LUBBOCK, Texas – Helping the No. 15 Texas Tech softball team to its 30th win of the season, sophomore Breanna Russell evened up the series against the Longhorns as she drove in the game-winning run that lifted the Red Raiders to a 3-2 win over No. 11 Texas, Saturday afternoon at Rocky Johnson Field.
With two outs and a full count in the bottom of the seventh, Russell crushed a pitch to left-center field and scored pinch runner Yvonne Whaley to clinch Tech's 11th win over the Longhorns in program history. Now 30-7 on the season, the Red Raiders are 4-5 against top-25 opponents this season.
Sophomore pitcher Erin Edmoundson was masterful through seven full innings as she limited the nationally ranked Longhorns to just four hits and two runs. The southpaw registered six strikeouts in the contest and improved to 14-2 in her second campaign with the Red Raiders.
The Red Raiders out-hit Texas for the second consecutive day and racked up seven hits compared to the Longhorns' four. Additionally, Tech achieved its second consecutive 30-win season after going 31-28 in 2018.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After Edmoundson struck out the side in the top of the second, Tech broke open the scoring thanks to a combined effort from two Red Raider freshmen. Mustang, Okla., native Zoe Jones reached first base on a Longhorn error and Peyton Blythe drove her in on a double to left-center field two batters later to give Tech an early 1-0 lead.
Texas answered back and took the lead in the fourth inning when a two-run home run from Shannon Rhodes tipped off the top of Blythe's glove and landed over the right-field fence.
Sophomore transfer Trenity Edwards tried to respond in the bottom half of the inning with a leadoff double off Texas starter Shealyn O'Leary, but Tech was unable to scratch across another run after Texas sent in relief pitcher Brooke Bolinger.
Down 2-1, the Tech defense buckled down and held Texas scoreless in the top of the fifth. Two walks and a single loaded the bases for the Red Raiders with no outs in the bottom of the inning. Lifting a ball into deep center field, Russell drove in her first run of the day on a sacrifice fly to tie up the game at two runs apiece.
Texas tried to break the tie in the top of the seventh when a steal and a Tech throwing error allowed Texas sophomore Janae Jefferson to reach third with two outs. Edmoundson found herself in a 3-2 count in the next at-bat but she prevailed and produced an easy fly out to left field to send Tech back to the plate.
Making her 14th plate appearance of the season, junior transfer Shelby Henderson stepped up in a pinch-hit situation and started the bottom of the inning with a leadoff single straight up the middle. After Whaley came in to run at first, senior Taylor Satchell laid down her second bunt of the day and Whaley was safe on the throw to second.
Two outs went by and Russell found herself at the plate in a crucial situation for the Red Raiders. Though she fell behind early, Russell stayed patient and battled the count full against Bolinger. With the threat of extra innings looming, Russell bowed up and drove a pitch to the left-center gap and Whaley came flying home to end the game, 3-2.
With the win, the Red Raiders improved to 3-5 in Big 12 Conference play and 30-7 on the season.
COMING UP NEXT
The Red Raiders and Longhorns will close out the series in front of a sold-out crowd tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Rocky Johnson Field. Live stats, as well as a live stream, will be available for the series finale. For all the latest information on the Texas Tech softball team, visit TexasTech.com or follow @TexasTechSB on Twitter and Instagram.