LAWRENCE, Kansas – Junior Jessica Hartwell hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the eighth, and sophomore Kassidy Scott tossed a complete game as the Texas Tech softball team defeated Kansas 4-2 in eight innings on Friday evening at Arrocha Ballpark.
The Red Raiders (23-24, 3-13) have now won two in a row and will look to take the series on Saturday and secure their spot in the 2018 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City.
Tech established a 2-0 lead in the fourth and limited Kansas (25-22, 0-13) to four hits through five frames thanks to a stellar performance in the circle from Scott and a rock solid defense behind her. The Jayhawks scored one in the sixth and one in the seventh to send it to the eighth, when Hartwell took matters into her own hands.
After redshirt freshman Michaela Cochran got on board with her second hit of the day, Hartwell sat on a changeup and drove a 1-2 pitch over the 'Jayhawks' workmark on the right-center wall to provide what would be the winning runs.
"It felt pretty good to come through for my team," Hartwell said. "I saw an outside changeup. I saw it earlier, which is why I was able to keep my weight back and recognize it. I got the barrel through it and kept it simple. Before the at bat, I was just trying to stay calm. I knew we would play great defense after that to come out with the win."
Hartwell finished 1-for-2 with two RBI, two runs, a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and her 16th home run of the season, which puts her one away from matching the school's single-season home run record. Entering the week, only eight players in the nation had tallied 16 dingers on the year.
Cochran, redshirt freshman Heaven Burton and redshirt sophomore Karli Hamilton each had multi-hit games, while freshman Kelcy Leach executed a beautiful squeeze bunt in the fourth to finish 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Scott, who got ground balls for 14 of the first 16 outs, carried a shutout into the sixth before Jessie Roane got the Jayhawks on the board with a solo home run. Following a one-out walk in the seventh, a triple to right center evened the score at 2-2 in the seventh.
Tech managed to keep the run at third from scoring as freshman Breanna Russell made a backhanded play down the line for the second out, and Scott got the next batter swinging to send it to extras. Junior Kiana Workman also had her range and arm on full display Friday, tallying seven putouts to match her career high, none more critical than a 1-6-3 double play she relayed with no one out in the eighth.
Scott (8-9) gave up just seven hits in the contest, striking out two and walking one. She did a remarkable job keeping the ball in the infield as 18-of-24 total outs came a result of grounders. Andie Formby (11-9) took the loss for Kansas.
POST GAME NOTES
Tech improves to 4-2 on the year in extra-inning games.
Hartwell now has 35 career home runs, one back of a tie for third on the school's career list.
The complete game was the fifth this year for Scott and 13th of her young career.
Tech moves to 19-6 overall when scoring four runs or more.
Two runs mark the lowest Tech has held Kansas since 2014.
With a stolen base on Friday, Hartwell has now caught Hamilton for the team-lead in bases swiped with 12.
The series resumes on Saturday with game two set for 2 p.m. The Red Raiders can clinch the series and a spot in the 2018 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championships with a win.
Keep up with all things Texas Tech softball by following the Red Raiders at @TexasTechSB on Twitter and Instagram and online at www.TexasTech.com.