NEW ORLEANS – Two home runs from Kelcy Leach, paired with elite pitching from Erin Edmoundson (2-0) and Missy Zoch (2-0), pushed the Texas Tech softball team (4-0) to another two-win day at the Big Easy Classic on Saturday.
The Red Raiders outlasted Louisiana Tech, 9-5, and Edmoundson tossed her first complete-game shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory over Central Arkansas.
Freshman Brianna Cantu went a perfect 3-for-3 on the day and blasted a pair of doubles that helped Tech to a commanding victory over Louisiana Tech. Leach, who posted a team-leading three RBI on the day, blasted two home runs against the Lady Techsters.
Zoch collected eight strikeouts in a relief-win in game one and Edmoundson equaled Zoch in game two with eight strikeouts against the Bears.
With the two wins, the Red Raiders improve to 4-0 on the season.
GAME 1: TEXAS TECH 9, LOUISIANA TECH 5
Facing a familiar foe from the 2019 Baton Rouge Regional, the Red Raiders showed their scrappiness and overcame a three-run deficit to improve to 3-0 on the season. Tech tallied 13 hits – highlighted by two homers from Leach and five doubles – against the Lady Techsters and Missy Zoch limited the tournament host to just three hits in five innings.
Tech broke open the scoring in the top of the first after Peyton Blythe smoked a double through the left-center field gap. She immediately moved to third on a passed ball and an RBI off the bat of Karli Hamilton gave Tech its first lead, 1-0.
Transfer GiGi Wall held the Lady Techsters scoreless in the bottom of the frame, but Louisiana Tech used four hits and one error to take a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the second.
Determined to claw their way back into the game, the Red Raiders capitalized on a fielder's choice and walk to put runners on first and second in the top of the third. Zoe Jones ripped an RBI single into center field and sophomore Morgan Hornback cut the deficit down to one run with an RBI single to left field.
Zoch relieved Wall to start the bottom of the inning and provided a much-needed three up, three down break to send Tech back into the dugout.
Back-to-back doubles from Cantu and Miranda Padilla in the top of the fourth tied up the game at four runs apiece and an error by Louisiana Tech's second baseman allowed Tech to retake the lead, 5-4. Zoch used three strikeouts to keep the Lady Techsters off the board in the bottom of the frame and a two-run home run from Leach in the top of the fifth powered Tech to a 7-4 lead.
The Red Raiders held off the Lady Techsters once again in the bottom of the inning and Tech continued to keep the pressure on in the following inning. Redshirt junior Heaven Burton forced an error at first and she successfully stole second in the next at-bat. A single from Breanna Russell put runners on the corners and, when she tried to steal second, a throwing error by the Louisiana Tech catcher allowed Burton to advance home.
A pair of hits for the Lady Techsters plated one more run in the bottom of the sixth, but Zoch and the Red Raiders escaped the inning with their lead intact.
Delivering the final blow, Leach belted her second home run of the game to give the Red Raiders a 9-5 lead in the top of the seventh. Zoch tallied two more strikeouts in the bottom of the frame and an easy grounder to Padilla at short clinched the four-run victory for the Red Raiders.
GAME 2: TEXAS TECH 1, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 0
The Red Raider pitchers continued to impress on day two as Edmoundson fanned eight hitters in her first complete-game shutout of the season. Hits were sparse for both teams as Russell and Yvonne Whaley were the lone Red Raiders to garner hits off of UCA's Jordan Johnson.
Both teams were silent to start the game and Edmoundson used three strikeouts to end the top of the second. A leadoff walk to Hamilton in the bottom of the inning gave Tech a timely advantage and a throwing error on a bunt from Michaela Cochran placed two runners in scoring position.
Russell battled off nine pitches in a 12-pitch at-bat and, eventually, powered a key single to the Central Arkansas shortstop. Hamilton sprinted home and scored what would be the only run of the game. Central Arkansas scattered two hits over the next two innings before Whaley powered Tech's next (and final) hit of the game in the bottom of the fifth.
Neither team was able to scrape up a hit in the sixth and Edmoundson closed out the final inning with a strikeout and two fly balls. Edmoundson limited the Bears to just four hits and improved to 2-0 with a spotless ERA.
COMING UP NEXT
The Red Raiders are set to wrap up the weekend tomorrow with a 10 a.m. game against Montana. Live stats, as well as a live stream on Facebook Live, will be available. For all the latest information on the Texas Tech softball team, visit TexasTech.com or follow @TexasTechSB on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.