DENTON, Texas – Heading into his team’s opening game in the Conference USA Softball Tournament, Louisiana Tech head coach Josh Taylor wanted to put pressure on the 4th seeded Marshall Thundering Herd with the running game.
Tech recorded a season-high seven steals, belted three home runs and tied its season-high in runs in handing Marshall a 16-8 loss at Lovelace Stadium on a scorching Thursday afternoon in Texas.
C-USA regular season champion Tech (39-18) advanced to take on 2nd seeded North Texas at noon today. The winner will advance to Saturday’s championship game while the loser will play again at 5 p.m. in an elimination contest.
The Techsters chased Conference USA Pitcher of the Year Sidney Nester after two innings.
After Marshall took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a pair of solo home runs, the Lady Techsters responded with a four spot in the bottom of the frame. A two-run single by Brooke Diaz and a two-run double by Jordyn Manning gave Tech a 4-2 lead.
The Thundering Herd tied it at 4-4 with two runs on a two-out error by the Lady Techsters in the top of the second. Tech plated three runs in the bottom half on sac flies by Caroline Easom and Lindsay Edwards and an RBI single by Madie Green.
The Lady Techsters turned to the long ball in the fourth inning. Green singled and one out later, Katelin Cooper launched a towering two-run shot over the right field fence. After the second out, Kylie Neel crushed a no doubter to centerfield for an 11-4 advantage.
Marshall answered in the fifth inning, plating four runs on four hits to close the deficit to 11-8.
Tech used a five-spot in the fifth to end the game. A leadoff home run by Green, her 13th of the year, made it 12-8. A two-run single by Sierra Sacco, her third hit of the day, pushed the lead to 14-8. Amanda Gonzalez followed with a two-run double to right centerfield, scoring two runs to end the game.
Sacco (3-3, 4 runs, 3 SB, 2 RBI), Gonzalez (2-3, 2 runs, 3 RBI), Green (3-3, 3 runs, 2 RBI), and Neal (2-3, HR, RBI) all recorded multi-hit games.
TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI 4, NORTHWESTERN STATE 3: Two first-inning errors allowing three runs by the No. 3-seeded Islanders coupled with nine runners left on base were the mistakes that cost the No. 4 Lady Demons (29-22), who were eliminated from the Southland Conference Tournament in Hammond with a second straight one-run loss.
Laney Roos doubled and scored in the first inning, then homered, but NSU again failed to cash in opportunities. The Lady Demons had baserunners in every inning of the game, and multiple base runners in four of the seven frames – including leaving the bases loaded in the seventh.
Northwestern drew within a run in its last chance when Keely DuBois hit a fly ball deep enough to left to bring Roos in from third. After walks to both Makenzie Chaffin and Alexis Perry, the Lady Demons had the go-ahead run at second with one out. But the Islanders (25-26) escaped with a grounder and a popup.
Photo courtesy Louisiana Tech
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