Big Third Inning Pushes Texas Tech to Run-Rule of UMKC|
Lea Hopson connected on a pair of home runs in Texas Tech's 13-5 run-rule of UMKC on Saturday.
Feb. 8, 2014
HAMMOND, La. - Lea Hopson and Sydni Emanuel connected on a pair of home runs in an eight-run third inning for Texas Tech Saturday afternoon which sent the Red Raiders to a 13-5 run-rule victory over UMKC at Chappapeela Park.
Hopson and Emanuel's home runs were two of four in the game for the Red Raiders (2-2), who snapped out of their offensive funk with a season-high 11 hits. Tech's 13 runs was more than its total from the previous three games combined.
"We hit the ball much better this afternoon," Tech head coach Shanon Hays said. "This was the type of game we needed offensively and hopefully it will help us get back to being the type of offense we expect to be."
Hopson broke open a 4-2 Tech lead with her two-run shot over the fence in right field in the third. It was the first of two homers in the game for Hopson, who also drove a solo shot over the fence in left an inning later.
The Red Raiders loaded the bases soon after Hopson's third-inning blast, only for Emanuel to put the game out of reach with a grand slam to left field. It was Tech's first grand slam since Adriana Perez hit one against Jackson State on March 1 last season.
Tech went into the third tied 2-2 until back-to-back RBI doubles from Kristi Belshe and Kierra Miles. Miles began Tech's day offensively as she drove a two-run shot just over the left field fence in the opening inning.
Emanuel (2-for-4), Miles (2-for-3) and Hopson (2-for-3) all finished with at least two hits for the Red Raiders, who will face UMKC again on Feb. 21 in the UTA Hilton Invitational.
Ashley Fultz added a pair of insurance runs for Tech in the fourth as she followed Hopson's solo shot with a two-run RBI single later in the inning. It was the first career hit and RBI for Fultz, one of six Tech freshmen to have a hit in the game.
The lead was big enough for Cara Custer (1-1) to pick up her first victory of the season as the right-hander had a no-hitter going until Kaitlyn Carey broke it up with a two-out single in the fifth inning.
Katie Kelley and Caitlin Christopher followed with a RBI double and single to cut the lead to eight before Custer forced a ground ball to third to end the game.
UMKC previously plated a pair of unearned runs off a Tech fielding error in the second inning. Custer finished having allowed all five runs, three of which were earned, off three hits and two walks. She also struck out three hitters as well.
Katie Kelley (1-1) suffered the loss for UMKC after giving up four runs off four hits in relief of starter Cinda Ramos. Kenzie Flaws also came on in relief but allowed four runs without recording an out before Ramos reentered in the circle.
The Red Raiders will look to close the Lions Classic on a winning note Sunday afternoon when they face Texas Southern in a 12 p.m. first pitch.