It was a not a game for the faint of heart Sunday at Rocky Johnson Field as Texas Tech softball fought back from two late deficits to come away with a 4-3 win in 10 innings over Iowa State. The win gave the Red Raiders the sweep of the Cyclones and set a new program record for the most home wins in a season with 11.
Despite being down 1-0 with a full count in the bottom of the seventh, Tech (20-33, 7-9) rallied to tie the score at one apiece on Whitney Riley's first home run of the season to send the game into extra innings. Then, facing a 3-2 deficit in the tenth, the Red Raiders put two on the board to complete the sweep of the Cyclones (26-25, 3-12). With today's win, Tech now sits sixth in the Big 12 with next weekend's series with Oklahoma State, currently fourth after today's action, proving big for seeding in the conference tournament.
Early on both pitchers dominated, allowing no runs through the first four innings. ISU finally struck first with a single to score a runner to make the score 1-0 in the top of the fifth. It would remain that way until Riley stepped up to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to blast her first home run of the season to even the score at one run apiece.
In extra frames, ISU was the first to strike in the eighth on a home run by Courtney Wray to make the score 2-1. Tech fought back in the bottom of the inning with singles from Devin Zaragoza and Jennifer Corkin. The bases were loaded when the Cyclones' pitcher hit Elizabeth Eimen with a pitch. Zaragoza then hustled across on a wild pitch to tie the game at two. No runs were put on the board in the ninth by either team to bring the international tie breaker into effect.
The top of the tenth saw ISU up the score to 3-2 on a single from Amanda Bradberry. With the pressure increasingly mounting, the Red Raiders tied the game in the bottom of the inning when a double from Montana Patin scored Leah Legler from second. With Patin on second, freshman Lauren Preston singled to left field and the ISU fielder made an error on the play to allow Patin to score the winning run.
Corkin went 3-4 from the plate to help pace Tech, while Patin finished 2-4 on the day with one RBI and a run scored. Riley was 2-4 with a double, a homer and an RBI, while Zaragoza snapped out of a recent funk with 3-5 showing to go along with a run scored. Sarah Losleben picked up the win and evened her record at 3-3 on the year. Despite a no decision, Tye Coats pitched well in the circle, giving up just two runs in a career-best nine innings of work. With today's win, Tech now sits sixth in the Big 12.
Wray went 1-4 with an RBI, and Sydni Jones finished 1-4 with a pair of runs scored to lead the Cyclones. Freshman Rachel Zabrinskie (12-11) went the distance in the circle while picking up the loss.