Long Ball Carries Texas Tech Past Utah Valley in Finale
Feb. 20, 2011
LUBBOCK, Texas - No. 21 Texas Tech hit a season-high four home runs and capitalized on six runs in the second and sixth innings to end the Texas Tech Invitational with a 14-5 victory over Utah Valley Sunday afternoon at Rocky Johnson Field.
After scoring two runs in the first inning, Tech blew the game open in the second. Randi Tongate led off with a solo homer to left field, and Logan Hall followed a few batters later with a three-run shot of her own. Sandy James closed the inning with a two-run homer into the trees in left-center field as Tech led 8-0 early.
Utah Valley came roaring back in the third, however. The Wolverines loaded the bases for Meghan Yocum to single up the middle for their first run of the game. Two batters later, Amanda Robinson hit a grand slam over the fence in left to pull Utah Valley to an 8-5 deficit.
The homer spelled the end for Tech starter Kelsey Dennis. The southpaw had previously retired the previous 20 batters faced, dating back to Saturday's win over Bryant, but could not find a similar formula against the Wolverines, allowing five hits and five runs over 2.1 innings.
Neither team could find any offense until Tech unloaded a six-run sixth inning that ended the game due to the mercy rule. Ashley Hamada delivered an RBI single to score Emily Bledsoe early in the inning and Holley Gentsch followed a few batters later to deliver a pinch hit two-run double to left field.
Mikey Kenney ended the game from there, taking a 3-1 fastball deep over the fence in left for her second home run of the day on a three-run shot that continued Tech's (11-0) best start to a season in school history.
Kermitria Ward (2-0) picked up her second win of the season after throwing the final 3.1 innings, allowing two hits and no runs. The freshman began the game in right field and scored two runs on a 0-for-1 day at the plate that included a walk.
Josi Summers (1-5) earned the loss for Utah Valley (1-7), lasting just over an inning while allowing seven runs off five hits and four walks. Kyli Flanary gave up seven runs in four innings of relief work.
The Red Raiders continue their 25-game homestand next weekend with the start of the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic. Northern Illinois, St. John's, and Wichita State will all travel to Lubbock for the three-day tournament that runs Feb. 25-27 at Rocky Johnson Field.
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