April 27, 2012
RUSTON - Nevada used a four-run fifth inning to break open a tie game as the Wolf Pack defeated Louisiana Tech 5-1 Friday night in the opening contest of a three-game Western Athletic Conference series at the Lady Techster Softball Complex.
With the game tied at 1-1, Nevada used four hits and capitalized on a fielding error to plate four runs - all of them unearned - against Tech starter Michelle Jones.
After retiring the first batter in the top of the fifth, Wolf Pack second baseman Caylin Campbell reached on a fielding error by Tech second baseman Amanda Krueger to ignite the rally. Karley Hopkins, who led the game off with a solo home run in the top of the first, singled and Chelsea Barilli walked to load the bases with one out.
Lauren Lastrapes then lined a pitch up the middle that Krueger made a diving stop on, but the runners were all safe as Nevada took a 2-1 lead. Sara Parsons then followed with a fly ball to left fielder Janine Godwin whose throw home beat the tagging Wolf Pack runner but catcher Alayna Kipp couldn't hang on as she applied the tag as Nevada led 3-1.
Meghan Fincher and Sam Puzey each followed with RBI base hits as the lead ballooned to 5-1.
Tech gave itself an opportunity in the bottom of the seventh inning as Erin Kipp reached on an error by Nevada third baseman Emily Seidel and Krueger followed with a double to right centerfield. With two outs, Melanie Goff grounded out to shortstop to end the game.
After falling behind 1-0 on Hopkins home run in the first, Tech answered immediately. Kipp singled up the middle and advanced to third on a single by Janna Frandrup. Goff then followed with a sacrifice fly to left field, tying the score at 1-1.
Tech had an opportunity in both the second and the fourth innings to take the lead, but stranded two runners on base in both innings against Nevada starter Mallory Darby.
Jones (12-13) picked up the loss, allowing five runs - only one earned - on seven hits and two walks while striking out three. Darby (10-14) picked up the win, allowing one run on five hits and one walk with six strikeouts.
Krueger led Tech with two hits while Harmon, Frandrup and Kipp each added one.
The two teams return to action Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader.