No. 14 Oklahoma Holds Off No. 22 Texas Tech's Late Rally
April 2, 2011
Weekend Highlights from Video Stream Files (note that the quality is not as clear as usual)
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech scored six runs over the final two innings, but the rally was not enough as No. 14 Oklahoma held on to defeat the 22nd-ranked Red Raiders, 7-6, Saturday afternoon in the series finale at Rocky Johnson Field.
The Red Raiders (36-4; 1-3) had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh as Sandy James waited on second base with Raven Richardson at the plate with two outs. OU starter Keilani Rickets went right at Richardson, though, striking her out to end the game.
"You have to get off to a better start," head coach Shanon Hays said. "You have to come out with more intensity from the offensive side. I was proud of the team for staying in the game and eventually coming back. We just can't get into that big of a deficit because against good teams it's sometimes too much to overcome."
Each team had a big inning at the plate with Oklahoma's coming at the top of the first. The Sooners (29-10; 2-2) had six runners come across as Haley Nix drilled a three-run homer and Ricketts followed a few batters later with a two-run shot of her own.
The two home runs spelled the end for Tech starter Brittany Talley (11-3), who had one of her roughest outings of the season. Oklahoma added its other run in the first off a RBI single from Destinee Martinez that came against reliever Kermitria Ward.
After Chana'e Jones extended OU's lead to 7-0 with a solo home run in the third, Rickets stayed in control of the game until back-to-back hits to begin the sixth sparked the Tech offense. Mikey Kenney nailed a double to the gap in left and came across a pitch later off a Cydney Allen RBI single to center field.
Holley Gentsch got things rolling for Tech in the seventh, delivering an infield single where she eventually moved to second on a throwing error from shortstop Ali Vandever. Randi Tongate put runners on the corners with a single to right field, bringing up Logan Hall, who hit a grounder to second to bring in a pinch running Meredith Heath from third.
Following another OU error that put two runners on for Tech, Kenney came back up to deliver her second double in as many innings, crushing a 2-0 pitch down the line in left to score Hall and Stephanie Drewry. Kenney would score off another RBI single from Allen, pulling Tech to a 7-5 deficit.
Tech came close to having both its tying runs on base, but an Emily Bledsoe ground ball up the middle was fielded just in time to get Allen at second. James pulled Tech to within a run with a RBI double to left that scored Bledsoe.
Like she had earlier in the game, Ricketts ended Tech's rally with three-straight strikes on Richardson. Ricketts (17-6) finished with eight strikeouts in the game while only four of Tech's six runs were earned.
Despite only one hit through five innings, Tech was able to load the bases in the first inning and put two runners in scoring position in the third. The Red Raiders had seven hits over the final two innings.
Tech will get a quick turnaround as it hosts Baylor in a midweek doubleheader Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Rocky Johnson Field.