-3, run), Page (RBI), Galaz (run, 2 SB) and Crowder (1-2, RBI) led Tech offensively.

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