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Tech softball ends Big 12 season with loss to Oklahoma

Posted: April 30, 2017 - 11:47pm

Texas Tech’s softball team celebrated its senior class, but the No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners spoiled the celebration Sunday afternoon at Rocky Johnson field.

Playing its last home game of the season, Tech suffered a 14-3 five-inning loss against the Sooners. Oklahoma’s win over Tech (17-29, Big 12 4-14) completed a three-game sweep for the Sooners (44-8, 14-1) after they took the first game 4-2 and the second 12-0.

Facing the reigning national champions, Texas Tech coach Adrian Gregory said she knew of the challenge awaiting her team. Despite the loss, she did see the team do the most of what they could.

“I thought our kids played really hard,” Gregory said. “Our senior class has given a lot to our program, and I respect and I am proud of how they continued to play the game.”

Oklahoma started the game by playing small ball in the opening inning and swiping five bases. The aggressive play on the basepaths translated into three runs, with two coming on a fielder’s choice and one on an RBI single from Nicole Pendley.

After keeping Tech scoreless for two innings, the Sooners added a pair of runs on a double by Lea Wodach at the top of the third. Tech chipped away with two runs at the bottom of the inning with Kiana Workman scoring a run on a RBI groundout from Kiani Ramsey. Jessica Hartwell erased the two runs the Sooners scored at the top of the third with a RBI bunt to score Kierra miles at third.

“I think that we attacked fully, I think that they have a freshman pitcher that needs experience a little bit and I thought we took advantage,” Gregory said. “That’s the challenge, to continue to look for opportunities togive yourself a chance.”

After Tech cut its deficit to 5-2, the Sooner began to pick apart Tech’s pitching at the top of the fourth. Knighten hit the first of two home runs in the inning on a pitch delivered by Kassidy Scott. Following Knighten’s home run, a hit by pitch, and a Sooner double, Mattison Maisel relieved Scott with one out. Despite the pitching change, Pendley kept the inning alive by hammering Maisel’s second pitch in relief past the right field wall for a three-RBI home run.

Trailing 10-2 at the bottom of the fourth, Raina O’Neal delivered a run by making it home on a throwing error at third. While O’Neal’s run gave Tech hope of extending the game past the fifth inning, Oklahoma used the fifth inning to secure the win and continue its dominance over Tech’s pitching.

Following a single and stolen base from Nicole Mendes, Raegan Rogers gave Oklahoma the eight-run advantage needed for a mercy rule ending with the score at 11-3. Knighten, who had two runs coming into the game, hit another homer off of Hannah Broseman, who relieved Maisel.

Before Boseman could record the second out of the inning, three Sooners made it on base on walks. With the bases loaded, Cheyene Powell relieved Broseman and gave up one run on a RBI single by Hannah Sparks who handed Oklahoma a 14-3 lead. For the bottom of the fifht, the Sooners gathered three quick outs to end the game and improve Mariah Lopez’s record to 14-1.

Tech’ final home game marked the third time in a five-game stretch in which the Red Raiders recorded a loss in less than seven-innings with two coming against Oklahoma.

“I thought they’re an incredible program and I think if we want to compete at a national level we have to up our game,” Gregory said.

Though Tech played its final Big 12 series of the season against Oklahoma, the Red Raiders have six more games before the Big 12 tournament. Tech faces UTSA next with the first pitch of a doubleheader scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Thursday at Roadrunner Field.

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