Home » College softball: Louisiana Tech reaches 20-win mark with victory over Louisiana-Lafayette

College softball: Louisiana Tech reaches 20-win mark with victory over Louisiana-Lafayette

by Russell Hedges

By Hunter Corneliusen, Louisiana Tech Associate Director Strategic Communications; featured photo by Darrell James

RUSTON — The Louisiana Tech Softball team defeated Louisiana-Lafayette 5-3 on Wednesday night at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field, earning its 20th victory of the season.

The Bulldogs’ (20-5) victory was their first over the Ragin’ Cajuns since April 25, 1998, snapping a 31-game ULL winning streak in the series.

After falling behind 3-0 through two and a half innings, Alannah Rogers completely changed the game’s trajectory with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the third inning. With one out and Kylie Neel on first and Katelin Cooper on second, Rogers sent an 0-1 pitch from Ragin’ Cajun ace Sam Landry over the right-center field wall to tie the game at 3-3. The three-run round-tripper was Rogers’ first collegiate home run. Later in the inning Claire Raley scored on a throwing error to put the Bulldogs ahead 4-3. Rogers later provided insurance with an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it the final, 5-3.

Rogers led the Bulldogs’ offense by going 2-4 with a three-run home run, a single, and a career-high four RBI. Raley (1-3, 1 R) and Brooke Diaz (1-2) both recorded singles in the victory. Additionally, Cooper walked twice and Neel also reached on a walk.

Lauren Menzina (2-0) was phenomenal in relief while earning her second win of the season. The Ruston native allowed just three hits and no walks in 2.2 scoreless innings of work. Brook Melnychuk entered the game in relief of Menzina with runners on second and third and two outs in the sixth and was able to issue a groundout to escape the inning. Melnychuk would then pitch a scoreless seventh to earn her second save of the season. Allie Floyd (3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 K, 1 BB) started the game for the Bulldogs.

Landry (4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K) took the loss for the Ragin’ Cajuns (18-13) who entered the matchup on a nine-game winning streak and previously snapped Oklahoma’s 71-game winning streak with a 7-5 win (8 inn.) over the Sooners on March 3. 

NOTABLES
– The win was the Bulldogs first over UL-Lafayette since April 25, 1998, snapping a 31-game Ragin’ Cajun win streak in the series.
– The Bulldogs have won six-straight at home, their longest home winning-streak in a season since they won 12 straight from April 3-May 8 of 2022.
– Alannah Rogers’ hit her first collegiate home run with a three-run shot in the bottom of the third inning. Rogers also had a career-high four RBI in the victory while registering her sixth career multi-hit game and fourth career multi-RBI game.
– Lauren Menzina picked up her second win of the season and 18th win of her career with 2.2 shutout innings of relief.  
– LA Tech is now 15-11 all-time on March 20.
– The Bulldogs are 91-49 under head coach Josh Taylor who owns a career head coaching record of 323-217.
– The win was the 1,294th in program history.
– LA Tech is 19-3 this season in games started by a right-handed pitcher.
– Tech is 8-2 in night games this season. The victory was the 90th night game triumph this millennium.
– Since 2000, Louisiana Tech has a 241-121 record when hitting at least one home run.
– LA Tech is now 5-4 this season when being out-hit by an opponent.

QUOTABLES
On the game…
“I liked our battle tonight. We were down 3-0 and the message was really simple. Stop complicating it. Your pitchers have been picking you up all year. Now it is time for us to pick up our pitchers. Then we found a way to tack on some more runs. The offense responded. It did not show in the hit column necessarily… We had a lot of quality at-bats tonight that may not have resulted in hits but we had productive at-bats and hit the ball hard … You look at the way we competed. We made mistakes early but cleaned those up and starting making plays and got momentum with the home run which kind of snowballed for us. I am proud of the way our kids fought and competed.” – head coach Josh Taylor

On the magnitude of the win…
“It is big in terms of the fact that we had not beat them since 1998. It is a big win for us especially with how we played on Sunday. To come back and beat a team that is receiving votes and beat the No. 1 team in the nation in Oklahoma earlier this year, nothing but confidence can come out of it. Our hitters especially learned that they can square balls up and get on time. I hope this carries into the weekend into the WKU series.” – head coach Josh Taylor

On her home run…
“During that at-bat I was not fearful at all. I gave all the glory to god because I knew he was going to be with me and whatever was supposed to happen was going to be his plan. I just went up there being loose and having fun with the goal of doing anything to get a run across for our team.” – Alannah Rogers

On her confidence and performance tonight…
“The defense more than anything gives me a lot of confidence. Brooke Diaz behind the plate was immaculate tonight. Trusting the defense was the main key thing that kept me calm and kept me grounded in tough situations tonight” – Lauren Menzina

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