AUBURN, Ala. – The Texas Tech softball team remains perfect through nine games after taking down Furman and No. 21 Auburn on day two of the Plainsman Invitational, Saturday at Jane B. Moore Field.
The Red Raiders started the day with a 5-0 shutout over the Paladins before grinding out a hard-fought win over the 21st ranked Tigers. The 5-4 victory marks the program’s first road win against a ranked opponent since the 2013 season.
Junior transfer Missy Zoch (3-0) earned both wins and freshman hurler Morgan Hornback picked up one save. Tech conjured up 10 runs on the day while the Red Raider pitching staff allowed just four.
GAME 1 – Texas Tech 5, Furman 0
Zoch and Hornback helped Tech to its eighth win of the season thanks to a 5-0, combined shutout over the Furman Paladins.
Sophomore Breanna Russell highlighted the Red Raiders’ offensive efforts with a home run in the second inning while junior Karli Hamilton led Tech with a perfect 3-for-3 effort at the plate and one sac fly. The Red Raiders out-hit Furman 11-2.
Missy Zoch fanned two hitters to hold off the Paladins in the top of the first and Tech wasted no time getting to work in the batter’s box. The Red Raiders out-hit the Paladins 11-2, beginning with back-to-back bunts from Heaven Burton and Karli Hamilton in the bottom of the first. The pair showed their speed with a double steal but they were stranded after a fly ball to left field ended the inning.
Leading the Red Raiders’ second-inning crusade, Breanna Russell kicked off the bottom frame with a leadoff home run that sailed over the left-field wall. Freshman Zoe Jones followed Russell’s dinger with a single into right field and a walk and single from Yvonne Whaley juiced the bases.
Hamilton gave Tech a 2-0 advantage thanks to a sacrifice fly that scored Leach from third.
Tech posted its first three up, three down inning to start the third and the Red Raiders tacked on another run in the bottom of the inning. Senior Kiana Workman came in to run at first after Trenity Edwards smoked a leadoff single up the middle.
Picking up her third RBI of the weekend, Senior Taylor Satchell smacked an RBI double into left-center field to put the Red Raiders up, 3-0.
Hornback entered the circle to start the top of the fifth and quickly retired the Paladins in order. She kept Furman off the board once more in the top of the sixth before Tech tacked on two more runs.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Burton and Hamilton recorded back-to-back singles. Jessica Hartwell was drilled by a pitch in the next at-bat and a bases-loaded walk brought in a run for the Red Raiders.
Sending a sacrifice fly deep into left field, Satchell’s second RBI gave Tech its final run of the game and a 5-0 lead.
Despite one walk in the top of the seventh, Hornback and the Tech defense held Furman scoreless for the seventh consecutive inning to clinch the 5-0 victory.
GAME 2 – Texas Tech 5, No. 21 Auburn 4
Earning its first-ever victory over Auburn, the Red Raiders overcame an early 2-0 deficit and held strong through numerous obstacles to beat the 21st ranked Tigers.
Starter Erin Edmoundson (5-0) threw three full innings before Zoch took over in the bottom of the fourth. Edmoundson left the game with one strikeout and Zoch finished the game with three.
Jessica Hartwell led the squad with three RBI while Jones and Edwards both blasted home runs. Hartwell and Jones led the team with a pair of 2-for-3 efforts at the plate as Tech out-hit Auburn 8-7
After both teams went three up, three down in the first, Auburn jumped on the board in the second on a two-run homer to right field off of Edmoundson.
Determined to stay in the fight, freshman Zoe Jones led off the top of the third with a monster shot over the left-field wall – the first home run of her Red Raider career – to cut the deficit down to one.
Hungry for more, Burton and Hamilton kept the frame going with back-to-back singles on two outs. On a 2-2 count, senior Jessica Hartwell drilled an RBI double down the left-field line to give Tech its first lead of the game, 3-2.
Auburn tried to rally in the bottom of the inning, but a slick double play between Satchell and Hartwell ended the third-inning threat.
Tech was retired in order to start the fourth and Auburn came clawing back in the bottom of the frame after a one-out walk and single through the right side put a runner in scoring position. Following the single, Tech brought Zoch into the circle and she hit the Tiger in the box to load the bases.
Showing maturity at first, Hartwell prevented a Tiger run on a force play at home and Zoch got herself out of the jam with a crucial strikeout to squander Auburn’s threat.
In the top of the fifth, Miranda Padilla came in to run as a result of a leadoff walk to Kelcy Leach and she was immediately moved over to second on Yvonne Whaley’s single through the right side. Picking up her third RBI of the game, Hartwell made it a 4-2 contest with an RBI single up the middle that scored Padilla from second.
The Tigers answered back in the bottom of the fifth after Taylon Snow recorded a leadoff single up the middle. She advanced to second on a wild pitch before a ground out placed her at third. Zoch’s first walk of the game put runners in scoring position and a throwing error behind the plate allowed Snow to score from third.
However, Edwards gave the Red Raiders some breathing room in the top of the sixth after she demolished a 0-1 pitch and sent it sailing over the left-field wall.
After Auburn’s Camryn Greenwood reached base on a one-out single, the Tigers cut into Tech’s lead, 5-4, after another single and throwing error allowed a runner to score.
Tech was held scoreless in the top of the seventh after Auburn brought in closing pitcher Makayla Martin, but the Red Raider defense remained poised in the field and blanked the Tigers to clinch the 5-4 victory.
COMING UP NEXT
The Red Raiders will close out the Plainsman Invitational tomorrow with a 9 a.m. rematch against the Drake Bulldogs. Live stats will be available for the game. For all the latest information on the Texas Tech softball team, visit TexasTech.com or follow @TexasTechSB on Twitter and Instagram.