LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 14/12 Texas Tech softball team battled in front of a record 1,258 fans, but could not overcome No. 2/2 Oklahoma's use of the long ball in an 8-3 loss, Saturday afternoon at Rocky Johnson Field.
With the loss, Tech fell to 27-4 on the season and 0-2 in Big 12 Conference action. The Red Raiders collected three runs on six hits – the most runs scored by a Red Raider offense since April 30, 2017.
Rocky Johnson Field was filled to capacity as 1,258 fans watched the first Top-15 series to be played in Lubbock. The record crowd broke the previous mark of 1,257 attendees on April 25, 2015, against the Texas Longhorns.
Entering in relief in the top of the third, junior transfer Missy Zoch fanned seven Sooners – the most strikeouts from a Red Raider pitcher since Cara Custer collected seven in 2015 – and limited Oklahoma to five hits in five full innings. Tech starter Erin Edmoundson dropped to 13-2 on the season after she surrendered five runs in the first two innings.
HOW IT HAPPENED
A trio of fly balls plagued both teams in the opening inning, but Oklahoma used a leadoff double and error to put runners on the corners in the top of the second. With no outs, sophomore catcher Kelcy Leach threw a rocket down to second and caught a Sooner trying to steal, but a pair of two-run homers from Nicole Mendes and All-American Sydney Romero gave Oklahoma a 4-0 lead.
However, back-to-back doubles from senior Taylor Satchell and sophomore Breanna Russell in the bottom of the inning breathed new life into the Tech lineup as the Red Raiders cut into the Sooners' lead, 4-1. Freshman Zoe Jones drew a walk off Oklahoma starter Mariah Lopez and after Leach laid down a textbook sacrifice bunt to put runners in scoring position, junior Karli Hamilton unleashed a two-RBI double to left center to make it a one-run ball game.
Oklahoma turned away from Lopez following the double and sent in junior transfer Shannon Saile to take over the circle.
A leadoff home run from Grace Green gave Oklahoma a 5-3 lead in the top of the third and Tech sent Zoch into the circle with no outs. The junior wasted no time and recorded two strikeouts and a ground out to limit the third-inning damage.
Satchell was the only Red Raider to record a hit in the bottom of the fame and two hits in the top of the fourth plated one more run for the Sooners.
Zoch gave the Red Raiders momentum after she posted a scoreless frame in the top of the fifth, but Tech was unable to capitalize on a one-out single in the bottom of the inning. Oklahoma extended its lead, 7-3, on a walk and an RBI double in the top of the sixth, but Zoch stifled the Sooners' efforts with her seventh strikeout of the game.
An inside pitch by Saile struck Jones on two outs, but the Tech offense struggled to plate another run. A leadoff home run in the top of the seventh gave the Sooners an 8-3 advantage and the Red Raiders were unable to overcome the deficit in the final frame.
The Red Raiders finished the game with six hits while the Sooners collected 11.
COMING UP NEXT
The Red Raiders will close out its first Big 12 series of the season with a 12:30 p.m. contest against the Sooners on Sunday, March 23, at Rocky Johnson Field. Live stats, as well as a live stream, will be available. For all the latest information on the Texas Tech softball tea, visit TexasTech.com or follow @TexasTechSB on Twitter and Instagram.