Red Raiders Even Series With 5-4 Victory Over No. 5 Oklahoma
Ashley Hamada scored the winning run for Tech in the 5-4 victory Friday evening.
April 6, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. - Texas Tech overcame a late Oklahoma rally to put a run across in the seventh to take a 5-4 series-tying victory over the 5th-ranked Sooners Friday evening at the OU Softball Complex.
The Red Raiders (31-8; 4-3) led from the get-go until the Sooners put three runs across in the sixth to tie the game and put Tech in jeopardy of dropping its second-straight game.
With one out in the inning, Hamada advanced to second on a wild pitch and then a few moments later took off for third on a stolen base attempt. Jessica Shults' throw sailed into left field, allowing Hamada to come across as the winning run.
Cara Custer threw only three pitches in the bottom of the inning to retire the Sooners in order, giving Tech its first victory over a top-five team since defeating Texas A&M, 6-2, on April 29, 2007.
The win snapped a 13-game home winning streak for the Sooners while Tech's five runs matched the most by an Oklahoma opponent this year.
The Red Raiders took an early 2-0 lead in the first as Adriana Perez brought home a run with a first-and-third ground out to second to score Logan Hall. Emily Bledsoe took the next pitch down the right-field line for a triple that scored pinch runner Kermitria Ward, giving Tech starter Brittany Talley plenty of room early.
Talley made only one mistake over her 3.1 innings in the circle as she gave up a solo home run to Javen Henson with one out in the third. It was one of only three hits surrendered by Talley before Custer came in with two on and one out in the fourth inning.
Custer got Tech out of trouble in the fourth before having her back against the wall again in the sixth as Oklahoma opened the inning with back-to-back singles.
The freshman came back strong, though, to force three-straight ground balls that should have got Tech out of the inning with only one run coming across. A two-out error by Raven Richardson on a Georgia Casey dribbler up the middle kept the inning going, however, allowing Brianna Turang to line a single just inside the bag at third to bring the two tying runs across.
Despite giving up the three-run inning, Custer (18-5) hung on to score the victory as only one of those runs in the sixth was earned. She also gave up four hits while striking out four over the final 3.2 innings.
Tech recovered from a one-hit performance on Thursday to chase Oklahoma starter Keilani Ricketts in the fifth as Logan Hall started a two-run inning with a RBI single just over Ali Vandever's head at third. Perez later followed with her second RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to shallow right field that barely scored Mikey Kenney from third.
Ricketts was pulled soon after as she gave four runs, two of which were earned, off six hits while also striking out six Tech hitters.
Michelle Gascoigne (12-1) gave up the winning run to take her first loss of the season in relief. She also gave up a two-out double to Sandy James in the seventh, her third hit of the game as she finished 3-for-4 at the plate.
The two teams will close the series with Saturday's rubber match that is set to begin at noon from the OU Softball Complex.