Lady Demons fall short in late stages against Louisiana Tech

Northwestern State made a couple of late attempts at a comeback but were unable to find an answer for a pair of early long balls from Louisiana Tech in a 5-1 loss on Tuesday night.

The Lady Demons (16-14) held Tech to just four hits in the game, but three of them went for extra bases and produced runs starting with the major blow in the game, a three-run home run in the top of the second.

“We put some people on in the early innings and they took advantage of it,” head coach Donald Pickett said. “Those two big swings put them up and gave them some breathing room and we couldn’t get anything going despite some pretty good at bats early in the game. We had a lot of chances late and didn’t have those quality at bats there like we did earlier. We just need to be a little better with our execution in those run-scoring opportunities, especially when they’re late in the game.”

A second straight inning with a leadoff walk came back to hurt NSU in the second as Louisiana Tech (20-12) first baseman Jordyn Manning lifted a ball over the left field wall for the second hit of the game and the inning to give Tech the 3-0 lead.

A solo home run an inning later pushed the lead to 4-0 and a two-out double down the third base line in the fifth scored the fifth run for Tech on its final hit of the game.

The Demon bats were held in check for much of the night even thrown multiple hard-hit balls in the first three innings of the game. A ringing double to the base of the wall in dead center of the bat of Tristin Court accounted for NSU’s only hit through the first four innings of the game.

Through the frustrating day at the plate against a pair of solid Tech arms, the Demons had chances in the final three innings to push across multiple runs, but could not find the needed hit to do it.

Court reached on an error in her second trip to the plate to start the fifth and was followed by a single off the glove of the pitcher by Nani Winger. They were left stranded on the bases however after a three-pitch strikeout, grounder to short and a fly ball to left ended the inning.

In the sixth, a leadoff walk and back-to-back one-out singles loaded the bases for the Demons. Court came through with her second hit of the day, a sharp single to right to bring Laney Roos in to score and make it 5-1. That was all NSU got in the inning though after an infield pop up and fly out to deep left field left the bags full.

The first two batter of the seventh also reach base but did not advance past second base on another three-pitch strikeout, foul out to second and swing and miss to end the game.

NSU left seven runners on base in the final three innings of the 10 total in the game.

Court picked up her third two-hit game of the season, her first since the win over Lamar on March 11, with a double and her RBI single in the sixth.

NSU continues is four-game home stand by hosting HCU starting Friday with a doubleheader at 4 p.m.

Photo: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services