MEMPHIS, Tenn. – After hitting a program record 64 home runs last season, Louisiana Tech experienced a bit of a power loss during the first 17 games of the season.
Tech entered Friday morning’s games against Tennessee State and Wright State with only eight home runs on the year. Head coach Mark Montgomery must have finally paid the electric bill.
Montgomery saw his team hit four home runs in a 10-0 five-inning, run-rule victory over Tennessee State and two more in a 9-1 five-inning, run-rule win over Wright State in the first day of the Blue City Classic hosted by Memphis Friday morning at the Tigers Softball Complex.
LA Tech 10, Tennessee State 0 (5 innings)
Pauline Tufi, Taria Page, Marilyn Rizzato and Jazlyn Crowder each homered as part of a 12-hit attack that saw the Lady Techsters improve to 12-6 on the season.
Tech scored three runs in the first and seven more in the third while sophomore Krystal De La Cruz dominated the Tigers in the circle. De La Cruz (4-0) allowed only two hits and one walk while striking out five in the complete-game performance. She got out of an early game first and third, no outs situation in the bottom of the first and never allowed TSU to threaten again.
Senior Tori Charters recorded a one-out infield single and then came around to score on Page’s first home run of the season, a bomb to left field to give Tech a 2-0 advantage. Rizzato then followed with a solo shot – her second of the season.
After a scoreless second inning, Tech put the game away in the third. Charters singled up the middle to start the inning and then Tufi followed with a two-run home run to left centerfield, her third of the season. It was Tufi’s 30th career home run as she moved into a tie with Kylie Bassett for fourth place on the Tech career records list.
Following consecutive singles by Rizzato, Galaz and Smith, sophomore Berkley Calapp doubled to left centerfield to plate two more runs and up the Techster lead to 7-0. Karlee Jensen followed with an RBI single and then Crowder finished the power surge with a two-run home run to centerfield, her third of the year.
Tech was led offensively by Crowder (1-4, HR, run, 2 RBI), Charters (2-3, 2 runs, SB), Tufi (1-2, HR, run, 2 RBI), Page (1-2, HR, run, 2 RBI), Rizzato (2-2, HR, run, 1 RBI), Galaz (1-3, run), Smith (1-3, run), Calapp (1-2, 2B, 1 run, 2 RBI), Jensen (1-2, 2 SB, run, RBI), Preslee Gallaway (1-1), Addision Roark (walk) and Jessica Ball (SB).
The Lady Techsters will face Wright State at 1:30 p.m. today in the second of their five games this weekend.
LA Tech 9, Wright State 1 (5 innings)
Jazlyn Crowder and Taria Page homered for the second straight game to lead Louisiana Tech to a 9-1 win over Wright State in a five inning run-rule shortened contest at Tiger Softball Complex during the first day of the Blue City Classic.
Bailey Allen (3-1) picked up the win in the circle, tossing 5.0 strong innings. Allen allowed one unearned run on five hits and one walk while striking out three.
Crowder got Tech (13-6) off on the right foot, hitting a solo home run over the left field fence to lead off the top of the first inning. Tori Charters followed with a double and then Pauline Tufi and Taria Page both walked to load the bases. Marilyn Rizzato then singled up the middle to plate two runs and increase the lead to 3-0.
Katie Smith and Karlee Jensen both added RBI singles to centerfield to cap a 5-run first inning for the Lady Techsters.
Tech added to its lead in the second. Charters was hit by a pitch and scored on Page’s two-run home run to left field – the second of the day for the sophomore.
Jensen and Smith would strike again in the third. Smith tripled to lead off the inning and then scored on a bunt single by Jensen, making the score 8-0.
Wright State scored its only run of the game in the bottom of the third inning when a passed ball allowed an unearned run to score.
Tech finished the scoring in the top of the fifth inning. Smith singled and then came across to score on Berkley Calapp’s RBI double to right centerfield.
Offensively, Tech was led by Smith (3-3, 2 runs, RBI), Jensen (2-3, 2 runs, SB), Page (1-2, HR, 2 runs, 2 RBI), Rizzato (1-3, run, 2 RBI), Calapp (1-3, 2B, RBI, SB), Crowder (1-4, HR, run, RBI), Tufi (run) and Charters (1-2, 2 runs, 2B).
The Lady Techsters will face Arkansas-Pine Bluff (11:15 a.m.) and Memphis (1:30 p.m.) Saturday.