Red Raiders Crush Colorado State in Florida Opener
March 17, 2011
CLEARWATER, Fla. - No. 21 Texas Tech took advantage of 18 Colorado State walks Thursday as the Red Raiders opened their week in Clearwater, Fla. with a 17-5 victory over the Rams at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.
The Red Raiders, who begin the USF The Game Tournament on Friday, improve to 30-1 on the year, while Colorado State drops to 5-22 overall. Tech and Colorado State scheduled the game as a prelude to the tournament.
"It was a different kind of game today," head coach Shanon Hays said. "We scored a lot of runs on not a lot of hits. Colorado State kind of struggled in the circle and didn't throw a lot of strikes, so we saw a lot of walks and were able to take advantage of the opportunities they gave us."
Following three walks to load the bases in the first, Logan Hall delivered Tech's first run of the afternoon, drilling an infield single that scored leadoff hitter Mikey Kenney. Raven Richardson plated Emily Bledsoe and a pinch running Meredith Heath a few moments later off a bloop double to center.
The Red Raiders were unable to get a hit in the second, but thanks to consecutive one-out walks to Kenney and Stephanie Drewry along with several wild pitches, Tech was able to take a 5-0 lead.
Tech continued to be patient at the plate in its seven-run third inning. The Red Raiders drew seven walks in their first eight batters, leading Colorado State to make a pitching change with Desiree Laswell replacing starter Kelsey Jo O'Brien (3-10).
Richardson and Randi Tongate both had RBI singles in the inning as the Red Raiders took a 12-0 lead. Colorado State rallied to score three runs in the bottom of the inning off reliever Kermitria Ward.
Tongate added another RBI single in the fourth, while Taylor Powell concluded Tech's scoring in the fifth with a three-run home run to left field. Powell and Richardson led Tech with three RBIs each while Tongate drove in two runs off a 2-for-3 day at the plate.
Ward (4-0) earned the win after allowing three runs over two innings in relief of starter Brittany Talley, who began the game with two shutout innings. Karli Merlich gave up two runs to the Rams in her one inning of work.
The Red Raiders will face Jacksonville at 4:30 p.m. (CT) Friday afternoon before playing Long Island later in the evening at 7 p.m. (CT). All games of the USF The Game Tournament will be held at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.