BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Tori Charters and Morgan Turkoly each recorded four hits and Louisiana Tech scored nine runs in the seventh inning to blow open a close game as the Lady Techsters defeated UAB 16-5 Sunday at Mary Bowers Field.
The victory gave LA Tech (26-14, 9-3 C-USA) a three-game road sweep of the Blazers, the second road league sweep of the year for the Lady Techsters. Tech also swept Southern Miss in Hattiesburg in March.
The 16 runs are the most by a Lady Techster team in a league game since scoring 17 against Fresno in the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Las Cruces. It’s the most in a regular season conference game in program history, surpassing last year’s mark of 15 runs scored in a 15-7 win over UAB in Ruston.
After winning a pair of pitcher’s duels on Saturday (5-0, 1-0), LA Tech won in a different fashion on Sunday, banging out 16 hits and scoring a season-high 15 runs in the victory. Tech plated runs in five of the seven frames, including a season-high nine runs in the top of the seventh after the Blazers had cut the Tech lead down to 7-5.
Charters and Turkoly spearheaded the Tech offensive attack, hitting out of the two and three holes, combining to go 8-for-9 at the plate while scoring seven runs and driving in five more. Charters was 4-for-5 at the plate, recording career-highs in hits, runs (4) and RBI (2). Turkoly was 4-for-4 at the plate with a pair of walks while driving in three runs and scoring three runs. The 4 hits was a career-high for Turkoly.
Jazlyn Crowder and Ali Galaz each added multiple-hit performances. Crowder was 2-for-6 at the plate with two runs and two RBI while Galaz was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Marilyn Rizzato and Pauline Tufi each added 2 RBI in the win.
Tech took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run single by Tufi to left centerfield against UAB starter Cara Goodwin, scoring Crowder and Turkoly who had singled with one out. Tech added to its lead in the second on RBI singles by Charters and Turkoly, upping the advantage to 4-0.
UAB’s Mary Warren hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning off LA Tech starter Bailey Allen. Tech responded in the top of the third as Crowder drove home Karlee Jensen and Katie Smith with a two-out double down the right field line.
After the Blazers added another run in their half of the third, Tech answered in the top of the fourth inning thanks to heads up base running by Turkoly. With one out and runners on first and second, Marilyn Rizzato hit a ground ball to second base, forcing out the runner going to second. However, Turkoly never slowed down rounding third base and scored on the play. Tech led 7-2.
Jenny Chapman came on in relief of Allen with a runner on first base and no outs in the bottom of the fourth inning and cruised through the fourth and fifth frames, holding the Blazers off the scoreboard.
UAB finally got to Chapman in the sixth inning, plating three runs with two outs to close the gap to 7-5. Preslee Gallaway came on in relief and got the final out of the frame.
However, the Blazers momentum was short-lived. Tech scored nine runs on six hits and three UAB errors in the top of the seventh inning as the Lady Techsters sent 14 batters to the plate. Tech received RBI hits in the frame from Taria Page, Charters, Turkoly and Kassie Harris and RBI squeeze bunts by Rizzato and Smith.
Chapman (2-3) picked up the win in relief, allowing three runs on four hits in 2.2 innings of action. Gallaway (2) picked up her second save of the season, retiring all four batters she faced.
With the wins, Tech is now 9-3 in C-USA play and alone in first place in the West Division standing. Tech is second overall in C-USA, trailing only Marshall (14-1).
The Lady Techsters return to action Wednesday when they travel to face UL-Monroe at 6 p.m.