Texas Tech softball falls twice to No. 17 Texas on Saturday
Provided by Texas Tech Athletics
LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech (22-26, 5-13) dropped both games of a doubleheader Saturday against No. 17 Texas (35-15-1, 10-5) as the Longhorns swept the Red Raiders in their Big 12 series finale.
The 17th-ranked Longhorns run ruled Tech 11-1 in five innings in game one and the Red Raiders lost a close battle in game two, falling 7-6 despite a late rally.
The Longhorns wasted no time putting runs on the board, plating five in the first inning. The Red Raiders used three pitchers in the inning, struggling to keep the Longhorn bats at bay. Texas homered twice in the first, McKenzie Parker sending a three-run shot to right field to start the scoring and a solo home run from Courtney Day made it 5-0.
Texas added on to its lead in the third, making it 6-0 on an Alyssa Washington single that scored Katie Cimusz from second.
Peyton Blythe put the Red Raiders on the board with a solo home run to right center in the bottom of the third.
Mia Scott gave the Longhorns an eight-run lead with a three-run home run in the top of the fourth. Texas followed the home run with a pair of hits that scored another run, 10-1, ending the day for Morgan Hornback after 2.2 innings pitched and five runs allowed.
A sac fly made it 11-1 Texas, as the Longhorns would hold off the Red Raiders to end the game in run-rule fashion.
Erna Carlin (7-7) picked up the loss after giving up four runs before recording an out to start the game. Maddie Kuehl pitched 0.2 innings in the first before being replaced by Hornback. Ranci Willis pitched the final 1.2 innings giving up one run on one hit.
Tech struck first on a two-run Maddie Westmoreland home run that drove in Payton Jackson to make it 2-0 after one.
Texas got one back in the top of the second with a solo home run from Washington and tied the game in the top of the fourth, taking advantage of a Red Raider error. Washington again provided the spark by singling to left field and later scored on an error by Arriana Villa at second.
The Red Raiders answered in the bottom half of the inning to regain the lead 3-2. An error and back-to-back hit batters loaded the bases for Tech with no outs. Villa skied a ball to left field, scoring Molly Grumbo with a sac fly, but that was all the Red Raiders managed in the inning.
The Longhorns scored two in the fifth and three in the sixth to go ahead 7-3. A two-RBI double from Mary Iakopo scored the runs in the fifth. An error opened the sixth inning, allowing Texas to put a runner in scoring position for Lou Gilbert, who singled to score a run and advance to second on the throw. Another single and a stolen base put two runners in scoring position and back-to-back sac flies to left scored two more runs before the Red Raiders got out of the inning.
After shutting down the Texas offense in the top of the seventh the Red Raiders needed to score four to even things at seven. Singles from Riley Ehlen and Westmoreland put two on base for Abbie Orrick who sent her sixth home run of the season over the left field wall to pull the Red Raiders within a run, 7-6. Kennedy Crites reached on an error, putting the tying run on with one out and forcing Texas to make a call to the bullpen. Sophia Simpson entered in relief of Hailey Dolcini and retired the next two Red Raider batters to end the game.
Olivia Rains (1-8) pitched 5.0 innings giving up four runs, three earned, on eight hits while striking out one and walking one. Kendall Fritz pitched the final two innings allowing three runs, one earned, on two hits.
The Red Raiders hit five home runs in the series, the most for Tech in a Big 12 series this season. All five home runs were hit by different players. Payton Jackson and Riley Love homered in game one, Peyton Blythe in game two and Maddie Westmoreland and Abbie Orrick in game three.
Maddie Westmoreland went 3-for-4 with two singles and a home run in her final game at Rocky Johnson Field. The fifth-year senior tied her career-high of three hits in the game, scoring one run and driving in two. Her home run off Estelle Czech was just the seventh allowed by the lefty this season in 78.1 innings of work. It was the 24th of her career and the 99th RBI of her career which started at Indiana.
Riley Love hit .600 in the series, going 3-for-5 at the plate with one home run, two RBI and six total bases. Love who was hitting .134 coming into the series reached base six times in the series.
The Red Raiders will sit idle next week with a bye as Big 12 Conference play comes to close. Tech currently sits at fifth in the Big 12 standings. The Phillips 66 Big 12 Softball Championship will be held May 12-14 at USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City.
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