Tech’s Williams is an Eagle, again; Softball series at USM goes to Lady Techsters; Big mark for Marcus

Photo of Louisiana Tech’s Milton Williams by HARRY CASTON

Staff report

With the 73rd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft … the Philadelphia Eagles select … Milton Williams, Defensive Tackle, Louisiana Tech.

Back in his home town of Crowley, Texas, family and friends screamed with excitement at the sound of those words coming out of the television.

Williams, seated at the end of the couch in the living room, slowly put his hand down and started to tear up. Overcome with emotion, his dream had come true.

“When I got that call, it was a lot of emotion,” said Williams in a post-draft press conference with Philadelphia media. “I talked to the head coach early and I was crying like a baby.”

Williams, a three-year letter winner and 2020 First Team All-Conference USA selection, became the 81st Bulldog selected in the NFL Draft in program history and was the second highest LA Tech selection since 2000.

The former Bulldog is now an Eagle … for a second time. “(I’m) so excited and ready to be an Eagle. My high school mascot was the Eagles. I am ready to be a part of a great organization.”

SOFTBALL: Louisiana Tech won its third Conference USA series this season, taking three of four from Southern Miss this weekend in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

In doing so, LA Tech (22-25, 10-6 C-USA) also clinched a spot in the C-USA Tournament as the Lady Techsters sit in third place in the West Division with one league series remaining.

The arm of Bre Hernandez certainly helped in downing the Golden Eagles.

The first time was a little more taxing. The senior righty needed 176 pitches on Friday night to give LA Tech the 2-1 series-opening win. She mowed down a career-high 14 batters in the 11-inning game.

Tied at 1-1 in the top of the final frame, Jordyn Manning tripled to right centerfield with two outs. Kylie Neel then followed with her third hit of the night, a single to left field, to drive home the go-ahead run.

USM (21-28, 3-13 C-USA) evened the series in game one of the Saturday doubleheader, getting a herculean effort from senior Karly Nichols who took to the circle for the first time since high school and tossed a complete-game for the 3-1 Golden Eagles victory.

The offense still was not clicking in game two for LA Tech at the start, down 4-1 through three innings. However, the floodgates opened for the Lady Techsters to the tune of six runs in the top of the fourth. Neel contributed two hits while Hernandez registered the save in the 7-5 victory.

Hernandez was back in the circle for game four on Sunday and was again stellar, allowing just six hits in another complete-game effort. She needed only 95 pitches this time to lead LA Tech to the 6-1 win.

TRACK AND FIELD: It was another weekend of record setting for Louisiana Tech men’s javelin thrower Tripp Marcus who set a Texas A&M Alumni Muster meet mark with a heave of 234-9.

Unfortunately, it was also another weekend of Mother Nature getting in the way. Rain forced the meet to be canceled after just eight out of 38 events were complete, none of which came on the track.

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