Espinosa's Gem Helps Oklahoma State Spoil Senior Day
Emily Bledsoe reached base three times in Tech's 5-0 series-opening loss Saturday.
May 5, 2012
LUBBOCK,Texas - Kat Espinosa tossed a three-hit, complete game shutout to lead Oklahoma State to a 5-0 series-opening victory over No. 24 Texas Tech Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at Rocky Johnson Field.
The loss was Tech's second-straight and leaves the Red Raiders (38-15; 11-10) still just one win away from guaranteeing their first .500 Big 12 record since 2001.
Despite just three hits in the game, Tech had its chances early and even late in the game as the Red Raiders left a pair of runners on in both the first and sixth innings en route to stranding eight total.
Emily Bledsoe was the catalyst in getting runners on in both frames as she was hit by a pitch to start the first and then connected on a two-out double in the sixth. She reached base in three of four plate appearances as she also drew a walk in the third.
Espinosa (15-10) finished with four strikeouts and three walks in her fifth shutout of the season. The right-hander was efficient getting out of jams as she forced Tech's middle of the lineup to go 0-for-8 at the plate.
After a pitchers' duel through five innings, Espinosa received some run support in the sixth when Shelby Davis led off the frame with triple just inside the line in left that was just out of reach of a diving Katelyn Williams. Davis scored the following pitch as Kelsey Anchors sailed a sacrifice fly to center.
Tech's defense let itself down from there as the Red Raiders committed a pair of two-out errors that allowed the Cowgirls (25-21; 8-11) to add two more runs to their lead.
Cara Custer's day ended temporarily following the sixth as Kelsey Dennis came on in relief the following inning. Oklahoma State used three quick infield singles to load the bases with one out before Custer returned to walk a run in and then allow another to score off a fielder's choice.
Custer (24-10) surrendered four hits and five walks while striking out six over 6.2 innings. She gave up three of OSU's five runs with only one of those being earned. Both runs in the seventh were charged to Dennis.
The two teams will continue the series with a 2 p.m. first pitch Sunday afternoon at Rocky Johnson Field. The series finale is slated for 4 p.m. Monday.