Hamilton, Edwards Power No. 17 Softball Past No. 21 Kentucky
Karli Hamilton and Trenity Edwards both went yard in Texas Tech’s series opener against the Wildcats.
LUBBOCK, Texas – The momentum at Rocky Johnson Field swung back and forth but home runs from Karli Hamilton and Trenity Edwards, aided by a combined effort in the circle, helped the No. 17 Texas Tech softball team to a 7-5 win over No. 21 Kentucky on Saturday.
Three Red Raiders – Hamilton, Heaven Burton and Taylor Satchell – posted two hits apiece while Edwards highlighted the offense with two RBI via a two-run blast in the bottom of the fifth. The Tech offense took advantage of five Kentucky errors and Burton was the lone Red Raider to pick up a steal.
In the circle, sophomore Erin Edmoundson (17-3) was solid through five innings and limited the Kentucky offense – which ranks 12th in the country with 6.53 runs per game – to just three runs. She fanned two hitters before junior transfer Missy Zoch (16-9) took over in the top of the sixth. The Winchester, Texas, native record two strikeouts as well and held strong through the final two innings to earn her 16th win of the season.
With the win, the Red Raiders improve to 37-13 on the season, 23-9 against non-conference opponents and 15-6 when playing at Rocky Johnson Field.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Edmoundson and the Tech defense held the Wildcats off the board in the opening frame and Hamilton gave the Red Raiders an early 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the inning thanks to a leadoff home run that ricocheted off the left-field foul pole.
However, Tech's lead was short-lived as Kentucky answered back with a two-run homer in the top of the second to take a 2-1 lead.
Two Wildcat errors and a walk loaded the bases for Tech in the bottom of the inning and Hamilton helped the Red Raiders retake the lead when she lifted a shallow single into right field. Kentucky's second baseman could not make the backwards catch and Kelcy Leach came storming home to tie up the game. While the ball was still live, the Wildcats' second baseman made a throwing error and Zoe Jones sprinted home to put Tech up by one.
Both teams were silent for two full innings until the top of the fifth when Edmoundson issued two consecutive walks. Kentucky's Alex Martens snuck a single through the right side and as the Wildcats' lead runner rounded third, right fielder Peyton Blythe unleashed a money throw and Kentucky's pinch runner was called out at the plate.
Kentucky was able to tie things up, 3-3, in the top of the fifth but Tech came roaring back in the bottom of the inning thanks to a two-run shot from Trenity Edwards that gave the Red Raiders their third lead of the game.
After surrendering seven hits in five innings, Edmoundson was relieved by Zoch in the top of the sixth and Kentucky evened up the game once more thanks to two walks, a double and one home run.
However, the Tech lineup was determined to stay in the fight and a walk and scorched double from Jones put runners in scoring position early in the bottom of the sixth. After Shelby Henderson came in to pinch hit, she produced a fielder's choice and a misthrow that rolled into the Kentucky dugout allowed all runners to advance – plating the go-ahead run for the Red Raiders as a result.
Leading 6-5, the Red Raiders kept the pressure on and Satchell extended Tech's lead, 7-5, with an RBI single that was tattooed to center field.
Zoch and the Tech defense recorded a quick two outs in the top of the seventh but Kentucky's Kayla Kowalik broke up the momentum with the Wildcats' 10th hit of the day. With the tying run at the plate, Zoch tossed a full-count change-up and a swing and a miss secured Tech's two-run victory over the Wildcats.
COMING UP NEXT
The Red Raiders' Senior Day will serve as the team's regular-season finale and first pitch against the Wildcats is slated for 1 p.m. tomorrow. Live stats, as well as a live stream, will be available for the game. For all the latest information on the Texas Tech softball team, visit TexasTech.com or follow @TexasTechSB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.