Strong Offense Carries Red Raiders on Opening Day

Red Raider Nation

NEW ORLEANS – This is a press release from Texas Tech athletics.

Strong pitching, combined with a stellar offensive effort, propelled the Red Raiders to a 2-0 start to the season on the opening day of the Big Easy Classic. The Red Raiders posted a  6-0 shutout over Houston Baptist before taking down Jackson State, 5-1.

Erin Edmoundson and Missy Zoch earned wins in the circle and junior Heaven Burton led the day with a 6-for-8 effort at the plate. Zoe Jones finished the day with a team-leading four RBI and the Red Raider pitching staff limited its opponents to just eight hits on the day.

GAME 1: Texas Tech 6, Houston Baptist 0
Tech controlled the momentum of the game from start to finish thanks to a strong, opening-day performance from Edmoundson and a hot Red Raider lineup. The southpaw kept the Huskies on their toes and racked up eight strikeouts in Tech’s first game of the season. The Red Raider offense was solid from top to bottom as they out-hit HBU 13-5.

Two Red Raiders were perfect at the plate – Burton went 4-for-4 with two runs and two steals while Yvonne Whaley went 3-for-3 with two RBI. The Red Raiders powered four doubles against the Huskies and Karli Hamilton was the other Red Raider that recorded multiple hits.

Tech kicked off the season with singles from Burton and Breanna Russell in the top of the first, but the Red Raiders were not able to push a run across the plate. In response, Edmoundson struck out the side to bring the Red Raiders back to the plate.

A leadoff double from Jones sparked the Red Raider offense in the top of the second and the sophomore was able to advance to third base on a timely passed ball. Ending the goose-egg score, Whaley plated Tech’s first run of the season on a two-out single to HBU’s pitcher. Whaley beat out the throw in dramatic fashion and Jones dashed home to put the Red Raiders up, 1-0.

Edmoundson fanned her fourth hitter to start the bottom of the frame and two pop ups to Jones at first quickly sent Tech back into the dugout.

Burton collected her second hit of the day on a leadoff single in the top of the third and Tech quickly put more pressure on the Huskies. Picking up her first hit since the end of the 2018 season, redshirt sophomore Michaela Cochran made her return to the field an exciting one as she sent an RBI double to the left-field wall to put Tech up, 2-0.

Freshman Payton Jackson came in to run for Cochran at second and she advanced to third on a ground out to third. Adding some extra cushion, Hamilton made it a 3-0 game with a deep sacrifice fly to center field.

HBU’s Amber Lotz posted the Huskies’ first hit of the game, but it did not faze Edmoundson or the Tech defense. The junior went on to strike out the next two batters and Russell snagged an easy grounder at third to squash the pressure.

After a silent fourth inning for both teams, the Tech offense used two hits, an error and a walk to plate two runs in the top of the fifth. A leadoff single from Burton – her third hit of the day – got the ball rolling and she immediately stole second in the next at-bat. Jackson drew a walk in her first collegiate at-bat and a Husky error, forced by Russell, allowed Burton to round third and come home safely.

Powering Tech’s fifth run and her second RBI of the day, Hamilton launched a deep double to the left-center wall and pinch runner Tori Whillock crossed home plate with ease.

Edmoundson continued to deal against the Huskies, using her eighth strikeout of the game as out number one in the bottom of the fifth. In her freshman debut, Alanna Barraza made a clean stop at short and Edmoundson finished the inning with an easy ground out.

Kelcy Leach kicked off the top of the sixth with her first hit of the day and freshman Amanda DeSario came in to run at first for the junior. Coming through once more for the Red Raiders, Whaley blasted an RBI double and DeSario beat out the throw at the plate to give tech a 6-0 advantage.

Sophomore hurler Morgan Hornback relieved Edmoundson in the bottom of the sixth and she induced two quick ground outs. The Huskies rallied with a pair of singles but Tech escaped the jam with a ground out at first.

HBU used two hits and a walk to load the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but Hornback buckled down and cleanly fielded an easy ground ball to complete the shutout.

GAME 2: Texas Tech 5, Jackson State 1
The Red Raiders kept their foot on the gas pedal and used 10 hits to put up five runs against Jackson State. Zoch chalked up her first win of the season in a five-inning, five-strikeout performance against the Tigers.

Zoch held off Jackson State to start the first inning, making way for a three-run bottom from for the Red Raider lineup. Burton blasted a triple to left field and a walk to Peyton Blythe put two runners on. Delivering the first blow of the game, Jones unleashed a three-run home run that went sailing over the left-center wall.

Jackson State answered back with one run off two hits in the top of the second, but Tech put the pressure back on in the bottom of the inning thanks to a string of three hits. Miranda Padilla led the charge after she was hit by a pitch and Burton put runners on second and third with a double to right field.

Blythe drew a walk to load the bases and back-to-back RBI singles from Jones and Hamilton pushed Tech ahead, 5-1.

A one-out walk gave Jackson State a runner on first in the top of the third, but the Tech defense buckled down and turned a 6-4-3 double play to end the frame. Maddie Westmoreland and Hamilton posted hits over the next two innings and transfer pitcher GiGi Wall made her Red Raider debut in the top of the sixth.

Wall shut down the Tiger offense and used four strikeouts through just two innings to close out the 5-1 win for the Red Raiders.

COMING UP NEXT
The Red Raiders will return to action tomorrow for a 12 p.m. matchup against Louisiana Tech and 2:30 p.m. contest against Central Arkansas. Live stats, as well as a stream on Facebook Live, will be available for both games. For all the latest information on the Texas Tech softball team, visit TexasTech.com or follow @TexasTechSB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This was a press release from Texas Tech athletics.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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