Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications
The Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team will open the 2023 WNIT tonight when they face Arkansas inside Bud Walton Arena at 7 p.m.
The game can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on 97.7 FM and via the LA Tech Athletics app. In addition, the live radio broadcast and live stats can be found on the LA Tech Athletics app.
Surprisingly, it will be the first meeting between the two programs in 40 years. Tech defeated Arkansas 75-52 in the 1983-84 season opener and leads the all-time series 3-0.
Louisiana Tech (19-12) has won seven of their last eight regular-season games before falling to UTEP in the Conference USA Tournament Quarterfinals the previous week to give the Techsters a 19-12 mark on the season. Tech is seeking back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 2009-10 and 2010-11.
2023 will mark the fifth program appearance in the WNIT for LA Tech, with Tech holding a 1-4 mark in the postseason tournament. This will be the fourth WNIT under Brooke Stoehr and the second in as many seasons. Stoehr led the Techsters to another round of back-to-back WNIT appearances in 2017 and 2018.
Tech’s 19 regular season wins matched last year’s total and are the third time Coach Stoehr has reached the 19-win mark. The 12 conference wins also match the most for LA Tech since joining C-USA.
Arkansas (21-12) earned the No. 8 seed in the SEC Tournament after being picked fifth in the preseason poll. The Razorbacks beat No. 9 seed Missouri, 85-74, in the tournament’s opening round before falling to the No. 1 seed and No. 1 team in the country, South Carolina (93-66).
Arkansas began the season rattling off 13 straight wins, including top-25 road wins over No. 25 Kansas State (69-53) and No. 16 Creighton (83-75).
Air Force 12, Bulldogs 10
After a stellar effort on the mound by Louisiana Tech pitchers last night, the arms struggled in game two against Air Force, giving up 13 hits and nine freebies as the Bulldogs fell, 12-10, to the Falcons on Wednesday afternoon at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
LA Tech (9-8) used four pitchers who combined for 17 punch-outs and a complete game shutout in game one. In game two, the Bulldogs used seven pitchers that had a tough time finding the strike zone.
“It is hard to overcome that many freebies between walks and HBPs,” said head coach Lane Burroughs. “I am floored at our lack of being able to throw strikes. They are not in pressure situations. It is disheartening and disappointing. Here we are going into conference play and we have guys that cannot throw strikes. We miss our guys that are out. If you are going to be great though, you have to find a way to win these things no matter who is playing. We did not get it done.”
Air Force (6-12) took full advantage, putting up runs in five different innings. Four of those were crooked numbers that came in the third (RBI single by Jake Greiving and a towering 2-run homer to the train tracks by Jay Thomason), fourth (two runs on a hit-by-pitch and wild pitch), sixth (trio of runs via sacrifice fly, double, and single), and eighth (three more, including a two-run double to the gap by Matt Thompson).
A depleted Bulldog lineup was putting up runs themselves, but the Falcons would answer almost every time. LA Tech cut the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the third when Karson Evans doubled to left center. The freshman was also responsible for their first run of the game with an RBI single through the left side in the first inning.
Air Force countered though with two runs in the top of the fourth.
LA Tech split the deficit in half, 8-5, in the sixth when Jonathan Hogart cleared the left-field wall for a three-run homer.
The Falcons punched back with a run in the seventh and three in the eighth.
Doubled up on the scoreboard again at 12-6 going into the ninth, the Bulldogs put one last rally together. With the bases juiced and nobody out, Adarius Myers doubled down the left field line to score two. Logan McLeod immediately followed with an RBI sacrifice fly on the first pitch he saw.
With the deficit chopped in half again, Will Safford scored Myers on an RBI groundout to first base. Pinch-hitter Baylor Cobb grounded out to the right side as well to end the rally.
Nick Fraginals (0-1), making his second start as a Bulldog, took the loss after throwing 3.2 innings while allowing five runs on six hits. Jason Shuger (1-1) got the win for Air Force, relieving starter Ben Weber to throw 2.0 innings of shutout ball.
LA Tech’s Evans went 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBIs. Hogart and Myers each had a multi-RBI game with three apiece.
LA Tech Tennis
Louisiana Tech’s Leonie Schuknecht tallied her fourth award of the 2022-23 season on Wednesday as the junior was voted as the Conference USA Women’s Tennis Player of the Week.
Schuknecht claimed two of the three C-USA Athlete of the Month honors during the fall season and has now earned her second Player of the Week award for the spring (the only player in C-USA to be a multiple honoree).
The Germany native played a pivotal role in helping LA Tech collect two road victories this past week over two reigning conference champions in Stetson and Tarleton State. She went undefeated during the week, going 2-0 in singles and 2-0 in doubles at the top position in both.
The Lady Techsters went to DeLand, Florida and defeated Atlantic Sun champion Stetson, 5-2. Schuknecht teamed up with Najah Dawson to win, 6-2, and help claim the doubles point. She then defeated Nadejda Maslova 6-3, 6-4 in singles.
LA Tech handed WAC champion Tarleton State its first home loss of the season with a 4-1 victory. Schuknecht and Dawson breezed to a 6-0 win in doubles to grab the doubles point. She then provided the clinching point in singles with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 victory versus Emma Persson who came in having won eight straight.
Schuknecht improved to 11-1 in singles and 9-4 in doubles, having played every match from the No. 1 position in both this spring.
LA Tech is back at home this weekend to face Northwestern State (Friday, March 17) and Incarnate Word (Saturday, March 18).