RUSTON – Preslee Gallaway and Krystal De La Cruz each threw one-hit, complete-game shutouts leading Louisiana Tech to a pair of 8-0 run-rule wins over Charlotte Friday afternoon in the Conference USA openers for both teams at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.
Tech (16-8, 2-0) and Charlotte (15-10, 0-2) will complete the series Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.
Game 1 – LA Tech 8, Charlotte 0 (6 innings)
Louisiana Tech used a four-run third and a three-run fourth to chase Charlotte ace Haley Wiseman as the Lady Techsters run-ruled Charlotte 8-0 in six innings.
After two scoreless innings of action, the Lady Techsters scored four runs on three hits in the bottom of the third inning. Jessica Ball doubled to lead the inning off and then scored the first run of the game on an RBI single to centerfield by Tori Charters. Following a walk to Morgan Turkoly, Taria Page doubled to centerfield, scoring Charters and upping the Tech lead to 2-0.
Pauline Tufi drove home the third run of the inning with an RBI groundout and then the Lady Techsters executed a perfect double steal as Kimmie Atienza crossed the plate before Charlotte recorded the third out of the frame.
Tech continued its offensive assault in the bottom of the fourth inning. Karlee Jensen singled, Ball walked and Jazlyn Crowder singled to load the bases with one out. Junior Ali Galaz then delivered a bases-clearing, pinch hit double to right centerfield, upping the Tech lead to 7-0 and chasing Wiseman from the game.
In the circle, Preslee Gallaway (7-5) dominated. The sophomore allowed only one hit – an infield single in the top of the fifth inning – while walking only one and striking out four.
Tech ended the game in the bottom of the sixth inning as Tufi singled home Galaz to complete the 8-0 victory.
Offensively, Tech was led by Galaz (2-2, 1 run, 3 RBI), Crowder (2-4, run, SB), Charters (1-2, run, RBI, SB), Taria Page (1-2, RBI), Tufi (1-3, 2 RBI), Jensen (1-2, run), Ball (1-2, 2 runs), Katie Smith (SB) and Atienza (run, SB).
Game 2: LA Tech 8, Charlotte 0 (6 innings)
For the second straight game, Louisiana Tech received an outstanding pitching performance as sophomore Krystal De La Cruz (5-0) allowed only one hit and two walks while striking out three in the 8-0 victory.
Tech wasted little time offensively jumping out to a lead, plating three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Tori Charters and Morgan Turkoly each singled with one out and then Taria Page doubled, scoring Charters and giving Tech a 1-0 lead. With two outs and runners on second and third, freshman Marilyn Rizzato doubled to right center, scoring two more runs off Charlotte starter Alison Green.
The Lady Techsters added another three spot in the bottom of the third inning. Charters singled and then scored on Turkoly’s double to left center. One out later, Pauline Tufi hit a two-run home run over the left centerfield fence – the 31st of her LA Tech career – giving Tech a 6-0 advantage.
Tech plate a single run in the fifth inning. Page singled and then pinch runner Kimmie Atienza stole second base and scored on Ali Galaz’s pinch hit double down the right field line.
The game ended in the bottom of the sixth inning. Berkley Calapp led the frame off with a single through the left side of the infield and came all the way around to score on Jazlyn Crowder’s run-scoring triple to right center.
Offensively, Tech’s 12-hit attack was led by Rizzato (2-2, 2 RBI), Charters (2-3, 2 runs, SB), Turkoly (2-3, 2 runs, 1 RBI), Page (2-3, 1 run, 1 RBI), Tufi (1-3, HR, 1 run, 2 RBI), Galaz (1-1, RBI), Atienz (run, SB), Katie Smith (SB) and Calapp (1-3, run).
De La Cruz had a no-hitter until one out in the top of the sixth when Lizzy Birch singled to left field on a play that Turkoly made a valiant attempt to rob the hit on a diving play.