RUSTON – Northwestern State battled through some tense late-inning situations on Wednesday to pick up it third one-run win in five games on Wednesday night 3-2 at Louisiana Tech.
Laney Roos delivered a clutch two-run double with two out in the top of the fifth that proved to be the deciding blow in the game as the Lady Demons (4-1) limited Tech (4-2) to two runs in their next two at bats and left five runners on base.
While Roos was the offensive star of the night, the pitching staff shined once again for NSU.
Freshman Sage Hoover followed her stellar debut this past Friday with an equally as impressive outing on Wednesday. She struck out seven batters in the first four innings of the game only allowing one hit and a pair of walks.
After a missed chance to put an early run on the board in the first, the Lady Demons manufactured their first run in the third to give Hoover the needed run support. Taylor Williams led off the inning with one of her two hits in the game and moved to third on a base hit from Makenzie Chaffin two batters later.
Roos brought in her first of three RBIs in the game with a sacrifice fly to center to put NSU on the board. Her double in the fifth staked NSU to a 3-0 lead, but Tech put together their first major scoring threat in the bottom of the inning.
“Laney had a great day and it was a huge help that Taylor, Bailie (Ragsdale) and Makenzie got on a lot in the game in front of her,” Pickett said.
A lead off single and an error put runners at first and second with no out before Hoover got the next two batters on a fly ball to left and a strikeout, nearly allowing her to escape the jam. A walk and a hit batter brought in Tech’s first run but Hoover shut the door with a strikeout to end the inning.
The first two batters reached again for the Lady Techsters in the bottom of the sixth, chasing Hoover from the game. Kenzie Seely entered with a critical strikeout for the first out and was inches away from an inning-ending double play on a grounder back to her in the circle, but the tag at home just missed allowing Tech to pull within a run.
Seely escaped without any more damage on her second K of the inning and leave the bases loaded for Tech.
“Sage did a great job getting us late in the game and Kenzie came in and slammed the door,” head coach Donald Pickett said. “Just great work tonight by our pitchers.”
Tech was poised for another potential threat in the seventh after a lead off walk, but after Seely’s third strikeout, Keely DuBois made a tremendous play at short to snag a line drive and throw behind the runner at first for the game-ending double play.
The Lady Demons had eight hits in the game coming from six different player with Williams and Bailie Ragsdale each going 2-for-3. Williams scored two of the three runs in the game.
Hoover picked up her second win in two starts going 5.0 innings allowing one run on three hits with nine strikeouts. Seely earned her first save, tossing the final 2.0 innings without allowing a hit and sitting down three.
NSU heads to Chattanooga, Tenn., to play in the Chattanooga Challenge beginning on Friday with games against Tennessee Tech and Chattanooga starting at 2 p.m.
Photo: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services
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