LAWRENCE, Kan. – Cassie McClure connected on a three-run homer Thursday evening while Brittany Lee and Brooke Scott added solo shots as Texas Tech topped Kansas, 7-5, in the series opener at Arrocha Ballpark.
It was the second-straight series opener Tech (31-15; 4-6) has won as the Red Raiders continued to hit the ball well, driving in at least six runs for the fourth-consecutive game.
“We hit the ball well today and that’s what you want to see to open the series,” Tech head coach Shanon Hays said. “I was proud in how we continued to attack throughout the game and that was key as Kansas was able to score a few runs as well. Hopefully we can continue that the rest of the series.”
McClure recorded five RBI to lead the Tech offense as she drove a three-run shot in the third that put Tech on the board first and then followed with a two-run single in the fifth. Her five RBI marked the most for a Red Raider during Big 12 play so far this season.
McClure finished 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk in the sixth. Her home run in the third marked her sixth of the season, tying Lea Hopson for the team high in the process.
Lee followed McClure with a solo shot in the fourth that pushed the Tech lead back to two runs after the Jayhawks (29-14; 3-4) plated a pair of runs in the bottom half of the third. It was Lee’s fifth home run of the season and her third in the past two games.
The Red Raiders added their final run off Scott’s solo shot in the sixth which marked the first career home run for the sophomore. Scott finished 2-for-3 at the plate for her second straight multiple-hit game.
Sydni Emanuel and Samantha Camello paced the top half of the Tech lineup with five of Tech’s 11 hits. Emanuel finished 3-for-3 in the leadoff spot for her team-leading 18th multiple-hit game this year while Camello was 2-for-3 for her ninth multiple-hit performance.
Kansas plated two runs in both the third and fifth innings to keep the game close as the Jayhawks took advantage of three Tech errors. Three of Kansas’ five runs came unearned to the Tech pitching staff.
Gretchen Aucoin (10-7) picked up the win for the Red Raiders after tossing 4.1 innings where she allowed four runs, two of which were earned, off seven hits and three strikeouts. She was relieved by Cara Custer following a Chaley Brickey two-run homer in the fifth and a single from Maddie Stein.
Custer picked up her third save of the season in relief as the junior surrendered just an unearned run off three hits over the final 2.2 innings. She picked up a pair of key 6-4-3 double plays, including one to end the game, which was the most for Tech since facing Texas on March 6, 2012.
The middle of the Kansas lineup combined for seven of the Jayhawks’ 10 hits as Alex Jones finished 3-for-4 while Brickey and Stein went 2-for-4 and 2-for-3, respectively. Brickey’s home run in the fifth was her ninth of the season.
Kelsey Kettler (17-10), who failed to allow a run to Tech over 15.2 innings during the 2013 series, took the loss for Kansas after giving up six runs off eight hits while striking out five. Jones tossed the final three innings with just one run against her off three hits.
The two teams will continue the series with a 5 p.m. first pitch Friday at Arrocha Ballpark.
--TEXAS TECH PRESS RELEASE--