LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech surrendered only three hits over 14 innings Tuesday en route to opening the fall with a doubleheader sweep of Odessa College at Rocky Johnson Field.
In the first collegiate contest for most of Tech’s young roster, the Red Raiders rallied with a three-run sixth inning to defeat Odessa, 6-4, in the opener before Brittany Talley and Cassie McClure combined for a two-hit shutout in a 3-0 victory to close the day.
“You could tell early we were a little nervous, but our pitching was really impressive today,” Tech head coach Shanon Hays said. “Take away one inning and we were nearly flawless in the circle and that was good to see in our first game with this group. We still have much to work on, but I’m glad we got that first game out of the way.”
Talley was nearly perfect in her four innings of work in the second game. She surrendered only a one-out single to Odessa in the fourth before McClure came on to retire her first eight hitters to close the game.
The performance followed a similar strong pitching outing from Cara Custer in the opener. The junior allowed four free passes over four innings but kept the Wranglers off the board as Odessa failed to record a hit off the right-hander.
Odessa took advantage of a rough start to Gretchen Aucoin’s outing in the fifth as the sophomore walked the first three hitters she faced and then surrendered a three-run homer moments later to give the Wranglers a 4-3 lead.
Tech responded in the sixth with a RBI sacrifice fly from Ashley Fultz to tie the game and picked up a bases-loaded walk to Lea Hopson. Brittany Lee was plunked a few pitches later to add an insurance run as well.
The Red Raiders had previously got on the board in the second off a Brittany Warnecke RBI double to left field that scored pinch runner Marisa Malazzo. Warnecke scored one of two Tech runs in the fourth as Sydnie Tapia connected on a RBI single and Sydni Emanuel drove in another via catcher’s interference with the bases loaded.
Hopson and Kierra Miles provided the offense for Tech in the finale with Hopson driving a solo shot over the left field fence in the fifth and Miles lining a RBI single to center an inning later. The Red Raiders got on the board in the second thanks to a two-out fielding error in center field off a line drive from Taylor Powell that allowed Malazzo to score.
The Red Raiders continue their fall slate Saturday afternoon, traveling to Abilene Christian to face the Wildcats at 1 p.m. and then Weatherford College immediately following.