Tech softball season ends in Baton Rouge Regional Finale
BATON ROUGE, La. – The No. 15 Texas Tech softball team’s historic run came to a close after they fought tooth and nail on Championship Sunday at the 2019 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.
Needing to win two games to advance to the Super Regional round, the Red Raiders stunned the LSU Tigers and ground out a 5-4 win in game one before they dropped a 5-1 decision in the final game of the tournament.
The 42-16 Red Raiders finished their 2019 campaign tied with its second-highest win total in program history. They wrapped up head coach Adrian Gregory’s best season with a .724 winning percentage.
“We are really proud of this team,” Gregory said. “We couldn’t have fought any harder than we did. We did everything we came here to do except walk away with the last win. Our team gave everything they could. We are very proud and they should be very proud of themselves. Of course they are gutted and heartbroken, but when you lay it all on the line, all you can do is walk out with pride.”
GAME ONE – Texas Tech 5, LSU 4
Starter Erin Edmoundson (20-5) retired the first six batter she faced, but the Tigers jumped on the board in the top of the third when Edmoundson hit leadoff hitter Amber Serrett. A throwing error from Breanna Russell at third allowed Tigers to move into scoring position and a fielder’s choice allowed one run to come across for LSU. Tech recorded two quick outs and immediately got to work on the offensive side of the ball.
A one-out double from Heaven Burton got the Red Raiders rolling in the bottom of the inning and a wild pitch moved the sophomore over to third. Jessica Hartwell lifted a sacrifice fly deep into left field and Burton came sliding home to even up the game, 1-1.
LSU used a walk and two singles to load the bases in the fourth and a sacrifice fly to center field plated another run to give the Tigers a 2-1 advantage.
However, the Red Raiders answered in the bottom of the frame when Russell began a two-run bottom of the fourth with a forced error on the LSU shortstop. Pinch runner Miranda Padilla was moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt and a timely two-run homer from freshman Zoe Jones gave the Red Raiders their first lead of the day, 3-2.
Edmoundson tossed her third 1-2-3 inning of the day in the top of the fifth and, after three singles from Burton, Hartwell and Edwards loaded the bases, Peyton Blythe drew a walk and the Red Raiders’ fourth run of the game came trotting home.
LSU was not done and tied the game up at four runs apiece with a solo home run and an RBI double in the top of the sixth. Gregory replaced the sophomore with Missy Zoch (18-10) with one out remaining in the frame and she immediately retired Taryn Antoine via the strikeout.
A pinch-hit walk from Shelby Henderson sparked the Red Raider lineup in the bottom of the inning and pinch runner Olga Zamarripa immediately moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Taylor Satchell.
An LSU error put runners on the corners and an RBI single up the middle from Hartwell helped Tech reclaim its lead, 5-4 with just three outs to go.
The Tigers tried to spark a late rally with a leadoff single, but Zoch and the Tech defense buckled down and used three ground balls to force game seven of the 2019 Baton Rouge Regional.
GAME TWO – LSU 5, Texas Tech 1
The Red Raiders got off to a hot start in game two when Hamilton drilled a leadoff single up the middle. A sacrifice bunt moved her over to third and an RBI single from Edwards found its way into shallow left field and Hamilton had just enough time to motor around the bases.
Erin Edmoundson, who made an appearance in all by one game this weekend, held the 10th ranked Tigers scoreless with one hit in the first inning. However, after Tech was held silent in the second, LSU senior Amanda Sanchez tied up the game, 1-1, with a solo shot over the right-field wall.
Zoch entered the circle in relief in the bottom of the third and LSU added on one more run after a bases-loaded single made it a 2-1 ball game in favor of the home team.
Two walks and a single loaded the bases for the Red Raiders in the top of the fourth, but Tech was unable to score and a three-run homer from Shelbi Sunseri gave the Tigers a 5-1 lead in the fourth.
Another Edwards single and walk to Blythe put runners on in the top of the sixth, but Tech was once again unable to push across a run.
Down to its final three outs, freshman Morgan Hornback produced a leadoff single but three straight outs ended the Red Raiders’ comeback and Tech finished the season with a 42-16 overall record.
Gregory’s 2019 squad posted its best mark during her tenure and the Red Raiders will say goodbye to seniors Kenzie Davis, Jessica Hartwell, Taylor Satchell and Kiana Workman.
For all the latest updates on the Texas Tech softball team, visit TexasTech.com or follow @TexasTechSB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.