Diamond Dogs face Hogs; Techsters host Mean Green

Amanda Gonzalez and the Lady Techsters will host North Texas in a three-game series this weekend at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

Louisiana Tech will play a three-game series in Fayetteville, Arkansas to take on the top-10 ranked Razorbacks starting tonight and running through Sunday.

The contests can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on 97.7 FM and via the LA Tech Athletics app while fans can also watch it on SECN+.

LA Tech (8-4)  is coming off a weekend sweep over Big 10 op­ponent Northwestern. The Bulldogs averaged 11.7 runs per game, banging out 13 extra-base hits, including six home runs. The team ranks third in C-USA and 57th in the country in total home runs with 17. Nine different Bulldogs have hit a homer this season, led by Philip Matulia who has six jacks.

The Bulldogs have been the comeback Bulldogs so far this season. The team has trailed at some point in 10 of their 12 games this season. Four of LA Tech’s eight wins have come after trailing by at least four runs. In Sunday’s game against the Wildcats, the ‘Dogs were trailing 9-3 in the second inning before scoring 13 unanswered runs to win it, 16-9.

Dalton Davis batted .385 in the three-game series with Northwestern, including a walk-off RBI single to win the Saturday game. He has reached base in all 12 games and recorded at least one hit in 11 of those games.

C-USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year Jonathan Fincher has gone 7.0 innings in each of the last two Friday starts, allowing just three total runs while striking out 12.

Arkansas (10-2) is rank in the top 10 in every major baseball poll, including a No. 3 national ranking by Perfect Game. They have won five straight, including a 7-5 come-from-behind victory over Army this past Tuesday in a midweek game when they got a three-run go-ahead homer in the bottom of the eighth to defeat the Black Knights.

The Razorbacks are led offensively by Jace Bohrofen and Jared Wegner who each are batting over .400. Wegner provides the power, having tallied six home runs and 22 RBIs.

Arkansas will go with a weekend rotation of Hagen Smith (Friday), Will McEntire (Saturday), and Hunter Hollan (Sunday). All three have claimed two victories on the mound this season.

Arkansas leads the all-time series over LA Tech, 27-7 (on record). However, the series has been tight over the last few years as the Razorbacks only hold a slim 5-4 advantage since 2016.

This will be the third time since 2019 that LA Tech and Arkansas will face off in a three-game weekend series. The two last met in a weekend series in Ruston in 2021. The Razorbacks took the first two games, but the Bulldogs claimed a 2-0 shutout for their first ever victory over a No. 1 ranked team in program history.

The Louisiana Tech Softball team opens its Conference USA slate with a three-game series against preseason conference favorite North Texas this weekend at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.

The series starts tonight at 6 p.m. followed by a 2 p.m. Saturday and a 1 p.m. Sunday.

Louisiana Tech is 14-6 on the season and coming off a 3-1 extra-innings loss to ULM on March 7. Allie Floyd pitched all nine innings in the contest, while Brooke Diaz hit a solo home run, accounting for the Techsters’ one run in the game.

The Lady Techsters’ 14-6 start is the best since 2019 when they had a 15-5 mark through their first 20 games played.

Tech has won its last 11 regular season Conference USA games, with its last loss coming at North Texas on April 14, 2022, in game one of a three-game series that the Techsters took 2-1.

Pitching has played a vital role this season for the Lady Techsters, as they hold a team ERA of 1.98. Mary Martinez leads the Techsters in the circle with a 4-1 record and 1.29 ERA in 21.2 innings pitched. Allie Floyd leads Tech in innings thrown with 44.0 while owning a 1.91 ERA and a team-best .95 WHIP (walk hits per inning).

The Lady Techsters’ 0.65 double plays per game is the third-best mark among all NCAA Division I programs.

Right fielder Kylie Neel leads LA Tech with a .350 batting average, including 21 hits, while recording five doubles, 20 RBI, 14 runs scored, and seven walks. Her 20 RBI ranks third among all Conference USA players.

Left fielder Katelin Cooper leads the Lady Techsters with three round-trippers this season. She has already surpassed her home run total from 2023. Cooper has also posted an impressive .667 on-base percentage when leading off innings at the plate.

The series with North Texas will mark the second three-game series of the season for LA Tech. The Lady Techsters swept their first three-game series against SEMO on Feb. 11-12 to open the season.

The Mean Green (12-8) were ranked No. 24 in the preseason Top-25 poll and are 12-8 this season after playing a solid non-conference slate that featured ranked opponents in Kentucky (No. 18), Texas (No. 14) and Arkansas (No. 8).

Junior Kailey Gamble is one of the top sluggers in the nation, ranking second nationally with 10 home runs and leading the Mean Green with a .377 batting average.

Ashley Peters is the ace of the North Texas staff with a 4-4 record, 1.25 ERA and a .84 WHIP in 39.1 innings pitched.

North Texas is led by Rodney Delong, who is 141-60 in his five seasons at the helm.

Louisiana Tech and North Texas have met 34 times, with the series deadlocked at 17 games apiece. The teams went 2-2 in its meetings last year. LA Tech took the regular season series two games to one. North Texas won the previous match-up 11-1 in five innings on May 13, 2022, during the C-USA tournament in Denton, Texas