Softball: Late game heroics lift LA Tech to win over UTEP
RUSTON, La. – Louisiana Tech plated two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Lady Techsters to a 4-3 win over UTEP Friday evening in game one of the three-game series against the Miners.
The second game of the series is scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. pending the weather.
Kimmie Atienza’s one-out RBI single to right centerfield plated Bayli Simon from third base with the walk-off victory for the Lady Techsters (32-10, 11-2 C-USA).
Tech entered the frame trailing 3-2 and having collected just one hit against UTEP starter Kira McKechnie but rallied in the 11th hour.
“I am proud of the way we fought,” said head coach Mark Montgomery. “We stayed focused. We hadn’t had much success at the plate, but we came up with some big hits in the seventh and found a way to win. This was a big win to start this series.”
Marilyn Rizzato opened the bottom of the seventh inning with a line drive double down the left field line. Simon followed with a walk and both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch. With AJ Williams at the plate, a second wild pitch allowed pinch runner Kailey Anderson to score, tying the game at 3-3.
One out later, Atienza stepped to the plate and lined the first pitch she saw to right centerfield, plating Simon for the win. Atienza recorded two of Tech’s three hits in the game.
Tech took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, plating two runs on no hits and no errors. A walk and two fielders choices on ground balls that resulted in no outs cost UTEP in the frame.
The Lady Techsters had an opportunity to add to the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, loading the bases with one out. But a ground ball out and a line drive to third base ended the threat.
UTEP (11-27, 4-9 C-USA) answered in the top of the sixth inning. After a walk and a single put runners on first and second for the Miners, Kasey Flores blasted a three-run shot deep over the left field wall against Tech starter Preslee Gallaway for a 3-2 Miners lead.
Krystal De La Cruz (11-2) got the win, retiring all five batters she faced in relief.
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