LAWRENCE, Kan. — Cassie McClure connected on a three-run homer Thursday evening, while Brittany Lee and Brooke Scott added solo shots as Texas Tech topped Kansas, 7-5, in the series opener at Arrocha Ballpark.
It was the second-straight series opener Tech (31-15, 4-6 Big 12) has won as it continued to hit the ball well, scoring at least six runs for the fourth-consecutive game.
“We hit the ball well today and that’s what you want to see to open the series,” Texas Tech coach Shanon Hays said. “I was proud in how we continued to attack throughout the game and that was key as Kansas was able to score a few runs as well. Hopefully we can continue that the rest of the series.”
McClure, who was 2-for-3 at the plate, had five RBIs to lead the Tech offense with her three-run shot in the third that put Tech on the board and then followed with a two-run single in the fifth. Her five RBIs marked the most for a Red Raider during Big 12 play so far this season.
Lee followed McClure with a solo shot in the fourth that pushed the Tech lead back to two runs after the Jayhawks (29-14, 3-4) plated a pair of runs in the bottom half of the third. It was Lee’s fifth home run of the season and her third in the past two games.
The Red Raiders added their final run off Scott’s solo shot in the sixth which marked the first career home run for the sophomore. Scott finished 2-for-3 at the plate for her second straight multiple-hit game.
Sydni Emanuel and Samantha Camello paced the top half of the Tech lineup with five of Tech’s 11 hits. Emanuel finished 3-for-3 in the leadoff spot for her team-leading 18th multiple-hit game this year while Camello was 2-for-3 for her ninth multiple-hit performance.
Kansas plated two runs in both the third and fifth innings to keep the game close as the Jayhawks took advantage of three Tech errors. Three of Kansas’ five runs came unearned to the Tech pitching staff.
Gretchen Aucoin (10-7) picked up the win for the Red Raiders after tossing 41/3 innings where she allowed four runs, two of which were earned, off seven hits and three strikeouts. She was relieved by Cara Custer following a Chaley Brickley two-run homer in the fifth and a single from Maddie Stein.
Custer picked up her third save of the season in relief as the junior surrendered just an unearned run off three hits over the final 22/3 innings. She picked up a pair of key 6-4-3 double plays, including one to end the game, which was the most for Tech since facing Texas on March 6, 2012.
The middle of the Kansas lineup combined for seven of the Jayhawks’ 10 hits as Alex Jones finished 3-for-4 while Brickley and Stein went 2-for-4 and 2-for-3, respectively. Brickley’s home run in the fifth was her ninth of the season.
Kelsey Kettler (17-10), who failed to allow a run to Tech over 152/3 innings during the 2013 series, took the loss for Kansas after giving up six runs off eight hits while striking out five. Jones tossed the final three innings with just one run against her off three hits.
The two teams continue the series with a 5 p.m. first pitch Friday at Arrocha Ballpark.
Red Raiders off to fast start in California
WALNUT, Calif. — Sophomore Shanice Stewart paced a trio of Lady Raiders competing Wednesday in the first of two days of action in the heptathlon at the Mt. SAC/Cal Invitational Multi Meet at Cougar Stadium on the Azusa Pacific campus.
Stewart, competing in the Mt. SAC section, completed the day 14th overall and fifth among collegians with 3,297 points through four events. Meanwhile teammate Natalie Thompson finished 11th in the Cal Invitational `A’ section with 2,966 points and Andi Morgan finished 36th with 2,516 points. A native of Rialto, Calif., Stewart recorded career-best marks in three of her four events on the day including top-10 finishes in both the 100-meter hurdles and the shot put. Stewart finished fourth in the pentathlon at the 2014 Big 12 Indoor Championships and scored a career-best 4,000-points in the event at the Masked Rider Open in February - the performance ranks No. 4 on the all-time Texas Tech list.
Meanwhile, Morgan and Thompson completed their opening day of competition with season-best performances in the 200-meter dash. Thompson crossed the line in 25.75 seconds, followed by Morgan who finished in 26.89.