James Continues Hot Hitting in 5-3 Win Over New Mexico

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NCAA.com Wire
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March 9, 2011

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LUBBOCK, Texas - Sandy James recorded her second four RBI game of the day as No. 19 Texas Tech finished a doubleheader sweep of New Mexico Wednesday with a 5-3 victory at Rocky Johnson Field.

The win served as a good test for Tech (24-0) as New Mexico (6-8) had close games earlier in the year with No. 5 Washington and No. 22 Baylor. Tech took the earlier game of the day with a 9-6 victory.

"Those were two really good wins for us," head coach Shanon Hays said. "We didn't play especially clean defensively, but Kelsey Dennis came in and pitched six good innings for us and I felt good about Kermitria Ward coming in and closing both games. You'd like to have a nice lead and be able to relax a little bit, but that wasn't the case. New Mexico has been playing well, and those are the types of games that get you ready for the Big 12."

After Tech failed to plate any runs during the first inning of the earlier game, Mikey Kenney got things rolling for the Red Raiders in the opening frame as the sophomore smashed a leadoff double to left. She later stole third base and scored on an Emily Bledsoe sacrifice fly.

Cydney Allen and Logan Hall kept the offense going with back-to-back singles, bringing up James with two outs and two runners on base. After getting ahead in the count, 2-1, James crushed a high fly ball deep over the fence in center for her second home run of the day to give Tech a 4-0 lead.

James added another RBI for Tech in the fifth off a single through the left side that scored Bledsoe from third. She finished 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored while matching her season high set earlier in the day with four RBIs.

With Dennis (6-0) in the circle, it turned out five runs was all the Red Raiders would need. The junior lefty struck out six batters over 6.2 innings and stayed out of trouble until a Jessica Garcia three-run homer in the sixth.

With two outs in the top of the seventh, Ward came on for her second save opportunity of the day, facing two runners on base with two outs already in the inning.

The Lobos appeared to have an opportunity to strike on the freshman as Garcia took a 1-0 pitch and singled off Ward's glove to load the bases for Danielle Castro. Ward got out of the jam, though, as Castro lifted the first pitch down the right field line and into the extended glove of Ashley Hamada for the final out.

Kaela DeBroeck (3-4) took the loss for New Mexico as she pitched all six innings, allowing five runs, four of which were earned, off eight hits.

The Red Raiders have a quick turnaround as they host the Masked Rider Invitational this weekend at Rocky Johnson Field. Alcorn State and Evansville will travel to Lubbock for the three-day event that begins Friday.




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