LUBBOCK, Texas – After the first two games of the series were determined by who struck first, it was only fitting that Sunday's rubber match between No. 24 Texas Tech and No. 25 Baylor came down to the final at-bat.
Facing a two-run deficit in the seventh, Logan Hall connected on a two-out, two-run double to the gap in left field and Mikey Kenney scored her immediately after with a bloop single to send the Red Raiders to a 6-5 walk-off victory at Rocky Johnson Field.
"You're never out of it when you've got this group of seniors," Tech head coach Shanon Hays said. "You get a break here or there and I told our team afterward that we never really got it going this weekend. A&M and Baylor both played well against us, and we were very fortunate to get this game with Baylor today, but on the other hand, we kind of earned it too."
While the Tech bats won it in the end, it was Baylor in the field who put the Red Raiders in position for the victory as the Bears opened the final frame with back-to-back errors.
Raven Richardson began the inning with a hard ground ball to short that was misplayed enough for the senior to reach second. Holley Gentsch followed with a pop up to shallow right that was dropped after Kathy Shelton and Kaitlyn Thumann collide to put the tying run on base.
Ashley Hamada bunted the runners into scoring position for Hall, who delivered her Big 12-leading 15th double of the season to tie the game.
Kenney followed with a single to shallow left field that gave Hall just enough time to scamper home from second. The pair both finished 2-for-3 at the plate with Kenney driving in a pair of runs thanks to a fourth-inning solo home run while Hall finished with three RBI.
The walk-off win was the second for Tech (37-13; 10-8) this year as Adriana Perez broke up a 3-3 tie against Iowa State on April 1 with a two-run homer. The series win was Tech's third of the year and the first over Baylor (28-16; 5-10) in Lubbock since taking both games in 1998.
Baylor scored its first three runs in the game off the bat of Sarah Crockett, who had a run-scoring groundout in the first and then a two-run single in the fourth as part of a 2-for-4 day.
The Bears got to Tech starter Cara Custer again in the seventh as Baylor loaded the bases for Thumann to drive a two-out single up the middle, bringing around what appeared to be the winning runs.
Thumann's single, her second of the game, helped Baylor retake the lead for the third time after Tech scored two in the fifth off a RBI single from Emily Bledsoe and a run-scoring groundout from Hall.
Baylor starter Courtney Repka (15-8) could not hang on for the win, however, as the right-hander tossed her second-straight complete game with six runs given up, only three of which were earned following the two errors in the seventh. Repka recorded every out in the series as she tossed 19.2 total innings on the weekend.
Custer (23-8), meanwhile, picked up her second win of the series after the freshman gave up the five runs, three of which were earned, in her 16th complete game of the year. Baylor had 11 hits against the right-hander, who also walked three and struck out three as well.
The win gives Custer 23 victories this season, the most for a Tech freshman since Amanda Renfro also recorded the same amount in 1998. It also marks the second-most single-season wins for a Tech pitcher in school history.
The Red Raiders will take their final road trip of the regular season next weekend as Tech travels to Kansas for a three-game series with the Jayhawks that begins at 5 p.m. Friday in Lawrence.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
#25 Baylor 1 0 0 0 2 0 2 5 11 2
#24 Texas Tech 0 0 0 1 2 0 3 6 8 1
WP – Custer (23-8) LP - Repka (15-8) SV – None
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