Texas Tech Softball defeated Kansas by a score of 5-4 in the series finale, securing their first Big 12 series win of the season.
After winning the series opener in extra innings and then dropping the second game, the Red Raiders went to extra innings yet again to get the win in the finale.
Another similarity between the opener and the finale of Tech’s series against Kansas was who Tech started on the mound, that being senior Missy Zoch.
Zoch threw a complete game with a career high 16 strikeouts in the opener on 196 pitches, and only one day later, she started the series finale and threw yet another complete game.
Tech took an early lead in the top of the first inning with a two-run, home run off the bat of senior outfielder Karli Hamilton, her seventh of the season, according to Tech Athletics. This placed her first on the Red Raiders (freshman infielder Arianna Villa is second on the team with three).
Tech and Kansas traded a hitless inning in the second, and the third inning started with the same score, 2-0, in favor of the Red Raiders.
Kansas’ bats started to get going in the third inning, when they loaded the bases, and Zoch forced one home with a walk and followed by giving up two RBI singles that brought home three runners. The third inning ended with a 4-2 score in favor of Kansas.
The fourth inning featured a pair of 1-2-3 innings by both defenses, with each pitcher adding a strikeout to their statline.
An RBI single by Tech’s junior outfielder Yvonne Whaley in the fifth inning decreased Kansas’ lead to just one, and then another RBI single by freshman utility player Jacee Hamlin in the sixth tied the game at four runs apiece.
In the seventh, each team was given an opportunity to pull ahead in the last inning.
Tech’s offense managed to get runners on first and third but failed to bring any home, and Kansas also got two runners on (first and second) but Zoch would force a ground out to end the inning scoreless.
In the first extra inning, the bottom of the eighth, Tech took the lead when junior infielder Riley Love hit a single and was brought home by an RBI double by Whaley, her second RBI of the game.
Zoch took the mound in the bottom of the eight with an opportunity to finish her second complete game in two days, and did just that by throwing yet another 1-2-3 inning. The final score of the Tech’s win was 5-4, and improved their overall record to 18-20.
The win cemented Tech’s first series win over a Big 12 opponent, as they would win the first and last games of the series for their first two wins of inter-conference play and improving their Big 12 record to 2-10.
Tech will travel to Norman, Oklahoma, to take on the Oklahoma Sooners at 6 p.m. April 23, in the first game of a three-day weekend series, in which the following games on Saturday and Sunday are both scheduled at 1 p.m. and noon respectively.
The Red Raiders will be looking to get their second straight series win when they take on Oklahoma, who is currently undefeated on the season (33-0 Overall, 9-0 Conference).