LUBBOCK, Texas – Improving its win streak to 11 straight games, the No. 15/14 Texas Tech softball team combined for 23 hits as the Red Raiders posted victories over Gardner-Webb and Northern Colorado on the final day of the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic, Sunday at Rocky Johnson Field.
The Red Raiders picked up their 23rd win of the season thanks to a 10-2 run-rule over Gardner-Webb and improved to 24-1 after downing Northern Colorado 7-2.
Freshman Zoe Jones went an impressive 5-for-6 at the plate while junior Karli Hamilton led the team with four RBI thanks to a grand slam in game one and a triple in game two. Hamilton went 4-for-5 and finished the day with a monstrous 1.800 slugging percentage.
Junior transfer Missy Zoch picked up her eighth win of the season with an 11-strikeout performance against the Runnin’ Bulldogs and Morgan Hornback improved to 4-0 on the season after throwing five full innings against Northern Colorado. Additionally, Zoch earned her first save of the season in game two.
GAME 1 – Texas Tech 10, Gardner-Webb 2 (6 innings)
The Red Raiders recorded double-digit hits for the fourth-straight game as Zoch improved to a perfect 8-0 on the season. The junior from Winchester, Texas, set down a season-high 11 batters while allowing just three hits.
Trenity Edwards led the Tech lineup with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate while Taylor Satchell and Jones recorded two hits apiece. Hamilton hit Tech’s second grand slam of the weekend and led the team with four RBI.
Zoch fanned the first two hitters she faced and a big bottom frame gave the Red Raiders an early lead. After Hamilton and Jessica Hartwell drew back-to-back walks, Edwards put Tech on the board with an RBI double to the gap in left-center.
With two runners in scoring position, senior Satchell smoked a double that allowed Hartwell to cross home safely and Trenity Edwards barreled her way home and scored on a Gardner-Webb error. Satchell advanced to third as a result and Jones knocked an RBI single to right field to plate Tech’s fourth run.
Both teams were held silent in the second, but Gardner-Webb used one hit and one Red Raider error in the top of the third to cut into Tech’s lead, 4-2.
Tech defense held off the Runnin’ Bulldogs in the top of the fourth and Zoch retired the side in the top of the fifth to reach 11 strikeouts on the day. A leadoff triple for Gardner-Webb forced a pitching change for the Red Raiders in the top of the sixth and Edmoundson produced a strikeout and ground out to send Tech back into the dugout unscathed.
Ending a four-inning lull, the Tech offense exploded for six runs in the bottom of the sixth when Jones and Leach reached base on back-to-back errors. Yvonne Whaley loaded the bases on a single up the middle and Hartwell drove in the Red Raiders’ fifth run on a fielder’s choice to first.
With bases loaded and one out, Hamilton added onto Tech’s lead with her fourth home run of the season – a grand slam to put the Red Raiders up 9-2.
Edwards picked up her third hit of the day on a one-out shot through the left side and sophomore Olga Zamarripa came in to run at first. Breanna Russell and Zamarripa were both called safe on a fielder’s choice to third base and the duo pulled off a double steal to move into scoring position.
Making contact for the second time, Satchell lifted an RBI single that scored Zamarripa from third to end the game, 11-2. The six-inning victory marked the team’s six consecutive run-rule.
GAME 2 – Texas Tech 7, Northern Colorado 2
The Red Raiders returned for game two with just as much ferocity as the squad recorded double-digit hits for the fifth straight game. In her fifth start of the season, Hornback (4-0) earned the win after she tallied one strikeout.
The Tech defense posted a three up, three down frame in top of the first and the Red Raiders jumped out to an early lead when Hamilton singled to second. A double from Hartwell allowed Hamilton to advance to third and she came rushing home on an error by the Northern Colorado right fielder. Russell made it a 2-0 game with an RBI single to left and Jones brought in Techs third run of the game on an RBI single.
Hornback kept the Bears off the board once more in the next inning and a leadoff triple from Hamilton – her sixth of the season – sparked the lineup in the bottom of the second. Hartwell forced an error at third that allowed Hamilton to score and Edwards scorched an RBI single to left-center to put the Red Raiders up by five.
Northern Colorado used two hits to score one run in the top of the third and the Bears cut into Tech’s lead, 5-2, with one run two innings later.
Zoch relieved Hornback in the circle to start the sixth and Northern Colorado placed two runners in scoring position with two outs. Despite the sudden pressure, the defense buckled down and Zoch induced a fly out to Hamilton in center field to end the threat.
Freshman Peyton Blythe collected the first hit of her Red Raider career to start the sixth and an error on a fielder’s choice placed two runners on for Hamilton. Northern Colorado turned away from starter Maggie Thurston and sent in reliever Valerie Vidal, who immediately walked Hamilton to load the bases.
The next pitch delivered from Vidal drilled Hartwell in the leg and Blythe came trotting home to score Tech’s sixth run of the game. Two pitches later, Edwards brought in Heaven Burton on a sacrifice fly to deep center field to give the Red Raiders a 7-2 advantage.
Two walks and a single loaded the bases for the Bears in the top of the seventh, but Hartwell scooped up a grounder at first to clinch the 7-2 victory.
Hamilton and Jones led the lineup with three hits apiece and Hartwell followed closely behind with two hits and two RBI. Edwards (2), Russell (1) and Jones (1) were the other three Red Raiders to collect RBIs.
With the win, Tech improved to 24-1 overall and Zoch was awarded her first save of the season.