Provided by Texas Tech Athletics
LUBBOCK, Texas – Mikey Kenney connected on her record-tying 27th career home run with a fourth-inning grand slam that helped lead Texas Tech to a series sweep of No. 23 New Mexico Monday afternoon in the final game of a doubleheader at Rocky Johnson Field.
The grand slam, Kenney's eighth homer on the year, highlighted a seven-run fourth inning for the Red Raiders (19-7), who earned their first two-game sweep of a ranked opponent since dropping No. 7 Oklahoma State in a April 22, 2010 doubleheader in Lubbock.
Tech came into the fourth trailing 3-0 but quickly changed that with three quick runs and then Kenney's dinger to left field. The long ball tied Kenney with Kim Martinez (1997, 1999) for the most career home runs in school history.
"Mikey Kenney had a great at-bat and got a pitch she could hit and it was a real boost for us over a talented New Mexico squad," Tech head coach Shanon Hays said. "She's been hitting the ball really well as of late and I was glad to see her add another homer. These types of wins really boost your RPI at the end of the year and hopefully they will lead us into another good road trip."
The seven-run inning marked Tech's second of the day as the Red Raiders also scored seven in the third inning of their 9-4 victory earlier in the day.
Sandy James and Adriana Perez opened the frame with back-to-back doubles to mount the rally. Perez later came around on a bases-loaded walk to pinch hitter Cydney Allen.
Holley Gentsch drove in Tech's final run before Kenney's grand slam with a pinch-hit bloop single to left field that scored Raven Richardson from third.
New Mexico starter Kaela DeBroeck (10-2) walked three and plunked Emily Bledsoe in the fourth alone to erase a previously solid outing where she allowed only one hit over the first three innings.
Instead, the right-hander took the loss after giving up all eight runs, seven of which were earned, off six hits and six walks.
The Lobos (17-5) got on the board first with a RBI single in the first by Jessica Garcia, the first of three RBI in the game for the catcher as she also powered a two-run home run in the third.
Danielle Castro and Jordyn Bledsoe both added RBI singles for New Mexico in the sixth to make it a two-run game.
Bledsoe added an insurance run in the bottom of the inning off a sacrifice fly to left to give relief pitcher Cara Custer plenty of room to earn her first career save.
Brittany Talley (6-2) picked up the win after giving up three runs off four hits in 4.0 innings of work. Custer pitched the final three innings, giving up two runs off four hits while striking out four.
The Red Raiders will take a day off before heading to the northeast to face Stony Brook in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. (CT) Wednesday. Tech will play a total of seven games over the next six days in the New York area, including five in this weekend's Seton Hall Classic.
THE NEW MEXICO SERIES
• The win improved Texas Tech to 18-16 all-time over New Mexico as the Red Raiders have now won four-straight against the Lobos.
• Tech is also now 8-2 when facing the Lobos in Lubbock. The Red Raiders have now won five of the last six games in Lubbock.
• The Red Raiders swept the Lobos for the second-consecutive year as they also took a doubleheader sweep of New Mexico on March 9 last year.
• With the win, the Red Raiders are now 32-15 all-time against current members of the Mountain West Conference. Tech improved to 3-0 against Mountain West teams this year.
• The game marked the first time Tech has faced a ranked New Mexico squad.
TEXAS TECH AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
• The win marked Tech's second over a ranked opponent this season as the Red Raiders are now 2-4 on the year against the top 25.
• The two-game sweep marked Tech's first over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 7 Oklahoma State in an April 22, 2010 doubleheader in Lubbock.
• Prior to today, Tech had not defeated a ranked opponent period since topping No. 14 Oklahoma, 5-0, on April 1 last year in Lubbock. Tech had also lost its last 13 games against top 25 opponents.
• Tech is now 52 against ranked non-conference opponents under third-year head coach Shanon Hays.
• Red Raiders improved to 11-27 against all ranked opponents under Hays.
• The series marks the first time Tech has hosted a non-conference ranked opponent since facing No. 2 Arizona, on March 9, 2003 during the Red Raider Classic.
TEXAS TECH TEAM NOTES
• The Red Raiders posted a seven-run inning for the second time today as Tech also scored seven runs in the third inning of the earlier game.
• It marked the fourth time this year Tech has scored seven or more runs in an inning dating back to the 10-run eighth against North Texas (Feb. 24) and the seven-run fifth against Utah State (Feb. 19).
• The win marked Tech's first this year when being out-hit by its opponent. The Red Raiders were previously 0-7 in such games.
• The last time Tech won a game when being out-hit was March 19 last year when the Red Raiders took a 3-1 victory over Chattanooga. Tech was outhit 7-5 in that game.
• Tech was previously 1-5 on the year when an opponent scored first. Red Raiders were also 2-4 heading into the game when an opponent scores in the first inning.
• The come-from-behind victory was Tech's second of the year and first since the season opener Feb. 9 against San Diego State. Tech trailed 4-3 after three innings before picking up the 5-4 victory.
• Tech's six walks drawn in the game were one shy of its season high of seven against UTEP on Feb. 25.
• Cara Custer's save was the first for any Tech pitcher this season.
• Kenney's fourth-inning grand slam was her team-leading eighth on the season and 27th for her career, tying her with Kim Martinez (1997, 1999) for first in the school record book.
• Out of her 27 career home runs, Kenney had not previously connected on a grand slam.
• The grand slam was the first for a Tech player since Sandy James hit on at Iowa State on April 11 last year in Ames.
• Kenney has now connected on five home runs in Tech's last 10 games.
• The home run also moved her into a tie for second in the Big 12 with Texas A&M's Mel Dumezich. Lauren Chamberlain of Oklahoma currently holds the conference lead with nine on the year.
• Richardson did not officially register an at-bat in the game as she drew three walks while scoring a run as well.
• The three walks match Sandy James for the team's individual season high as she also drew three free passes against North Texas on Feb. 24
• Richardson reached base in all seven plate appearances Monday as she finished a career-high 4-for-4 in the first game.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
#23 New Mexico 1 0 2 0 0 2 0 5 8 1
Texas Tech 0 0 0 7 0 1 x 8 6 0
WP – Talley (6-2) LP -DeBroeck (10-2) SV – Custer (1)