Lady Techsters fall in extra innings to ULM
RUSTON – Despite seven scoreless innings in the circle from freshman pitcher Allie Floyd, the Louisiana Tech Softball team dropped its midweek matchup to ULM, 3-1 on Tuesday evening at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.
A two-run home run in the top of the ninth by the Warhawks Ashlan Ard was the difference maker, propelling ULM to a 3-1 victory.
Floyd went the distance, pitching all nine innings while striking out four and allowing three runs on seven hits and no walks.
Brooke Diaz was the bright spot in the Lady Techsters lineup, hitting her first home run of the season with a solo shot to left-centerfield to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth, while also doubling in the fourth inning. Sierra Sacco and Jordyn Manning would also collect hits, but that is all Tech could muster at the plate.
• Floyd’s nine innings pitched were the most by a LA Tech pitcher since Bre Hernandez went 11 innings in a 2-1 win over Southern Miss., on April 30, 2021.
• Brooke Diaz hit her first home run of the season and the 10th of her career.
• Sierra Sacco stole her conference-leading 18th base of the season in the first inning.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Freshman Allie Floyd made her fifth start of the season and kept Tech in the game all night, throwing seven scoreless frames. Floyd totaled nine innings while striking out four and allowing three runs, seven hits and no walks.
Lourdes Bacon led off with a double down the left field line to lead off the game for the Warhawks, but that was all they would get as Floyd retired the next three Warhawks. Sierra Sacco made the final out of the top of the first with a running catch in deep right-centerfield.
Sierra Sacco led off the bottom half of the inning by beating out a ground ball to shortstop for her 17th base hit of the season. Sacco stole second during the following at bat for her 18th stolen base of the year.
Floyd retired ULM in order while picking up her first strikeout of the game in the second inning. Amanda Gonzalez and Jordyn Manning hit balls hard in the bottom of the second but couldn’t find a hole as Tech was retired in order.
Both teams were retired in order during the third inning.
Kylie Neel initially reached on an error by the ULM first baseman but was called back due to an illegally batted ball. Brooke Diaz doubled to the right-centerfield gap with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, but that was all the Lady Techsters would get.
ULM got on the board in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Alexis Chavez to make it 1-0 Warhawks and end the Lady Techsters’ scoreless inning streak. Jordyn Manning reached on an error by the ULM third baseman and Bailey Wright and Sacco reached courtesy of a hit by a pitch and a walk to load the bases but the Lady Techsters left them stranded.
Floyd set down the Warhawks in order in the sixth. Diaz then stepped to the plate in the bottom of the sixth and sent an 0-1 pitch over the left-centerfield wall to tie the game, 1-1. The solo blast was Diaz’s first of the season and 10th of her career.
Floyd continued her gutsy effort by returning to the circle in the seventh and retiring the Warhawks in order.
Jordyn Manning singled down the left field line to lead off the bottom of the seventh and was pinch-ran for by Jina Baffutto. Bailey Wright laid down a sacrifice bunt that ULM catcher Madison Blount threw away, sending Baffuto to third and putting Wright on first. Alyssa Dean then hit into a 9-2 double play by flying out to ULM right fielder Madelyn England who threw a strike to home plate to cut down Baffuto who was tagging from third. ULM retired the next batter for the final out of the inning to escape the jam and stay alive.
Neither team could break through offensively in the eighth inning as a single by the Warhawks’ Alexis Chavez was the only hit of the frame.
In the top of the ninth, ULM won it with a two-run home run to left centerfield by Ashlan Ard to make it the final, 3-1. Gianni Hullett retired the Lady Techsters in order in the bottom of the ninth for her sixth win of the season, improving the Warhawks to 15-8 on the year.
Allie Floyd took the loss to move to 2-2 on the season as Tech dropped to 14-6.
The Lady Techsters open up Conference USA play by hosting North Texas for a three-game series beginning Friday at 6 p.m.
For all the latest in Lady Techster Softball, follow them on Twitter (@LATechSB), Instagram (@LATechSB) and Facebook (Louisiana Tech Softball) or visit the official website at LATechSports.com.
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