LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 14/15 Texas Tech softball team (19-1) continued its hot streak and swept the UTEP Miners with a pair of five-inning run-rules, Tuesday afternoon at Rocky Johnson Field. The Red Raiders came away with a 10-0 victory in game one and clinched game two by a score of 16-8.
While Tech sent three home runs sailing out of the park against UTEP, Erin Edmoundson highlighted the offense with the first home run of her Red Raider career – a walk-off grand slam to clinch the game-one run-rule.
Karli Hamilton picked up her first home run of the season in game two and freshman Morgan Hornback joined the group with the second dinger of her career.
Edmoundson and Hornback both earned wins in the run-rules over the Miners.
GAME 1 – Texas Tech 10, UTEP 0 (5 innings)
Tossing a complete five innings, Edmoundson improved to 11-1 on the season after she limited the Miners to just one hit. She helped her own cause with a grand slam and 2-for-3 effort at the plate – the first home run of her Tech career – while racking up six strikeouts in the circle.
A one-out single from Yvonne Whaley started Tech's offensive efforts and Hamilton brought her all the way home on an RBI triple in the next at-bat. Jessica Hartwell tacked on another run with an RBI single through the left side to give the Red Raiders an early 2-0 advantage.
Hartwell took off for second in the next at-bat and the senior came around to score on another steal and throwing error by the UTEP catcher to put the Red Raiders up, 3-0.
UTEP recorded its first hit of the day in the next inning, but two strikeouts from Edmoundson and a grounder to third ended the Miners' scoring attempt. With one out and runners on the corners, Whaley laid down a squeeze bunt at the plate and Kelcy Leach slid in safely to give the Red Raiders a four-run lead.
Edmoundson posted her second 1-2-3 inning to start the third and back-to-back walks to Breanna Russell and Taylor Satchell sparked a two-run bottom of the third for the Red Raiders. Pinch runner Peyton Blythe and Satchell both advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch from UTEP's Allie Johnson and another wild pitch and single through the right side scored the pair.
The Red Raiders were held silent in the fourth, but they came roaring back in the bottom of the fifth as Edmoundson ended the game on a grand slam to capture the 10-0 run rule.
GAME 2 – Texas Tech 16, UTEP 8 (5 innings)
In a high-scoring game two, Hornback picked up the second victory of her career and even helped her cause with a three-run home run. Hamilton led the Tech lineup with a perfect 3-for-3 effort in the box and three other Red Raiders – Heaven Burton, Whaley and Hartwell – tallied two hits apiece.
The Miners jumped out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to a pair of hits in the first inning, but the Red Raiders came roaring back with an eight-run bottom of the first.
UTEP starter Bryana Munoz issued back-to-back walks to Burton and Whaley before Nadya Orozco entered the circle in relief. Immediately after the switch, Hamilton helped the Red Raiders reclaim the lead with a three-run homer to right field.
Hartwell and Russell picked up back-to-back singles and Hartwell made it a 4-0 ball game when Russell drew a throw from home on a steal. Junior transfer Shelby Henderson drove in Tech's fifth run of the inning on an RBI single to center and Hornback capped off the eight-run surge with a three-run shot that went sailing over the left-field wall.
However, UTEP cut into Tech's lead, 8-4, after two hits and a home run plated three runs for the Miners.
After UTEP sent in pitcher Kira McKechnie, the Red Raiders one-upped the Miners in the bottom of the second after a bases-loaded walk brought in Tech's ninth run of the game. An error by the Miners' first baseman allowed two runs to score and Hornback produced a fielder's choice that allowed Zoe Jones to score – giving Tech a 12-4 lead through two innings.
A home run gave UTEP its fifth run in the top of the third and three more runs in the top of the fourth narrowed Tech's lead, 12-8. However, the Red Raiders remained patient in the bottom of the fifth and tallied back-to-back, two-out walks off UTEP's fourth pitcher of the game – Allie Johnson.
Burton and pinch runner Olga Zamarripa both moved into scoring position on a double steal and three consecutive doubles from Whaley, Hamilton and Hartwell lifted the Red Raiders to a 16-8 decision that ended the game in five innings.
With the victory, the Red Raiders improved to a near-perfect 19-1 on the season.
COMING UP NEXT
Texas Tech prepares for five games this weekend as it hosts the 2019 Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic on Mar. 8-10 at Rocky Johnson Field. The Red Raiders will face Northern Colorado and Gardner-Webb on Friday, Mar. 8, Jacksonville State on Saturday, Mar. 9, and will close out the tournament with rematches against Gardner-Webb and Northern Colorado on Sunday, Mar. 10. Live stats, as well as a live stream, will be available for all five games. For all the latest information on the Texas Tech softball team, visit TexasTech.com or follow @TexasTechSB on Twitter and Instagram.