While Kassidy Scott’s RBI one-out single with the bases loaded in the second inning will be recorded as postive in the Texas Tech score book, Raina O’Neal’s ability to avoid trouble on the base paths will likely be a more important facet recalled from Friday night’s game against St. Francis.
O’Neal, who did not advance home from second on a line drive to left, appeared to be caught in a pickle as a she trotted back to third base with Brittany Warnecke already standing on the bag and Red Flash catcher Kindra Witthus closing in.
O’Neal and Warnecke set up a memorable rundown that eventually saw both players not getting tagged out. O’Neal slid back head-first to third base while Warnecke returned safely to second base.
What turned out to be about 20 seconds of shenanigans on the basepaths allowed Kiana Workman to hit a grandslam that gave Texas Tech a 5-0 lead after two.
But Madison Cabell hit a two RBI single up the middle that powered the Red Flash to a wild 12-10, eighth-inning win as part of the seventh annual Jeannine McHaney Memorial at Rocky Johnson Field.
“I think we weren’t sharp on the mound,” Texas Tech head coach Adrian Gregory said. “You go up and you have five (runs), and you feel really good about yourself. … (If) we score 10 runs, we should win.”
Scott, who finished 1 for 2 with two RBIs, recorded a sacrifice fly to knot up the contest at 10-10 after six complete. The right-handed pitcher, who dropped to 6-7 in the circle, also struck out two in 5.1 innings of work.
“Overall, I thought we were really great in the box,” Gregory said. “But we have to sharper on the basepaths.”
Both teams were unable to score in the seventh, which led into extra innings.
In the top half of the eighth, Cabell found a pitch that she liked and drove it up the middle of the diamond to score Jordan Seneca and Cheyenne McKeen.
“We were right in the situation that we wanted to be, with runners in scoring position,” St. Francis head coach Jennifer Patrick-Swift said. “Then we had batters come in and make some big hits. That’s what winning big games is about. … Texas Tech is a great ball club. We both played hard tonight. It was fun.”
Seneca, who came into Friday’s contest tied for first in the country with 12 home runs, added to that total by hitting a couple of grand slams in the third and fourth inning. She ended the game 2 for 3 with eight RBIs.
“We were able to get some of the batters in front of her on base, and we knew they were going to have to pitcher to her,” Patrick-Swift said. “In that situation, we were expecting big things. We expect big things anytime she comes up to the plate. And she capitalized twice.”