Dennis' Shutout Leads No. 22 Texas Tech Past No. 14 Oklahoma|
April 1, 2011
LUBBOCK, Texas - Kelsey Dennis allowed only two hits and No. 22 Texas Tech exploded for three runs in the first inning en route to a 5-0 victory Friday night over No. 14 Oklahoma at Rocky Johnson Field.
The series-opening win improved Tech to 36-3 overall and 1-2 in Big 12 play entering Saturday's series finale. The loss drops the Sooners to 28-10 overall and 1-2 in conference.
"It's great to get in the win column, and kind of like we talked about all week, in the Big 12 anything can happen," head coach Shanon Hays said. "We got a great performance from Kelsey Dennis in the circle and we played great defense behind her. We took advantage of a couple key situations at the plate and ran the bases well, and those are things you have to do to win in this conference."
Coming off its first losing streak of the season and boasting a new lineup, Tech took advantage of two plunked hitters in the first as Emily Bledsoe drove a two-out double off the wall in right to score Mikey Kenney and Cydney Allen all the way from first.
Bledsoe scored a couple pitches later off a Sandy James line drive that bounced just off the diving glove of Brianna Turang at second base, giving the Red Raiders an early 3-0 lead.
With a first-inning lead supporting her, Dennis (11-1) took care of the rest as the junior bounced back from a Destinee Martinez leadoff single in the first to keep the Sooners off balance the rest of the night.
She struck out four batters and kept OU out of scoring position as the Sooners' only other hit came off a Martinez infield single to begin the sixth inning. The shutout was Dennis' team-leading fifth of the season.
The Red Raiders added a couple insurance runs in the sixth thanks in part to a Raven Richardson double with no outs in the inning. Richardson laced a 2-1 pitch just off Chana'e Jones' glove at first that bounced into foul territory down the right field line to move pinch runner McKenzie Clemmons to third on the double.
An error by Haley Nix in right on the play allowed Clemmons to score and Richardson to move to third on the throw to the plate. Holley Gentsch drove in Richardson seconds later on a shot up the middle.
Keilani Ricketts (16-6) took the loss for OU after giving up five runs off five hits and two walks before being pulled with no outs in the sixth inning in favor or reliever Michelle Gascoigne.
The Red Raiders will look for the series sweep Saturday morning as the two teams conclude the series with an 11 a.m. first pitch at Rocky Johnson Field.