LUBBOCK, Texas – The Texas Tech softball team closed its Big 12 home slate with a 5-3 victory over Iowa State on Sunday on Senior Day at Rocky Johnson Field.
The Red Raiders (22-24, 2-13), who celebrated their three seniors on Sunday prior to first pitch, jumped out to a quick start offensively. Junior Jessica Hartwellconnected on a two-run blast in the first, and then senior Kaylee Strickland hit an RBI double in the second and later came around to make it 4-1 through two frames.
The Cyclones (21-25, 3-9) made it 4-2 in the fourth with their second solo home run of the game. Tech added an insurance run in the sixth off an RBI single from freshman Kelcy Leach that extended the lead to 5-2.
"Our kids did a really good job of separating game to game and playing hard each game," head coach Adrian Gregory said. "Jessica came out and gave us two runs, and we just kept scratching and clawing. It was good to have Cheyene to keep them off balance with her change up. Then Kassidy came in and did a really good job in the circle. Defensively is where we won the game, which hasn't been are MO at all. I thought that was such a huge victory for us on the defensive end."
Solid pitching and several key plays defensively kept Iowa State at arm's length. Second basemen Taylor Satchell gunned down a runner heading home on a groundball to keep ISU off the board in the third. In the seventh, an RBI single to center ended with an out at second base as Hartwell cut off the throw from center and nailed the batter attempting to take second for the second out of the frame.
Hartwell finished 2-for-3 with two RBI and her 15th home run of the season. She maintains her spot at second in the Big 12 in home runs for the year and moved into a tie for third on the school's single-season list, two back of matching the record.
Senior Cheyene Powell got the start in the circle and threw two innings before giving way to sophomore Kassidy Scott (7-9), who picked up the win. Scott went five innings and gave up just two runs on six hits with two strikeouts and a pair of walks.
Strickland's double in the second secured her first RBI of the season and third of her career. The speedster used her wheels to steal second and score when the throw went sailing into left field.
Redshirt sophomore Karli Hamilton continued her big weekend. She entered Sunday with a home run, a triple and a double already against the Cyclones and added another double in the series finale. She wrapped up the weekend hitting 5-for-11 with four RBI and two runs scored.
The win moves Texas Tech to 35-19 all-time against Iowa State and 17-9 against ISU in Lubbock. Overall, Tech has won 29 of the last 39 meetings against the Cyclones with Gregory improving to 9-4.
With one Big 12 series remaining, the Red Raiders can secure their place at the 2018 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship with one win in its three-game set at Kansas next weekend in Lawrence.
Texas Tech closes Big 12 play on the road at Kansas next weekend. The Red Raiders and Jayhawks (25-21, 0-12) will square off at 5 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday.