Lady Raiders suffer fifth conference loss - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lady Raiders suffer fifth conference loss

Source: KCBD Graphic Source: KCBD Graphic
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Provided by Texas Tech Athletics

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech softball cut a 5-0 lead to one before falling to Kansas, 5-4, Saturday afternoon in the program’s annual Strikeout Cancer game at Rocky Johnson Field.
 
The loss moves Tech to 16-20 overall and 3-5 in Big 12 play, while Kansas takes the three-game series and improves to 21-17, 3-5 in the Big 12. 
 
“With as many events that are going on campus right now, [the crowd] was a huge deal,” head coach Adrian Gregory said. “Anytime that you get hecklers, it’s just fun. It’s annoyingly fun. Our baseball team has that culture and as I’ve said multiple times, you can’t replace the energy. I think our fans and [cancer] survivors that are here they know how to fight, and hopefully they saw a little bit of fight in us. You don’t always win the fight, but the important piece is to fight and continue along.”
 
After a six-run sixth propelled Kansas to the win Friday, the Jayhawks used a five-run third to gain the advantage Saturday. A one-out, bases loaded single by Kansas’s Becki Monaghan bounced over the head of first baseman Jessica Hartwell and brought home the first two runs of the ball game. A wild pitch would make it 3-0, before a two-out blooper into right plated two more to make it 5-0.
 
The Red Raiders responded in the bottom of the fourth with a dazzling display of base running. With pinch runner Kaylee Strickland on first base, freshman Raina O’Neal singled through the right side, advancing Strickland. As Strickland slid in safe at third, O’Neal darted for second, and as the throw was made to try to catch O’Neal, Strickland scurried home to put the Red Raiders on the board. 
 
The aggressiveness on the base paths paid off later in the inning when, with two outs and runners on the corners, senior Sarah Weber got caught in a run down between first and second just long enough to score O’Neal from third to make it a 5-2 game heading to the fifth.
 
Tech kept it going in the bottom of the fifth as senior Kierra Miles launched her third home run of the season and 35th of her career over the trees behind the left field barricade to make it 5-3. Miles, who went 3-3 with a walk Saturday, is batting .714 for the weekend and is now one home run away from a tie for second place on the school’s all-time home runs list.
 
The lead was cut to one in the bottom of the sixth as senior Devon Thomey got a hold of a pitch and sent it over the left centerfield wall for a solo shot and her fourth home run of the season. 
 
The winning run came to the plate for the Red Raiders in the seventh after Miles drew a one-out walk. Ramsey and Hartwell, however, were retired to end the game.
 
Senior Mattison Maisel was strong in relief, tossing 4.2 innings of scoreless ball, holding the Jayhawks without a run for the final three innings of the game. Freshman Kassidy Scott receives the loss going 2.1 innings and gets credited with five runs on seven hits with a strikeout and a walk.
 
“I thought Mattison threw great,” Gregory said. “I thought she kept them off balance really well. I thought she worked the umpire’s zone really well. I thought she did exactly what she needed to do to keep us in the ball game. She came in and did her job, and I thought our defense did their job. Anytime they get a bouncer to go over infielders’ heads and somebody gets two runs out of that, it’s just not your day. And that’s happened to use two days in a row.”
 
The series finale gets underway Sunday at noon at Rocky Johnson Field. A pre-game running of the Masked Rider and an Easter egg hunt highlight the festivities.
 

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