Techsters run rule Toledo, Dartmouth

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Seniors Krystal De La Cruz and Preslee Gallaway each tossed a complete-game shutout leading Louisiana Tech to a pair of 8-0 run-rule victories over Dartmouth and Toledo in softball action Friday during the first day of the UCF Invitational.

Tech (15-3) dominated both games from the beginning, jumping out to multi-run leads in the first inning of the two contests and cruising to the victories. The Lady Techsters have now recorded three straight shutout wins and four of the last five games.

“I thought we played well today,” said Tech head coach Mark Montgomery. “I wouldn’t say we were great, but we took care of business. I thought Krystal was awesome through the first four innings. She labored a little late but she still was able to get outs. Preslee was solid again. Maybe not quite as dominating as what she was the last two games, but she still was in complete control.

“Offensively, we have to learn to put teams away early. We have been getting out to early leads but then we kind of coast instead of putting them away. It’s a matter of keeping our foot on the accelerator. We have to big games tomorrow that will obviously test us. I know our players are looking forward to the opportunities.”

The Lady Techsters will face their biggest test of the year when they meet defending national champion and No. 1 ranked Florida State Saturday at 2 p.m. Tech will also face host UCF at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Game 1: LA Tech 8, Dartmouth 0 (6 innings)

Krystal De La Cruz (5-1) picked up the win in the circle, tossing a six-inning complete-game shutout over the defending Ivy League champion Dartmouth Big Green. De La Cruz allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out four and needing only 82 pitches to record 18 outs.

Tech scored two runs in the first, four in the fourth and two more in the sixth, capitalizing on 11 hits and five Dartmouth errors.

Dartmouth committed a pair of errors in the first inning as Tech plated two runs. Morgan Turkoly singled and scored when Jazlyn Crowder singled and throwing error by the Big Green shortstop. Crowder plated the second run of the bottom of the first when she stole third base and scored on a throwing error by the Dartmouth catcher.

The score remained 2-0 until the bottom of the fourth inning when the Lady Techsters scored four runs on three hits and one error. Lindsay Edwards singled up the middle to score Zoe Hicks who had walked to start the frame. Berkley Calapp then scored on a double steal attempt, making the score 4-0. With two runners on base and two outs, Bayli Simon doubled to left field to drive home both Crowder and Edwards.

With Tech leading 6-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Edwards singled and Turkoly walked to start the frame. Both runners then scored when Crowder singled to left field on a ball that then got away from the Dartmouth left fielder.

Edwards (3-4, 2 runs, RBI), Turkoly (2-3, 2 runs, SB), Crowder (2-3, 2 runs, RBI, SB), Simon (1-3, 2 RBI), Hicks (2-2, run), and Calapp (1-3, run, SB) led Tech’s offensive attack in the win.

Game 2: LA Tech 8, Toledo 0

Preslee Gallaway matched her pitching staff teammate in game two, throwing a complete-game two-hit shutout in the victory over Toledo. It was Gallaway’s third straight shutout and her 49th career win, moving her into a tie with Marla Pinkston for 9th in the career list for the Lady Techsters.

The Pilot Point, Texas, native allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out four in the five innings of action.

Tech exploded for four runs in the first, three more in the second and one in the third to put the game out of reach.

Zoe Hicks had the big hit in the first inning, a two-run single up the middle as the Lady Techsters took the early 4-0 lead. Hicks repeated the feat in the second inning, driving in her third and fourth runs of the contest while Jazlyn Crowder also added an RBI single in the frame.

Lindsay Edwards recorded the final RBI of the game, a sacrifice bunt in the third that plated Berkley Calapp from third base and giving Tech an 8-0 lead.

Morgan Turkoly (2-3, run, SB), Hicks (2-2, 4 RBI, run, SB), Edwards (2 runs, RBI), Crowder (1-2, 2 runs, RBI, SB), Marilyn Rizzato (RBI) and Calapp (run, SB) led Tech offensively.

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