Holtz reportedly in KU job mix; Lady Techsters win 15-inning marathon at NSU

Lady Techsters catcher Brooke Diaz and reliever Hannah Koenig rejoice after the final out late Tuesday night in a 15-inning comeback win at Northwestern State. (Photo by CHRIS REICH/NSU)

Staff writer

Louisiana Tech football coach Skip Holtz is reported to be among four top candidates to replace former LSU coach Les Miles as the head man of the Kansas Jayhawks.

ESPN college football writer Adam Rittenberg tweeted late Monday night that Holtz was in the mix with Buffalo coach Lance Leipold, Army’s Jeff Monken (a former Tech assistant) and Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko. No official sources were cited.

The job opened when Miles was fired last month as sexual harassment accusations arose from his time at LSU.

Holtz is 57-33 in his last seven seasons among the eight he’s been in Ruston, and had a six-game bowl winning streak snapped this winter after starting quarterback Luke Anthony was injured in the regular-season finale at TCU. His name routinely surfaces in speculation for upper level Division I coaching vacancies, but he has consistently indicated he’s happy at LA Tech.

SOFTBALL: Louisiana Tech and Northwestern State were not scheduled to play a doubleheader on Tuesday night in Natchitoches. But, they did … plus one more inning.

After four hours and 40 minutes of softball (enough time to watch “Gone with the Wind” plus the previews), catcher Brooke Diaz caught a foul ball behind home plate for the final out, giving LA Tech the 3-2 victory over NSU.

Scarlett O’Hara was not playing at Lady Demon Diamond however. This movie had different characters and many twists and turns.

One the one hand, the Lady Techsters were fortunate the Lady Demons did not blow the game wide open in the early innings. NSU left 10 runners on base through the first four frames, mustering only two runs.

That 2-0 lead held up all the way until the top of the seventh. Amanda Gonzalez led things off with a single up the middle. After a fly out and a ground out, LA Tech was down to its last out when Tanja Smith kept the squad alive with an infield single.

The drama continued to build during a 12-pitch at bat for Kylie Neel. On that 12th pitch, the plot thickened as she drove the ball deep to right center to score two and tie things up.

The Lady Techsters and Lady Demons proceeded to play a whole other game — seven innings worth –- without either scoring a run.

That was until the top of the 15th when LA Tech’s Kara Goff hit a grounder right at the second basemen. The ball kicked up at the last second, hitting her on the chest and ricocheting far enough away for Zoe Hicks to score from second base. It was scored as an RBI single on the bad hop.

Hannah Koenig shut down all three NSU batters in the bottom half to seal the victory for LA Tech in its longest game since 2002. Koenig came on in relief of starter Audrey Pickett who was a workhorse, throwing 227 pitches in 12.2 innings.

NSU’s school record of 21 innings in a 1991 game at UL-Lafayette was not threatened.

GOLF: After shooting one over Monday in the opening round of the 2021 C-USA Championships in Texarkana, Arkansas, Tech stood fourth in the field of 13 league teams.

Day two was almost identical for the Bulldogs as the team shot a +2 (290). However, it was “moving day” for others with six squads going under par to slip LA Tech back three spots into seventh going into the third and final round today.

The ‘Dogs sank 34 birdies through 36 holes, tied for the fourth most in the tournament. However, the par 3s have been a bugaboo to the tune of +15 (tied for the third worst).

In order to make it to the match play playoff, LA Tech has to finish in the top four. Good news for them, the ‘Dogs are five strokes behind fourth place. And even though head coach Matt Terry said the team has made too mistakes, he also said, “I love our chances.”

The Murphy brothers will need to play a huge role in leading a LA Tech comeback. Sam anchors the team at -3 while Mac is one stroke behind at -2.

BASKETBALL: The Dunkin’ Dogs are picking up a local transfer from Texas A&M. Ladamien Bradford, a dynamic 6-4 guard from Jonesboro-Hodge, tweeted the news Tuesday that he was “coming home” to play for the Bulldogs

Bradford will be a freshman in 2021-22. He started twice and played in 14 games for the Aggies last winter, but got only 98 minutes all season. He gets to repeat as a freshman due to the NCAA’s one-time pandemic exception. A&M was 8-10 overall, 2-8 in the SEC.

Bradford was a candidate for the LSWA’s Mr. Basketball honor and also the Gatorade Player of the Year in Louisiana at the close of his high school days at JHHS. He was the Shreveport Times All-Area Player of the Year for 2019-20 after averaging 24.5 points and 13.3 rebounds, along with 5.5 assists and 3.3 steals.

He was a two-year All-State pick who was a highly-recruited player after some standout play on the summer AAU circuit around the country before his senior season.


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