HOUSTON – Junior pitcher Erin Edmoundson helped the Red Raiders to a split on the second day of the Houston Challenge as she fanned a career-high 12 batters in Tech's 7-0 shutout over Louisiana Tech. The Red Raiders returned to Cougar Softball Stadium later in the day and dropped a narrow 2-1 decision to the hosting Houston Cougars.
Edmoundson, who now carries a 6-1 record, was just three strikeouts away from matching the school record of 15 strikeouts set by Amanda Renfro in 2001. The Red Raiders totaled nine hits against Louisiana Tech and Maddie Westmoreland and Breanna Russell both powered home runs.
Errors plagued the Red Raiders in their second game of the day as both Cougar runs could have been prevented if it weren't for miscues in the infield. Kelcy Leach put Tech on the board with an RBI single in the top of the seventh, but the Red Raiders couldn't overcome the narrow deficit.
Senior pitcher Missy Zoch was issued the loss and the Red Raiders move to 10-4 on the season after the split.
GAME 1: TEXAS TECH 7, LOUISIANA TECH 0
Louisiana Tech produced an early base runner in the opening frame, but Edmoundson held off the Lady Techsters with an easy grounder and a pair of strikeouts.
The Red Raiders went to work immediately, and Burton kicked off the bottom of the inning with a forced error to the Louisiana Tech pitcher. A textbook sacrifice bunt from Hamilton moved Burton over into scoring position and a one-out RBI triple from Russell gave the Red Raiders their first run of the game.
With a runner already at third base, Jones stepped up to the plate and gave Tech a 2-0 advantage with a deep sacrifice fly in left field.
Edmoundson blanked Louisiana Tech with a trio of strikeouts in the second and third innings and she silenced the Louisiana Tech bats once again in the top of the fourth. Her ninth strikeout of the day marked out number one and, following a fly out to center field, she matched her career-high of 10 strikeouts to end the top of the fourth.
Battling through a full count in the bottom of the fourth, Westmoreland added a three-run separation thanks to a solo home run that soared over the center-field wall. The Red Raiders held off the Lady Techsters once again in the top of the fifth and two free passes and a single from Russell loaded the bases.
With Westmoreland up to bat, Louisiana Tech's Bre Hernandez rolled a wild pitch past the Lady Techster catcher and Hamilton slid home safely to put the Red Raiders ahead, 4-0.
Edmoundson collected her 11th and (now career-high) 12th strikeouts in a 1-2-3 effort in the top of the sixth and the Red Raider offense kept rolling in the bottom of the inning. Louisiana Tech turned to Jenny Chapman in the circle and a hit batter and single from Peyton Blythe put a pair of runners on for the Red Raiders.
Launching Tech's second homer of the game, Russell went yard and blasted a three-run homer to extend the Red Raiders' lead, 7-0.
Needing just three more outs to seal the shutout, Tech sent in freshman pitcher Kamryn Caldwell to close the door. The Lady Techsters poked two hits, but she used two grounders and the first strikeout of her career to end the game.
With the win, Tech moved to 10-3 on the season and Edmoundson improved to 6-1.
GAME 2: HOUSTON 2, TEXAS TECH 1
Yvonne Whaley got the Red Raiders rolling in the top of the first with a bunt to third and a stolen base, but the Red Raiders couldn't bring her in and stranded her in their opening opportunity. The Cougars collected one single and a walk in the bottom of the inning, but Zoch stood tall and fanned three batters to keep the game scoreless.
After a clean sheet in the first two innings, back-to-back errors from Barraza and Russell allowed Cougars to reach second and third with no outs. A walk after a pop fly loaded the bases for Houston and Zoch walked in a run to put the Cougars on the board, 1-0.
A sacrifice fly plated another run for the Cougars but Zoch responded with her seventh strikeout of the day to limit the damage.
Zoch used her eighth strikeout of the day to blank Houston in the fourth inning, but Tech still struggled at the plate. GiGi Wall entered the circle in relief in the bottom of the fifth and another error allowed a base runner on two outs. However, the Red Raiders recovered and used a foul fly ball to end the inning.
Wall used a pair of strikeouts to keep the Cougars at bay in the bottom of the sixth and the Tech lineup final started to make adjustments to Houston's Rachel Hertenberger. With one final chance to even the score, Karli Hamilton sparked the Tech lineup with a leadoff single through the left side.
After a fielder's choice, pinch hitter Shelby Henderson drew a walk to put a pair of runners on. After one more out, Leach stepped up to the plate and smacked an RBI single down the left-field line that allowed pinch runner Tori Whillock to score from second.
Despite the late spark, the Red Raiders were unable to plate another run and were edged by Houston, 2-1.
COMING UP NEXT
The Red Raiders look to bounce back tomorrow morning with a contest against Syracuse at 9:30 a.m. Live stats will be available for the game. For all the latest information on the Texas Tech softball team, visit TexasTech.com or follow @TexasTechSB on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.