Tech softball goes 1-2 at Oklahoma

From the Texas Tech Athletics Department:

Lauren Chamberlain connected on a pair of early home runs to lead No. 5 Oklahoma to a 4-1 victory Saturday in the rubber match against Texas Tech at the OU Softball Complex.

Chamberlain powered two long balls, a two-run shot to right in the first and then another two-run shot this time to left in the third. She now has 19 home runs on the year, tops in the Big 12.

Facing an early deficit for the first time in the series, the Red Raiders (31-9; 4-4) could not mount much of a rally against Oklahoma starter Michelle Gascoigne, who gave up her only run in the game off a Sandy James RBI double in the sixth.

James' hit followed a leadoff double by Logan Hall, her second on the day, to start the inning. James was called out moments later for leaving second early, killing Tech's momentum in the process as the Red Raiders did not record another hit the rest of the way.

Hall and James combined for four of Tech's six hits in the game as both finished 2-for-3 at the plate. It marked James' third-straight game in the series to record a hit and her second-consecutive multiple-hit game.

Gascoigne (13-1) finished off the complete game effort by working around a walk in the seventh. She had two of her eight strikeouts in the inning alone and finished giving up only six hits and a walk.

Cara Custer (18-6) took the loss for the Red Raiders after giving up both of Chamberlain's home runs in the early going. She finished with only one strikeout in the game while allowing four hits in 3.1 innings of work.

Brittany Talley came in to provide solid relief out of the pen as she overcame five hits in her 2.2 innings by not allowing a run. She also struck out three during that span, escaping two potential jams in the process.

The Sooners (32-5; 8-2) put two runners on in the fifth and then loaded the bases in the sixth, only for Talley to work out of trouble.

The top of the OU lineup gave Tech fits throughout the game as Destinee Martinez reached base three times from the leadoff spot on a 2-for-4 day while Chamberlain followed with a 3-for-4 performance that included the four big RBI.

The Red Raiders return to action Wednesday evening as Tech hosts in-state rival No. 3 Texas in a 6 p.m. first pitch at Rocky Johnson Field.