From Texas Tech Athletics:
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Texas Tech exploded for four runs in the first inning and
five more in the third en route to a season-opening 12-4 victory over Central
Florida Friday morning at Eller Media Stadium.
Backed by a three-RBI game from Adriana Perez, the Red Raiders (1-0) opened the season with a victory for the fifth-straight year. Tech's 12 runs in the contest were its most in a season opener since also topping UCF, 12-4, in 2009.
The victory was also special for Tech skipper Shanon Hays, who became the program's all-time winningest coach with the win. Hays, who is 122-51 in three-plus seasons at Tech, passed current UCF coach Renee Luers-Gillespie, who totaled 121 wins at Tech from 1996-2000.
Perez and Mikey Kenney both connected on two-run homers in the rout as Kenney easily cleared the center field fence in the third while Perez lifted a liner off the scoreboard in left field an inning later.
Perez added a game-ending RBI single in the fifth to finish 3-for-3 with a walk. Kenney closed the game 2-fo-4 at the plate with two runs scored to go along with her two RBI.
The Red Raiders benefited early from three UCF (0-1) errors and three passed balls in the first inning alone that helped Tech take an early 4-0 lead. The Knights finished with four errors and six passed balls, leading to six total unearned runs.
Lexie Elkins, making her first career start behind the plate, helped Tech break the game open in the third with a two-run double just over the head over left fielder Brittanne Gasser. It was the first career hit and RBI for the freshman, who graduated high school a semester early to join the Red Raiders for this season.
Brittany Talley, meanwhile, kept the UCF bats at bay as the southpaw surrendered just one run off four hits in 4.2 innings of work. It marked the second time in her career where she had earned the opening-game start.
Talley (1-0) was relieved to start the fifth as Gretchen Aucoin came on for her first career appearance. Aucoin walked two and then was relieved by fellow freshman Tess McPherson, who immediately gave up a three-run homer to pinch hitter Hailey Barraco. Talley returned soon after to close the inning.
Shelby Turnier (0-1) took the loss for the Knights after giving up nine runs, two of which were earned, off six hits in three innings. Alex Hartshorn gave up three runs in relief over the final 1.2 innings.
The Red Raiders are set to face No. 18 Louisville in the final game of the day. That game is currently underway at Eller Media Stadium.