Provided by Texas Tech Athletics:
WACO, Texas – Brittany Talley pitched six solid innings in relief to help Texas Tech hang on and move to the championship game of the Texas Shootout with a 2-1 extra-inning victory over Stephen F. Austin Saturday afternoon at the Southwest Regional Complex.
Win the win, Tech (11-4) advances to face Texas State Sunday afternoon as the Bobcats upset No. 9 Baylor, 1-0, Saturday. The Red Raiders earned the No. 1 seed following a 4-0 weekend with Texas State earning the tiebreaker over Baylor after both finished 3-1 overall.
"We honestly didn't play that well but I was glad that we got the win to move on to tomorrow's championship game," Tech head coach Shanon Hays said. "Brittany Talley came on to pitch well in relief and their pitcher kept us off balance as well. We never seemed to get the bats going against them and credit their pitcher for that. She threw well and we'll need to get going offensively tomorrow."
Pitching dominated early as neither squad could create much offense with both teams combining for just two hits over the opening four innings.
Kermitria Ward, who was playing in her hometown of Waco, broke up the scoreless game in the fifth with a two-out infield hit that stopped just inside the line at first, allowing Raven Richardson to scamper home from third.
Talley, who entered the game after starter Kelsey Dennis plunked a hitter to start the third, seemed in control from there. The left-hander frustrated the SFA (4-10) offense over her first four innings, not surrendering a hit until Charlotte Singleton led off the seventh with a single to left field.
Singleton tied the game a few batters later as Linda Linares singled up the middle to bring the tying run around just before the tag from a Mikey Kenney throw to the plate could be applied.
The Red Raiders relied on small-ball in extra innings as Ashley Hamada immediately bunted Ward over to third to start the eighth. Ward started the frame on second due to the international tiebreaker rule.
With a runner now on third and the top of the lineup at bat, Kenney made solid contact on a ground ball to short in order to score Ward, who quickly got down the line to just beat the tag on the throw to the plate.
Talley (3-1) worked a perfect bottom half of the inning to secure the win, Tech's 10th-straight overall. The Bobcats were able to get a runner to third with two outs before Talley closed the door with a third-strike changeup that was only her second strikeout of the game.
Kaitlyn Mixon took the loss for the Bobcats in a complete game effort as the left-hander gave up six hits while also striking out two in the contest.
The game marked the second-straight day Tech had gone to extra-innings as the Red Raiders dropped 10 runs on North Texas to break open a scoreless game in the eighth.
The Red Raiders and Texas State will begin at 12:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon at Getterman Stadium.