Tech Softball Breaks Drought in State Capital

AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Tech scored two runs in the fifth inning Saturday afternoon and hung on just long enough to even its series with Texas after a 6-5 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 1,256 at McCombs Field.
AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Tech scored two runs in the fifth inning Saturday afternoon and hung on just long enough to even its series with Texas after a 6-5 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 1,256 at McCombs Field.

The victory marked the first for the Red Raiders (28-13; 1-4) in Austin since the 2005 season, breaking a streak of nine-consecutive losses to the Longhorns (22-16; 2-1) in the state capital.

"It was nice that we came back focused and learned some things from yesterday," Tech head coach Shanon Hays said. "I was really proud of how we came out and competed at the plate today. Now we've got to build on this and hopefully win the series tomorrow afternoon."

Samantha Camello broke up a 4-4 tie in the fifth with her first home run of the season as she drilled a 2-0 pitch over the fence in left field. It was just the second career home run for Camello, who finished 2-for-4 with a single in the third inning as well.

The Red Raiders added what amounted to be the game-winning run later in the inning off a Texas throwing error that allowed pinch runner Camaury Washington to score all the way from second base.

Texas threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh as the Longhorns connected on back-to-back singles to start the inning before Gretchen Aucoin came on in relief to record the final two outs for her NCAA-leading sixth save already this season.

Texas scored its one run off Aucoin on a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the inning. Aucoin recovered, though, to post the final out off a Stephanie Ceo liner to first base.

Three of Texas' five runs came unearned to the Tech pitching staff as Cara Custer (11-5) picked up the win for the Red Raiders in relief of Brittany Talley. Custer tossed five full innings, allowing three runs, only one of which was earned, off seven hits for her second career victory over the Longhorns.

Custer was also the pitcher of record when Tech last defeated Texas in 2010. She relieved Brittany Talley with two on and no outs in the first inning and then gave way to Talley when she reentered the game in the circle in the sixth.

Both teams plated four runs over the first three innings with Tech getting on the board first off a Cassie McClure RBI single in the opening frame. Texas scored a pair of runs off Tech miscues in the bottom half before the Red Raiders responded with three runs in the third.

Kierra Miles put the Red Raiders back on top in the third with a two-run single down the right field line that was soon followed by a bases-loaded walk to Brittany Lee. Miles scored both Lea Hopson and Sydnie Tapia on the hit that gave Tech a two-run lead before Texas answered with two runs of its own in the bottom half.

Tapia finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored in her return to the Tech starting lineup after suffering a hand injury during the final game of the Baylor series. The performance marked her ninth multiple-hit game this season.

The walk to Lee chased Texas starter Tiarra Davis, who after picking up the win on Friday, earned a no-decision after allowing four runs off four hits in 2.1 innings. Gabby Smith (10-4) took the loss in relief after she surrendered a run off two hits in her 1.2 innings.

Both teams stranded 10 runners overall as Tech had a chance to break the game open following Lee's walk but a liner from Sydni Emanuel was snared by Devon Tunning at third base to end the inning.

The Red Raiders will look to win its first Big 12 series of the season Sunday afternoon in a 12 p.m. first pitch at McCombs Field.
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