RUSTON, LA (KSLA/Louisiana Tech Sports Information) -
Coming into the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Tournament, Louisiana Tech was one of the top offensive teams in the league.
However, the LA Tech bats went silent for the third straight day and three costly infield errors were too much to overcome as Texas State eliminated the Lady Techsters from the tournament by a score of 6-1 Friday afternoon.
Tech (27-26) fell behind early as the Bobcats capitalized on two walks, a hit batter and a fielding error in the top of the first inning to lead 3-0. Only one of the runs was earned as two scored on a hard ground ball by Courtney Harris that second baseman Amanda Krueger wasn't able to handle. The third run scored on an RBI fielder's choice by Bobcat catcher Maci Hair.
"It's frustrating," said Tech head coach Mark Montgomery. "No one wants to end the season with a loss. But as far as I know only one team gets to end it with a win. My honest hope is that they will step away from this moment and be proud of what they accomplished.
"You have to be reflective on these moments and know that what you were doing when you were wearing that uniform today represents more than just today's game. If they can do that, I think they will be very proud of wearing that uniform."
The Lady Techsters responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the first as Krueger singled, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kristen Miles and scored on Erin Kipp's RBI double to left centerfield.
After some early control issues, Jones settled down in the circle for Tech, holding Texas State scoreless over the next three frames. However, Tech was unable to solve Texas State freshman pitcher Ashley Wright who blanked the Lady Techsters over the next six innings.
Texas State added three more runs in the top of the fifth inning as two more fielding errors by the LA Tech infield aided in the Bobcats cause.
For the game, Tech and Texas State both recorded four hits each.
Offensively, Tech was led by Krueger (2-3, 1 run), Kipp (1-2, 1 RBI) and Janna Frandrup (1-3).
Jones (13-9) took the loss, allowing six runs – only two earned – on four hits and three walks with two strikeouts.
For the tournament, Tech scored only two runs and recorded 10 hits in its three games after batting almost .300 as a team during the regular season.
"Honestly, I think we wanted it too much," Krueger said. "I think we put too much pressure on ourselves. We always play better when we are relaxed and we just pressed this week."
The Lady Techsters ended the season with a 27-26 mark, the first winning season since 2010. They also posted only the fourth winning record in WAC play in 12 years with an 11-10 mark. Tech's No. 3 seed was its highest ever in the WAC Tournament.
"Before the season started we knew this year could go two different ways," Montgomery said. "Led by our six seniors everyone could buy in and we could build a foundation for this program or we could fight change and it would be a wasted year. This group bought in and we took some great steps forward. I'm proud of what these seniors have done and am excited about the future of this program."
Six Tech seniors played their final game as Janna Frandrup, Mel Goff, Dacia Hale, Michelle Jones, Meghan Knowles and Amanda Krueger all finished their collegiate careers.