Another Shutout Leads No. 19 Texas Tech Past Howard

Ashley Brokeshoulder

Ashley Brokeshoulder
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NCAA.com Wire
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March 5, 2011

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LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech pitching staff threw a school-record fourth-straight shutout as the 19th-ranked Red Raiders continued their undefeated streak Saturday with a 10-0 victory over Howard in the Red Raider Classic at Rocky Johnson Field.

After Kelsey Dennis shutout Dayton in the earlier game, Ashley Brokeshoulder (6-0) delivered much of the same against the Bison. The junior right-hander went three innings, allowing only one hit during the span for her sixth win of the year. Karli Merlich pitched the final two innings in relief, giving up three hits and a walk.

The shutout runs Tech's streak to four-consecutive games without allowing a run, one game more than the previous school record that was previously set in 2001. The Red Raiders last allowed a run in the sixth inning last Sunday against Wichita State.

"Our pitching has really performed all weekend," head coach Shanon Hays said. "I was really proud of how Kelsey threw the ball in the earlier game, and Broke(shoulder) and Karli (Merlich) came in and pitched well against Howard. When your pitching is that good, it usually means you're going to have a good day at the plate and I'd say we had that as well."

The Red Raiders wasted little time busting the game open in the first inning with four runs, three of which came off a bases-loaded single by Raven Richardson that scored Cydney Allen, Logan Hall and Sandy James. Hall had delivered an RBI single of her own earlier in the inning for Tech's first run.

Following Mikey Kenney's conference-leading 10th double of the season to start the second, Hall drove in another run, this time off a sacrifice fly to center field, giving Tech a 5-0 lead.

After loading the bases in the third, Kermitria Ward began a five-run inning for Tech with a bases-loaded infield single that scored Taylor Powell. Emily Bledsoe drove in Ward later in the inning with a two-run single to centerfield that punctuated another successful day at the plate for the Red Raiders.

Smantha Gatson (1-1) took the loss for Howard as the right-hander went four innings and allowed 10 runs, eight of which were earned, off 10 hits and six walks.

The win clinched the Red Raider Classic title for Tech (20-0) as the Red Raiders are a perfect 4-0 on the weekend, while Dayton is 2-2 and Howard is 0-4. Dayton won Saturday's opening game over the Bison, 7-1.

The Red Raiders close the weekend Sunday morning with another doubleheader, beginning at 10 a.m. against Dayton and ending with a noon first pitch against Howard.




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