A pair of big innings — including and eight-run second inning — led Texas past the Texas Tech softball team in the series finale 11-3 Saturday afternoon at Rocky Johnson Field.
With a 4-1 and a 9-5 wins in the two previous games, Texas (23-18, 3-6) swept the Red Raiders (17-23, 4-8 Big 12) as it banged out a season high 17 hits.
“We know we need to fight more,” Tech’s Brittany Warnecke said. “I think that there were times we played well and we’re going to take that away and get better for next weekend.”
After keeping the Longhorns scoreless at the top of the first, Tech took its first lead of the series in the bottom of the inning. Warnecke gave the Red Raiders their first lead of the three-game series with a two-run homer, which scored Kierra Miles, just inside the left foul pole for the 2-0 advantage.
The 2-0 Tech lead didn’t last long as the Longhorns gathered nine hits off of Tech pitcher Kassidy Scott at the top of the second.
After a pair of singles, a ground out, and another single, Malory Schattle cut the Tech lead to 2-1 with a sacrifice fly. With runners at second and two outs, Stephanie Wong handed the lead over to the Longhorns with a single for a pair of RBIs and a 3-1 lead. Texas added to the inning’s hit count with an infield hit from Devon Tunning and a RBI single from Kaitlyn Washington to drive the Red Raider deficit to 4-2. Celina Felix continued to do damage to the Red Raiders with a double for 2 RBIs and a 6-2 lead.
Still with two outs on the board, Taylor Ellsworth added another hit with single and Texas prolonged the inning with Randel Leahy batting a RBI single to left field to score Felix at second. Off of Leahy’s single, Ellsworth benefited and reached home on an error by Raina O’Neal to score the eighth and final run of the inning.
Leahy’s single ended the game for Scott as Mattison Maisel entered the game in relief. Facing her first batter, Maisel recorded the final out by forcing a ground out at third.
“They scored all their runs on base hits, doubles, or bleeders,” Tech coach Adrian Gregory said. “We just need a bleeder. We don’t need a home run. We don’t need a hero. I think our kids either freeze or they want to be the hero and it doesn’t come to fruition.”
O’Neal’s 10th homer of the season in the fourth and 4 2/3 innings of scoreless work from Maisel gave Tech hope for a resurgence heading into the seventh down 8-3. The Longhorns, however, secured the win with a sacrifice fly from Tunning and two RBI double from Washington for a 11-3 lead.
“We’re not competing right now,” Tech’s Susan Welborn said. “We just need to focus on winning and we have a lot of things we’re focusing on right now, but our end goal is not quite there yet.”
For the Longhorns, Kristen Clark (3-0) earned the win as she gave up just three hits in three and two third innings. Scott (9-15) received the loss on the Tech side.Tech continues Big 12 play with an away three-game series against Oklahoma State beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Cowgirl Stadium.