No. 12 Softball Routs Kansas to Even Series
The Red Raiders posted their 13th run-rule of the season in game two against Kansas.
LUBBOCK, Texas – The Red Raiders' offense fired on all cylinders as the Texas Tech softball team muscled their way to a 10-2 run-rule over the Kansas Jayhawks to even up the series, 1-1, Friday night at Rocky Johnson Field.
Four Red Raiders – Karli Hamilton, Heaven Burton, Jessica Hartwell and Taylor Satchell – recorded a pair of hits while the team combined for 11 on the night. Satchell highlighted the Tech offense with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth and Hartwell paced the squad with three RBI.
Limiting the Jayhawks to just four singles, junior transfer Missy Zoch bounced back from a rough outing in game one and improved to 15-6 on the season. The Winchester, Texas, native tossed her seventh complete game of the season and finished the contest with eight strikeouts.
Thanks to its 13th run-rule of the season, Tech improved to an even 7-7 in Big 12 Conference play and 34-9 overall – the Red Raiders' highest mark since going 35-19 in 2014.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Responding to a slow start in game one, Zoch came out firing and struck out the side to start the game. Two walks and a two-out single from Trenity Edwards in the bottom of the first primed Hartwell a base-clearing double that gave Tech an early 3-0 lead.
However, the Jayhawks stayed in the fight and answered back with two runs in the next inning. Zoch issued back-to-back walks to start the second and a two-RBI single to right field brought around two runners to make it a 3-2 ball game.
Two more Kansas singles loaded the bases but Zoch buckled down and recorded two huge strikeouts to end the frame and preserve Tech's lead.
The Jayhawks replaced starter Lexy Mills with Kirsten Pruett and a walk to Kelcy Leach and textbook bunt from Satchell put two on for the Red Raiders before home plate umpire Jay Grigsby went down with an injury to force a shift with the officiating crew – a change that resulted in a 30-minute delay.
Following the break, a ground out moved the pair into scoring position and Burton gave the Red Raiders a two-run lead with an RBI single up the middle. Satchell advanced to third on the play and a textbook sacrifice bunt by Breanna Russell brought her in to extend Tech's lead, 5-2.
Both teams were silent in the third but Satchell put another run on the board with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the fourth – her 10th of the season. Hamilton followed up with a single to center and Burton gave the Red Raiders a 7-2 lead when she blasted an RBI triple to the wall in right center.
Zoch and the Tech defense blanked Kansas again in the top of the fifth and a leadoff single from Hartwell sparked a trio of hits and runs in what would be the final half-inning. A stolen base and wild pitch moved Hartwell over to third base and, after Leach drew another key walk, Hamilton drilled an RBI double to right center to score Tech's eighth run of the game.
Kansas sent reliever Hannah Todd into the circle and, on a 0-1 count, Burton smoked a ball to the Kansas shortstop and forced an error that plated another run to give Tech a 9-2 advantage. With the run-rule looming, Russell stepped up and crushed a game-ending RBI single to clinch the 10-2 run rule.
COMING UP NEXT
The Red Raiders and Jayhawks will battle for the series crown tomorrow at 11 a.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 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.