Thomas Stifles Texas Tech's Bats in Series Opener|
March 26, 2011
LUBBOCK, Texas - Missouri's Chelsea Thomas held No. 19 Texas Tech to only three hits Saturday as the 13th-ranked Tigers opened the two-game series with a 4-1 victory in front of 462 fans at Rocky Johnson Field.
Tech, which came into the game with an 11-game winning streak, drops to 35-2 on the season and 0-1 in Big 12 play, while Missouri improves to 25-3 overall and 3-0 in conference.
"Missouri got a little bit of a lead on us early, and it can be hard to play against a big-time pitcher from behind," head coach Shanon Hays said. "Hopefully tomorrow we can get out on them early. We've got to play good defense and have a better approach, and hopefully we'll find a few holes and score some runs."
After Maddison Ruggeberg singled home Rhea Taylor in the top of the first, Thomas (11-2) went to work on Tech lineup, striking out the first four batters. Thomas, who entered the game with a Big 12-leading 0.37 earned-run average, finished the game with seven strikeouts.
With Tech down 2-0 at the time, Raven Richardson delivered Tech's first hit in the game to lead off the third, taking a 1-0 pitch up and over the fence in right to cut the deficit in half. The homer was Richardson's seventh of the season.
The Tigers added to their lead the next inning, however, as Abby Vock went the opposite direction with a double just off the fence in left that allowed Princess Krebs to score from first.
Ruggeberg added another RBI at the top of the seventh with a 3-2, two-out solo home run to left off relief pitcher Kermitria Ward. Ruggeberg finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate.
Emily Bledsoe began the seventh with a slow-rolling ground ball down the line at first to put a runner on for the middle of Tech's order. The Red Raiders could not mount the rally, though, as Cydney Allen hit into a double play and Sandy James struck out looking to end the game.
Tech starter Kelsey Dennis (10-1) drew her first loss of the year after throwing 4.1 innings where she allowed three runs off nine hits and struck out three. Ward gave up a run off two hits in her 2.2 innings of work.
The Red Raiders will look to split the series Sunday afternoon as the two teams conclude the series. First pitch is schedule for noon at Rocky Johnson Field.