Louisiana Tech freshman Pauline Tufi hit her first career home run but 19th ranked Oklahoma used four home runs to defeat the Lady Techsters 11-3 Tuesday afternoon at the OU Softball Complex.
Tech (8-11) fell behind early as the defending national champion Sooners (14-6) scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning against Lady Techster starter Bianca Duran. The big blow in the frame was a three-run home run by OU catcher Whitney Ellis, the first of her two on the day.
"We started out down 5-0 before we got an out," Montgomery said. "We came back and plated a few runs, which was good. We had multiple chances to plate more runs. We had chances to stay in the game but couldn't come up with those hits when we needed them."
The Lady Techsters plated their first run of the afternoon in the top of the third inning. Kristen Miles walked, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Anna Cross and then scored on a two-out RBI double by Duran to right centerfield. OU's lead was cut to 5-1.
OU answered in the bottom of the third as Brittany Williams singled to left field with two outs, scoring Ellis who led the inning off with a hit.
Once again Tech answered with a run in the top of the fourth inning when Tufi sent the first pitch from OU ace Kelsey Stevens deep over the left field fence for her first collegiate home run, cutting the deficit to 6-2. On the day, Tech had six hits and drew four walks against Stevens.
The Sooners struck with the long ball again in the bottom of the fourth inning on a two-out, two-run shot by Georgia Casey, extending the lead to 8-2.
Tech recorded three straight hits in the top of the fifth inning to score its final run. Miles led off with a double to left field and then scored on Cross' single to left field, making the score 8-3. Erin Kipp then singled to put runners on the corners but Stevens retired three straight batters to end the threat.
OU added a single run in the fifth on a solo home run by Kady Self off Tufi, who had come on in relief to begin the frame. Ellis ended the game in the bottom of the sixth inning with a two-run home run as she finished the day with 5 RBI.
Miles (1-2, 2 runs), Cross (1-2, 1 RBI), Erin Kipp (1-2), Duran (1-3, 1 RBI), Tufi (1-3, 1 RBI, 1 run) and Janine Godwin (1-2) all recorded hits for LA Tech.
Duran (3-8) took the loss, allowing eight earned runs on nine hits and two walks in 4.0 innings of action. Tufi surrendered three earned runs on three hits and one walk in 1.1 innings of work.
The Lady Techsters will return to action Thursday when they travel to face 12th ranked Baylor in Waco at 6 p.m.