Lady Techsters start homestand tonight against Grambling; LA Tech roundup

The Louisiana Tech softball team hosts Grambling at 6 this evening at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field. (Photo by TIM SMITH)

Staff writer

Midweek match-ups against in-state foes are keeping the Louisiana Tech softball team busy, with a visit from Grambling tonight after a challenging trip to Lafayette Tuesday.

After bowing 7-0 to No. 14 UL-Lafayette Tuesday night at Lamson Park, Tech will host their neighbors, the Lady Tigers, tonight at 6 p.m.

This weekend, the Lady Techsters will stay home for an important four-game Conference USA series against Texas-El Paso on Saturday and Sunday at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.

LA Tech (14-23) flashed some leather in the southern part of the state turning four double plays in the loss to the Ragin’ Cajuns (35-7). However, a five-run second inning by ULL was too much to overcome.

Bre Hernandez was a bright spot for Tech, throwing 4.1 innings of scoreless relief while allowing only two hits and three walks against the dangerous UL-Lafayette (ULL) lineup. Audrey Pickett (4-10) took the loss, allowing seven runs – only two earned – in 1.2 innings of work.

LA Tech outfielder Kylie Neel – a ULL transfer – recorded the lone hit of the game for Tech against the trio of Kandra Lamb, Summer Ellyson and Vanessa Foreman.

BASEBALL: And the hits keep coming.

None bigger than Manny Garcia’s two-out, two-run walk off home run Sunday afternoon in the Bulldogs 7-6 win over Southern Miss.

Garcia was awarded for his offensive performance being named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association State Hitter of the Week on Tuesday.

The Caguas, Puerto Rico, native hit .438 (7-of-16) on the week, including a 4-for-4 performance with two home runs in Tech’s come-from-behind win Sunday.

Garcia is tied for the team lead with seven home runs and second in RBI with 35 for the year.

He will lead Tech (26-9, 12-4) into this weekend’s four-game series at home against Marshall, starting Friday night at 6 p.m. Saturday’s doubleheader is set for 2 p.m. and Sunday’s finale has been moved up to 10 a.m.

TENNIS: The No. 13 seeded Lady Techsters will travel to Denton this week to compete in the 2021 Conference USA Women’s Tennis championships at the Waranch Tennis Complex.

Tech coach Amanda Stone and Co. will face No. 4 seed Charlotte Thursday at 3 p.m. This marks the third time in the last six years that the two programs have met in the C-USA Championships with each winning once.

The winner of the LA Tech-Charlotte match will face the winner of the Florida Atlantic-North Texas match on Friday.

Tech has won three of its last four matches entering the event.

RECRUITING: Both the Louisiana Tech Lady Techster basketball and softball teams announced signees for the upcoming 2021-22 seasons.

Head coach Brooke Stoehr announced that former Tulane guard Salma Bates has signed a financial aid agreement to join the program.

Bates is a 5-foot-7-inch guard out of Kenner who prepped at John Curtis High School where she led the program to three straight state titles.

During her two years at Tulane, Bates saw action in 44 games and made four starts. She posted a double double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a win over Tulsa and added 15 points against Wichita State.

Interim softball coach Bianca Duran announced that Iowa Western pitcher Brook Melnychuk has signed a national letter of intent to join the program.

Melnychuk is a right-handed pitcher who has been named the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week six times this season while leading the Reivers to a 30-10 record. She has recorded a mark of 19-4 with a 1.29 earned run average, registering 166 strikeouts and only 31 walks in 130.1 innings of action. Melnychuk has surrendered only 83 hits.

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