RUSTON – Northwestern State could not keep Louisiana Tech off the scoreboard in multiple bases loaded, less than two out situations on Tuesday night in a 5-0 loss to the Lady Techsters.
While the Lady Demons (12-10) did a solid enough job of limiting the damage once the Lady Techsters (16-8) created the potential crooked number scenarios, the offense was held in check by the best pitching staff in Conference-USA.
The first four batters of the game for Tech reached on two walks, a double and a hit by pitch. After getting the first run of the game on a throwing error, the first of any kind for catcher Ashlyn Walker, Tech had the bases loaded with no outs.
NSU starter Maggie Darr buckled down to limit Tech to just one more run in the inning on an RBI groundout, retiring the final three batters of the inning in order.
The Demons found themselves in a similar situation in the bottom of the second after two straight hits and another hit batter loaded the bags with one out. Another RBI groundout by the first batter reliever Kenzie Seely faced made it a 3-0 game and a wild pitch added another run, but Seely was able to get out of the jam with no more damage done.
Seely retired six straight batters before a meaningless two-out single in the fourth to keep the Demons in the game.
The Demon bats were stymied all night long by the vaunted Tech pitching staff. Bailie Ragsdale accounted for NSU’s only two hits through the first six innings of the game, leadoff infield singles in both the first and third innings.
Her base hit in the third was the last hit and baserunner for the Demons until a two-out single by Kat Marshall in the sixth innings. The Tech pitching combination of Mary Martinez and Brook Melnychuk retired 11 straight NSU batters between base hits.
Marshall’s knock came after a pivotal defensive play by the NSU first baseman prevented the Lady Techsters from blowing the game open in the only inning in which Seely saw any significant traffic against her.
The third bases loaded, one out situation of the game came in the bottom of the fifth, and thanks to a head’s up play from Marshall, only one run came across for the Lady Techsters.
After the second bloop single of the inning that fell between the drawn in infield and outfield brought in a run, a soft liner right at the first base bag was caught by Marshall and she was able to apply the tag on the runner for a critical double play to end the inning.
The Demons were unable to produce anything offensively in the final five innings of the game, only getting a runner to second base once after an error and a walk in the second inning.
NSU travels to Memphis this weekend for two games each against Indiana and Memphis beginning on Friday.