University of Central Arkansas leadoff hitter Kasey Britt belted her fourth home run of the season to start things off for the Bears in the first inning and UCA pitcher Kelsie Armstrong struck out eight in a complete-game effort as the Bears defeated Louisiana Tech, 4-3, on their first game on the new artificial turf at Farris Field on Tuesday night.
The Bears followed up the Britt homer with a Melanie Bryant double and a Lissa Avitia RBI single to take an early 2-0 lead, which they would never relinquish.
UCA (6-5) made it 3-0 in the bottom of the third on a Nicole Beals base hit up the middle. Then, Beals hit brought around pinch-runner Madison Poteet, who made an excellent slide around Louisiana Tech catcher Allie Geisler to score the run. Poteet, a sophomore, letters for the UCA soccer team and was added to the roster along with volleyball standout Cristin Curl yesterday.
The Bears extended their lead to 4-0 on a solo home run by Kelley Martino in the fourth inning. It was the first home of the season for Martino, who finished the game 1-for-3.
Armstrong was excellent through the first four innings as she had a one-hitter through the first four innings. The Techsters rallied in the fifth as a Amanda Krueger single produced one run, then Janna Frandrup doubled off the leftfield wall to make the score 4-3.
Armstrong, who improved her record to 2-4 with the victory, battled back to record the next two outs and then record a 1-2-3 top of the sixth. Louisiana Tech got the tying run into scoring position in the seventh, but Armstrong got Megan Knowles to fly out to right for the final out of the evening.
Offensively, the Bears outhit the Techsters, 9-6. Ashley Boswell and Nicole Beals each had a pair of hits to lead the way for UCA.
Michelle Jones, who came into the game for the Techsters with a 3-1 record and an ERA of just 1.80, was tagged by the Southland’s top offense for three runs on seven hits in just three innings of work. Erin Kipp, working in relief, tossed three innings and allowed just one run for the Techsters.
The Bears return to action this weekend when they travel to Georgia for the Kennesaw State Tournament. UCA will compete in five games there, with the first being Friday against Hampton at 1:30 p.m.