By: Matt Dowdy - Texas Tech Communications
LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech scored in all but one inning Friday evening to win its sixth-straight game with an 8-4 victory over New Mexico State at Rocky Johnson Field.
It was the most runs for Tech (16-6) so far in the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic as the Red Raiders improved to 3-0 in the tournament heading into an off day Saturday and then a doubleheader on Sunday.
“We were really hitting the ball well today,” Tech head coach Shanon Hays said. “For our offense to step up when our pitching wasn’t as great as it’s been was something we really needed. We had key hits up and down the lineup and that’s what we’ve really been looking for, so hopefully we can carry that into Sunday as well.”
Sydni Emanuel, Cassie McClure and Sydnie Tapia led the Red Raiders at the plate as the trio all had two hits and an RBI in the win. Tech finished with six players with at least one RBI overall.
McClure opened Tech’s scoring with a two-out RBI double that scored Emanuel in the first. It was the first of three two-out, run-scoring hits for the Red Raiders as Samantha Camello delivered a RBI single in the second while Brittany Warnecke broke the game open with a two-run homer in the third.
The home run was the first of Warnecke’s career as she became the fifth Red Raider freshman to go deep already this season. Tech has homered four times now in its last three games.
Warnecke’s long ball turned into a key hit for Tech as New Mexico State (13-9) answered with a run in the fourth off a Friana Finau solo home run before bringing two more across in the fifth to cut the lead to just two runs.
The Red Raiders plated three runs in the bottom half of the fifth without even recording an hit, though, as Tapia and Belshe drew bases-loaded walks while Emanuel grounded out to second to also score a run.
Belshe finished 0-for-3 at the plate but managed to record her team-leading sixth multiple-RBI game this season as she also grounded out to second in the fourth to score Tapia, who finished 2-for-2 overall.
Brittany Talley recorded the final four outs for the Red Raiders in relief of both Cara Custer and starter Gretchen Aucoin. Talley closed both the sixth and seventh innings with strikeouts just a day after setting a career high with nine against Northern Colorado.
Aucoin (4-2) picked up the win for Tech in the circle as the sophomore allowed three runs off four hits while striking out two in five innings of work. Custer relieved her to start the sixth where she recorded two outs before Talley came on to close the game.
Celisha Walker (3-4) took the loss for the Aggies after surrendering seven of the eight runs off eight hits and a pair of walks. Makayla McAdams allowed a run off no hits and three walks in two full innings of relief.
The Red Raiders close the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic with a doubleheader Sunday as Tech will face Northern Colorado at 12:30 p.m. and then Abilene Christian in a 3 p.m. first pitch.