No. 9 Missouri Avoids Sweep With 4-1 Extra-Inning Win in Finale
Mikey Kenney scored Tech's only run in its 4-1 loss to No. 9 Missouri Saturday afternoon.
April 14, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mackenzie Sykes belted a three-run walk-off homer in the eighth inning to help 9th-ranked Missouri avoid the series sweep with a 4-1 victory over Texas Tech Saturday afternoon at University Field.
The loss snapped Tech's recent run as the Red Raiders (34-10; 7-5) came into the day's second game having won its last three games, all against top-10 opponents.
"No question we would have liked to get the sweep today," Tech head coach Shanon Hays said. "Anytime you go on the road in our conference and take two, that's a good weekend and I was proud of how our team competed against a very good Missouri team. We had a chance to win that last one but left too many runners on late and that doesn't win you many ballgames."
Sykes' home run with one out in the eighth was her first of the season as she took a 2-0 pitch from Cara Custer and lined it just inside the foul pole in right field.
Before then, Tech seemed primed to take the sweep as the Red Raiders took an early 1-0 advantage in the fourth thanks to some aggressive base running from Mikey Kenney.
After reaching on an error by shortstop Princess Krebs to start the frame, Kenney soon after moved to second on a passed ball. With Sandy James showing bunt, Kenney then took off for third, making it safely and eventually advancing home as Jenna Marston's throw from behind the plate sailed into left field.
The run was all Tech could create off Missouri ace Chelsea Thomas, who for the second-straight day frustrated the Red Raider bats with 11 strikeouts in the game.
The Red Raiders spoiled a leadoff double by Emily Bledsoe in the sixth by failing to drive the senior in from third with one out in the inning. Tech then went down in order in both the seventh and eighth innings.
The double was one of only two hits surrendered by Thomas (17-5) who picked up the win in the complete game effort. The right-hander, who walked three the night before, did not allow any free passes in the game en route to giving up just the one unearned run.
Nicole Hudson tied the game in the bottom half of the sixth with a leadoff home run to right off Tech starter Brittany Talley. The dinger was the lone run Talley surrendered in 12.0 innings on the weekend as she was pulled shortly after, drawing a no-decision.
Custer (20-7) took the loss for Tech after giving up the walk-off shot in the eighth. The home run was only one of two hits surrendered by the freshman in her 2.1 innings of work.
The Red Raiders will take two days off before opening a six-game homestand next week at Rocky Johnson Field. Tech will host in-state rival No. 17 Texas A&M in a three-game midweek series that begins Tuesday evening before closing with a weekend set against No. 23 Baylor.
Tech and the Aggies will open the midweek series with a 5 p.m. doubleheader Tuesday evening in Lubbock. The series concludes with another 5 p.m. first pitch Wednesday.