With a huge four-game Conference USA series against UTEP this weekend on the horizon, Louisiana Tech hosted Lincoln Parish foe Grambling State Tuesday night at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.
In a tune-up before the Miners come to town – Saturday doubleheder at 1 p.m. and Sunday DH at 1 p.m. – the Lady Techsters (15-23) defeated Grambling (7-15) by a score of 8-1.
Freshman Emma Hutchinson made just her fourth start of the season in the circle for Tech, working 6.0 innings while allowing just one unearned run on two hits and five walks while striking out a career-high nine batters.
“This was a good opportunity for Emma,” said Tech interim head coach Bianca Duran. “She needed to get some innings and have some success. She was able to work around the walks because she held them to just the two hits and got a lot of swings and misses with the nine strikeouts.”
After Grambling leadoff hitter India Wells led off the game with a bunt single, Hutchinson didn’t allow another Lady Tigers hit until the sixth inning.
Meanwhile, the Tech offense slowly built a lead. Tech scored runs in five of its six frames only putting a goose egg on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning.
Kara Goff’s sacrifice fly in the second plated Lindsay Edwards before Amanda Gonzalez scored on a wild pitch to give the Lady Techsters a 2-0 lead. Edwards then drove home Madie Green in the third with a sacrifice fly of her own.
Kylie Neel doubled home Goff from first base with two outs in the fourth and Caroline Easom doubled home Edwards from first in the fifth. Goff then drove Easom home with an RBI single.
Tech completed its scoring in the sixth when Green hit a two-run home run to straight away centerfield, marking the first home run by a Lady Techster at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.
Grambling plated its run when A’yanna Williams crossed the plate on a throwing error by Tech in the top of the fifth inning. Wells and Tatianna Robinson registered the only two hits of the game for GSU.
The Lady Tigers will head to Pine Bluff for a three-game Southwestern Athletic Conference series Sunday and Monday.
Green and Goff both led Tech with two-hit, two-RBI performances while Neel, Edwards and Easom all recorded RBI in the victory. Tech is now 21-0 all-time against Grambling.
“This was a good chance for us to get some players back into the lineup and get some at bats for them,” Duran said. “I’m hoping this will give us some confidence and momentum going into this weekend against UTEP. We’ve had some players out and we’ve faced some really good teams in the last few weeks. We just needed a chance to get some positive vibes before this weekend’s four games.”
This weekend marks the two-year anniversary of the EF3 tornado that ripped through Ruston and destroyed a number of athletic facilities on campus as well as so many businesses and residential areas.
Players from the Lady Techster’s 2019 Conference USA Championship team will be in attendance this weekend for the UTEP series.