LA Tech Downs NSU, 6-5, in 10 Innings

March 22, 2017 - Contributed by: Malcolm Butler. LA Tech Associate Athletics Director of Media Relations

RUSTON - Taria Page hit a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning and Ali Galaz’s suicide squeeze bunt scored Marilyn Rizzato in a controversial play at the plate in the bottom of the 10th lifting Louisiana Tech to a 6-5 win over Northwestern State Wednesday.

With the winning run on third and one out, Galaz laid down a bunt towards first base as Rizzato broke from third. However, Rizzato collided with the home plate umpire a few feet before the plate, sending both to the ground.

After the collision, Rizzato touched home plate and was called safe to the shock of the Northwestern State team and coaches.

The win by LA Tech snapped a three-year drought against the Demons in Ruston. NSU was one out away from making it four straight years before Page came through in the clutch.

After Northwestern State plated two runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 5-3 lead, LA Tech was down to its final outs. With one out, Tori Charters worked her third walk of the game and then Morgan Turkoly followed with a fly out for the second out.

However, Page wasn’t ready for the game to end. The sophomore lined a 1-0 pitch from NSU reliever Makayla Brown deep over the centerfield fence for her third home run of the season, tying the game 5-5.

The game remained tied until the 10th inning when the two teams incorporated the international tie-breaker rule with the final out from the inning before starting on second base.

Tech reliever Preslee Gallaway, who came on in the seventh inning, kept NSU off the board in the top of the 10th with an infield pop up and strike out, giving the Lady Techsters a chance to win it in the bottom of the frame. 

With Rizzato starting on second base, Katie Smith recorded a bunt single and then Karlee Jensen laid down a successful sacrifice bunt moving the runners to second and third. Galaz followed with the successful suicide squeeze bunt that led to the controversial ending.

Tech took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning as RBI hits by Page and Rizzato and a sacrifice fly by Smith brought home runs. However, NSU answered scoring one in the second, two in the fourth and two more in the seventh to take the lead.

Gallaway (9-6) picked up the win, allowing no runs on two hits and one walk while striking out five in 3.2 innings of action. Jenny Chapman made her first career start, tossing 2.1 innings while allowing one run on three hits and two walks. Bailey Allen then worked 3.2 innings, allowing two unearned run on two hits with two strikeouts. Krystal De La Cruz started the seventh, but recorded only one out while allowing one hit, one walk and a hit batter - surrendering two runs.

Offensively, Tech was led by Page (2-2, 1 run, 3 RBI), Charters (3 walks, 2 runs), Turkoly (1-4, run), Rizzato (1-5, run, RBI), Smith (2-4, RBI), Jensen (1-3) and Galaz (RBI).

Tech returns to action Friday at 3:30 p.m. vs. Mississippi State in Norman, Oklahoma.

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