The 24th ranked McNeese Cowgirls couldn’t get the timely hitting it needed here Wednesday night as Louisiana Tech handed the Cowgirls their first blemish of the season with an 8-7 loss.
“I thought we did a good job extending some innings and got people on base, we just couldn’t get the timely hitting we needed. We needed to put together good at bats and look for good pitches to hit, unfortunately we let the lead slip away from us,” said head coach James Landreneau.
Both teams missed chances to score in the game and McNeese left eight runners stranded with the bases loaded in the third and runners in scoring position three times.
Justyce McClain and Morgan Catron led the Cowgirls with two hits apiece. Catron produced a four RBI night that included a solo home run and a two RBI single.
Sophomore reliever Alexsandra Flores (1-1) took the loss after giving up fiver earned runs on five hits with five walks and two strikeouts in four innings. Flores relieved freshman starter Amber Coons who gave up three runs on four hits and a walk in two innings. Caroline Settle gave up one hit in relief of Flores in the seventh.
McNeese (4-1) fell behind 3-0 after the second inning when Ali Galaz led the inning off with a solo homerun. Two batters later Bayli Simon put the Lady Techsters up 2-0 with her first home run of the season. A RBI double by Morgan Turkoly scored the third La. Tech (2-5) run of the inning.
La. Tech added another run in third for a 4-0 lead before Carleigh Chaumont put the Cowgirls on the board with a solo homerun, her first of the season but the Cowgirls weren’t able to muster any more runs in the inning and left the bases loaded with two outs.
McNeese used a three-run, one hit fourth inning to tie the game at four all. La. Tech got the first two outs of the inning before the next four Cowgirls were issued walks to cut the lead to 4-2. A clutch single through the left side by Catron scored both Lauren Brown and McClain to tie the game at four apiece.
La. Tech wouldn’t go away as they responded with two runs in the fifth on one hit. The Cowgirls’ pitching struggled in the circle at times just like the Lady Techsters’ pitching did. La. Tech scored their runs following two straight walks then after a strikeout, pinch hitter Kassie Harris singled to left to give La. Tech the 6-4 lead.
McNeese got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning when Alexandria Saldivars double to center hit the top of the fence and fell back into the field. She would later score on an error to cut the lead to 6-5.
Catron would come through again for the Cowgirls in the sixth to give McNeese its first lead of the game. After a leadoff walk to Erika Piancastelli, Catron hit her second home run of the season over the left field wall that hit the scoreboard for the 7-6 lead.
La. Tech took advantage of a few hits in the top of the seventh to score two runs to retake the lead at 8-7. The Lady Techsters started the inning off with a lead off single then a walk. After a Cowgirl pitching change, Simon singled to right to load the bases. La. Tech tied the game on a sacrifice fly by Karlee Jensen then took the lead on a pop fly to Cowgirl shortstop who made the catch midway between short and left field and in the attempt to transition the ball out of her glove to throw home, she dropped it, allowing the run to score that gave La. Tech the 8-7 lead.
La. Tech’s Jensen Howell got pinch hitter Kristan Deitz and Chaumont to pop out for the first two outs in the bottom of the seventh before Brown flew out to left to end the game.
McNeese will begin a 19-game road slate this weekend that begins in Hattiesburg, Miss. The Cowgirls will take part in the Southern Miss Black and Gold Tournament. McNeese will face 11th ranked Baylor at 4 p.m. and Mississippi Valley State at 7 p.m. Friday. The Cowgirls will take on 9th ranked Alabama at 1 p.m. Saturday before concluding tournament play against Southern Miss at 10 a.m. Sunday.
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