Techsters halt North Texas home conference streak

CELEBRATNG A CLOUT: Louisiana Tech teammates greet Madie Green at home plate after she clubbed a home run as the Techsters surprised Conference USA stalwart North Texas.

JOURNAL STAFF

DENTON, Texas — When the Louisiana Tech traveled to North Texas for a Conference USA softball series, the Techsters were going up against a Mean Green team that had neither lost a conference series since the 2019 season nor suffered a home conference series loss since 2018.

That was long enough for Tech sophomore Emma Hutchinson. With the tying run at second and the winning run on first for North Texas (26-10, 13-5 C-USA) in the bottom of the seventh inning, Hutchinson got Molly Rainey to fly out to Madie Green in right field to seal Tech’s 6-5 victory in Saturday’s series-deciding finale.

After taking a 6-0 lead after three innings, Tech withstood a five-run sixth by the Mean Green as Hutchinson came on in relief for Audrey Pickett and closed the door for the second straight day.

Tech (29-16, 9-6 C-USA) dropped the first game 8-2 on Thursday but came back to even the series with a 9-3 victory on Friday.

NORTHWESTERN STATE: Makenzie Chaffin capped a six-run fifth inning for NSU when the former Airline star hit a three-run homer to lead the Lady Demons to an 8-3 victory over McNeese in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader to avert a Southland Conference sweep by the visiting Cowgirls.

After taking the first game of the series 1-0 on Thursday, McNeese (26-16, 10-2 SLC) secured the conference series with a 3-2 victory over NSU (25-17, 7-5 SLC) in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader.

Perhaps the play of the weekend came during the third inning of the Friday opener. After a walk and two-base error by Chaffin in left field put McNeese baserunners at second and third with no outs, the former Lady Viking caught a shallow pop fly and threw out the runner at home plate. When they caught the runner at second base in a run-down, the Lady Demons had completed the triple play.

ULM: In Conway, S.C., ULM completed its first sweep of a Sun Belt opponent since 2018 when the Warhawks took both games of Friday’s doubleheader at Coastal Carolina. Their last conference sweep was also against the Chanticleers.

After taking game one 11-3 in six innings on Thursday, ULM defeated the Chanticleers 2-0 and 6-3 on Saturday to improve to 23-16 overall and 9-9 in the conference.

Victoria Abrams (7-3) pitched a three-hit shutout in Saturday’s first game, striking out three and allowing only five baserunners. In the second game, the Warhawks scored five runs in the first two innings before closing out the Chanticleers 6-3. Kinsey Kackley (8-5) got the win and Adrianna Chavarria allowed only one earned run and four hits in five innings of relief.

LSU: The No. 21 Lady Tigers (27-16, 8-7 SEC) completed the series sweep over South Carolina (23-21, 2-13 SEC) with an 8-0 victory Saturday at Tiger Park.

LSU pitchers dominated the series, recording a 1.05 ERA and holding the Gamecocks to a .186 batting average behind 23 strikeouts. After cruising to a 4-0 victory in Thursday’s opener, the Lady Tigers relied on a strong performance by former Airline star Raelin Chaffin in Friday’s 7-3 win. Chaffin improved to 5-2 with a seven-strikeout, one-hit performance in 4.2 innings of relief.

CENTENARY: The Ladies (12-16, 6-12) clinched their Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference series over Schreiner University (13-24, 10-8) with a 2-0 victory on Senior Day at the Centenary Softball Complex on Saturday. Centenary fell to Schreiner 3-2 in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader but came back to even the series with a 2-1 victory in the second game.

BPCC: Bossier Parish Community College improved to 29-9 with a doubleheader sweep against Baton Rouge Community College on Saturday. After cruising to an 8-0 victory in five innings in game one, the Lady Cavaliers came back from a 2-0 deficit to capture game two 4-2.

GRAMBLING: The Lady Tigers’ (18-17, 5-10 SWAC) three-game Southwestern Athletic Conference home series against Alcorn State was postponed due to inclement weather. Game one was scheduled for Friday with a doubleheader planned for Saturday.