LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech softball got out to a hot start and held a lead through four innings, but ultimately dropped a 7-5 decision against Iowa State on Saturday in the second of its three-game set against the Cyclones at Rocky Johnson Field.
The Red Raiders (21-24, 1-13) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first and led 5-4 after four, but Iowa State (21-24, 3-8) tied it up in the fifth and took the lead with two runs in the sixth on its way to securing the series victory.
The Cyclones hit home runs in three straight innings, connecting on a pair of two-run jacks in the third and fourth frames, before a solo homer from Nychole Antillon evened the score at 5-5 in the fifth. With runners on first and second and no outs in the sixth, a Red Raider error at second base allowed the go-ahead run to score, and a groundout later in the frame moved ISU’s lead to 7-5.
Senior Brianna Weilbacher (9-9) picked up the win for the Cyclones, tossing five innings and giving up five runs on 11 hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Junior Savannah Sanders came on in the sixth to close out the victory and earn her second save of the year. Sophomore Kassidy Scott (6-9) received the loss for the Red Raiders after throwing 2.2 innings of relief and giving up a pair of runs on three hits.
The Texas Tech offense got off to a big start on its way to 13 hits on the day. Redshirt freshman Heaven Burton opened the game with a single and stolen base before moving to third on a single from redshirt freshman Michaela Cochran. Burton scored one batter later when junior Jessica Hartwell found a hole in left to plate her 42nd RBI of the year.
Redshirt sophomore Karli Hamilton followed with a three-run home run to left center that made it 4-0. The dinger marked the sixth of the year for the Houston native, who now has a home run, triple, double and single in two games this weekend.
Burton brought in Tech’s fifth run of the game in the fourth on a shot off the shortstop’s glove that scored freshman Claire McKissick from third. Burton finished 4-for-4 in the contest with a double, stolen base and RBI and set a new career high for hits in a game. The Round Rock, Texas, native is now 7-for-8 on the weekend.
Tech had opportunities to tie it in the sixth and seventh. Following a Burton double, Tech had runners on second and third with one out in the sixth, but a strikeout from Cochran and a lineout to right from Hartwell ended the threat. In the seventh, Tech put runners on the corners with one out, but a popup and strikeout closed out the game.
Texas Tech will host Senior Day on Sunday for its final Big 12 home game of the season. Fans are encouraged to arrive early as the program celebrates its 2018 senior class prior to first pitch, which is scheduled for 12 p.m. For the latest on all things Texas Tech softball, follow @TexasTechSB on Twitter and go online to www.TexasTech.com.