Huskers Halt Championship Game Bid|
May 10, 2008
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Texas Tech softball's bid for a second straight Big 12 Championship game appearance came to an end Saturday evening as the Red Raiders fell to upstart Nebraska, 6-1. The loss brings Tech's (23-36, 8-10) season to a close.
The same magic that lifted Tech to the final game of last year's tournament was not on the side of the Red Raiders. Despite outhitting the Cornhuskers (25-27), Tech could not overcome the Huskers' offensive onslaught or a solid outing from hurler Molly Hill. Nebraska will now move on to the tournament's championship game after upsetting No. 7 Oklahoma and Tech.
"It was not our best game," Red Raider coach Teresa Wilson said. "It is kind of frustrating. We didn't execute pitches during the game the way we could have, and we didn't play defense like we need to and that is the difference in the game."
Errors mixed with a big three-run home run from Crystal Carwile proved damaging to the Red Raiders early as Nebraska jumped out to a 3-0 lead to start the contest. Tech fought back in the bottom of the inning as it added a run of its own on three hits. Leah Legler put across the Red Raiders' only run of the contest on a base knock from Jennifer Corkin. Tech appeared poised to jump right back, but Hill quickly settled in and got two straight outs to end a promising first for the Red Raiders.
Nebraska added two more runs to its total in the top of the second when Haley Long singled to make it 5-1. Corkin doubled with two outs in the bottom of the third to tie the school record for career doubles with the 36th two-bagger of her career. It would be for naught, however, as the Huskers retired the next hitter to end the inning.
Tech had chances in the next two innings as it continued to fork out hits and put runners on early. Hill and the Husker defense responded each time with a pair of double plays that halted the Red Raiders' hopes. Meanwhile, the Red Raiders' Tye Coats and Sarah Losleben combined to keep Nebraska's hot hitting relatively quiet the rest of the way. The Huskers put its final run of the day across in top of the fifth. The Red Raiders were not able to get the offensive fireworks it would need in the final two stanzas as Nebraska took away the victory to bring Tech's 2008 campaign to a close.
Seniors Corkin, Devin Zaragoza and Whitney Riley paced Tech by going 2-3 each, with Corkin adding an RBI. Ashly Jacobs (10-15) picked up the loss in the circle. Carwile led the way for the Huskers, going 2-4 with three RBI. Hill (15-16) went the distance on the rubber to get the win.
Tech will return 11 players to next year's squad as it will look to build off its best conference finish in seven years. Included in that group are all-conference performers Montana Patin and Legler and Jacobs.