Red Raiders Rally to Take 6-5 Victory in Series Opener|
April 12, 2014
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech scored four runs in the seventh inning Friday evening to cap a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over Oklahoma State in the series opener at Rocky Johnson Field.
The seventh-inning rally marked Tech's first victory when trailing into the final frame since defeating Appalachian State, 10-9, on Feb. 13, 2011, during the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.
"This was a great win tonight for our ballclub," Tech head coach Shanon Hays said. "I thought we battled all night at the plate and it paid off with a few big hits there in the seventh. That's something I really like about this team and I was proud of how we kept in there and battled until the end. Oklahoma State has a good club so we'll have to keep that effort going throughout the weekend."
Tech (29-14; 2-5) trailed 5-2 heading into the seventh when Lea Hopson led off the inning with a double that was the first of five hits in the frame for the Red Raiders. Samantha Camello and Gretchen Aucoin connected on back-to-back singles from there with Aucoin's scoring Hopson for Tech's first run.
Following a Brittany Lee sacrifice bunt that moved the runners in scoring position, Sydni Emanuel brought home both Camello and pinch runner Camaury Washington with a two-run single into center field that tied the game.
Emanuel, who finished 3-for-4 for her team-leading 16th multiple-hit game this year, moved to third immediately after on a Sydnie Tapia bloop single into right field and then scored the game winner off a Kristi Belshe sacrifice fly to left field.
"I thought Sydni and really our entire lineup there in the seventh had great at-bats," said Hays, whose club is now a victory shy of its fifth straight 30-win season. "We had hit the ball well most of the night but just had a few go right at them. It was good to see a few of them start to fall there in the seventh."
Tech chased Oklahoma State (22-17; 2-6) starter Simone Freeman following Camello's single in the seventh. She was relieved by Whitney Whitehorn (4-6), who eventually suffered the loss after allowing the final two runs off three hits in just two-thirds of an inning.
Freeman finished with four runs against her in six full innings where she allowed six hits and three walks while striking out two as well.
Aucoin broke up Freeman's shutout bid in the fifth inning with a solo shot deep over the fence in center field that was her third home run of the season. She finished 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI for her fifth multiple-RBI performance this year.
Tapia added Tech's final run in the inning off a sacrifice fly that scored Lee, who reached base twice in the game with a single in the third inning and a walk in the fifth.
The late-inning heroics gave Tech reliever Cara Custer (12-6) the win after the right-hander relieved starter Brittany Talley in the second. Custer tossed six solid innings, allowing two runs off eight hits en route to the 51st win of her career that ties Ashly Jacobs for second all-time in program history.
Custer inherited a 3-0 deficit in the second as Oklahoma State got to Talley early with a Ari Morrison sacrifice bunt and a Tiffany Mikkelson two-run home run in the first inning alone. The Cowgirls' three runs matched the most for a Tech opponent in the first inning this year.
Freeman helped her own cause with a RBI single in the fifth that bumped Oklahoma State's lead back to two runs before Gessenia DeLaCruz parked a solo home run just inside the right field pole an inning later.
The Red Raiders will look for their first Big 12 series win on Saturday in a 4 p.m. first pitch. The game will be Tech's annual Power in Pink promotion and all fans wearing pink will receive free admission.