Red Raiders Clinch Series With 5-4 Victory Over No. 9 Missouri|
Cydney Allen connected on a two-run HR to lift Tech to a 5-4 series-clinching victory Saturday.
April 14, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Texas Tech used a three-run second and a Cydney Allen two-run homer the following inning to lift the Red Raiders to a 5-4 series-clinching victory over No. 9 Missouri Saturday afternoon at University Field.
The win was the third-straight for Tech (34-9; 7-4) over a top-10 team in the past week as the Red Raiders will look for the series sweep over the Tigers (31-8; 9-5) in the day's second game.
The series win marked Tech's first over a top-10 team since defeating No. 7 Oklahoma State in an April 22, 2010 doubleheader in Lubbock. Dating back to 2001, the Red Raiders had also not gone on the road to take at least two games from a ranked team prior to this weekend.
After a pitcher's duel in the series opener, both teams struck early as Missouri got on the board first with a two-run first inning.
Ashley Fleming opened the scoring for the Tigers as she nailed a RBI double to left center, scoring Jenna Marston who walked the prior at-bat. Following a Nicole Hudson single, Fleming came around as the Tigers went for the double steal and Holley Gentsch's throw from behind the plate sailed into center field.
Tech responded an inning later as Missouri starter Kristin Nottelmann walked the first two hitter. Emily Cooper followed with a first-pitch double to left center that drove in Sandy James. The hit was Cooper's first for extra bases this year and also her first RBI.
Raven Richardson kept the momentum going a batter later as she laid down a perfect squeeze bunt in between the circle and first base, allowing pinch runner Taylor Powell to score from third and Richardson to reach first safely.
The Red Raiders took advantage of the double steal moments later as Richardson took off to second, giving Cooper just enough time to scamper home and beat the tag.
Following Allen's home run an inning later, Tech relied on its defense and the arm of starter Cara Custer to keep the Missouri bats off-balanced until Hudson uncorked her second hit of the day, a two-run bomb over the fence in right center that cut the lead to one.
Custer (20-6) settled down from there, though, as she retired the next seven hitters in order, picking up her 20th win of the season after giving up the four runs, three of which were earned, off five hits and four strikeouts.
The freshman is only the second player in school history to reach 20 wins in a season as she joins Amanda Renfro who did it three times from 1998-2001. Renfro is still the only player in program history to have her jersey retired.
Nottelman (10-3) picked up the loss for the Tigers after giving up the first three runs in her 1.1 innings of work. Bailey Erwin entered with one out in the second inning to finish the game, giving up two runs off three hits during that time.