HOUSTON – Heaven Burton, Erin Edmoundson and Breanna Russell each recorded a pair of hits, but it wasn't enough as the Texas Tech softball team fell to Syracuse, 3-2, in eight innings on Sunday at Cougar Softball Stadium.
Edmoundson threw six full innings and surrendered two runs on six hits. GiGi Wall entered in relief in the seventh inning but took the loss in the bottom of the eighth.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Burton forced an Orange error right out of the gates, but she was called out for leaving early at first and Tech was unable to take advantage of the Syracuse mistake in the opening frame.
Back-to-back Syracuse doubles moved runners into scoring position to start the bottom of the inning. The defense responded with a pair of pop flies, but a two-out walk loaded the bases for the Orange. Buckling down, Edmoundson narrowed her focus and registered her first strikeout of the day to escape the jam.
Zoe Jones and Chloe Cobb drew walks to give Tech a pair of runners in the top of the second, but Tech was once again unable to plate a run. The Red Raiders produced a three up, three down frame in the bottom of the inning, and Tech put pressure on the Syracuse defense thanks to back-to-back singles from Burton and Edmoundson in the top of the third.
After Edmoundson stole second, a walk to Hamilton loaded the bases but, after battling through seven pitches, Jones popped up to short and Tech left three runners stranded.
The Red Raiders held off Syracuse in the bottom of the inning but a three-hit bottom of the fourth plated one run for the Orange and Tech fell behind, 1-0.
Syracuse relieved starting pitcher Catie Dobbs with Alexa Romero in the top of the fifth, but the switch only helped the Red Raider offense. Tech kept a cool head at the plate and began to chip away at the deficit when Burton and Edmoundson belted back-to-back singles for the second time.
With just one out, Russell stepped up to the dish and smacked an RBI single into center field and Burton booked it home to even the score, 1-1. A passed ball moved two Red Raiders into scoring position and a sacrifice squeeze, laid down by Karli Hamilton, allowed Edmoundson to cross home plate safely, giving Tech a 2-1 advantage.
The Red Raiders loaded the bases for the second time when Syracuse reliever Kaia Oliver issued back-to-back walks to Kelcy Leach and Shelby Henderson to start the sixth. All runners were safe on a chopper from Tori Whillock, but the Red Raiders couldn't capitalize and stranded three runners.
Edmoundson fielded a clean bunt for the first out in the bottom of the inning, but Syracuse shifted the momentum and powered a home run off of the Tech lefty to neutralize the game, 2-2.
Tech fought to respond in the top of the seventh when Russell poked a single to third. She was able to advance to second on a throwing error and Hamilton's second sacrifice bunt of the day moved her over to third. However, Russell was tagged out on a fielder's choice, but Yvonne Whaley made up ground and advanced to third on the play. Leach drew her second walk of the day to put runners on the corners, but an untimely strikeout stifled the Red Raiders' efforts.
The Red Raiders switched up looks in the circle and sent in Wall to close out the seventh. The Oklahoma native did her job and forced extra innings after a 1-2-3 outing in the field.
Both teams followed international tie-breaker rules in the eighth inning and freshman Alanna Barraza was placed on second to start the frame. However, Tech hit into a double play and the Red Raiders were once again unable to scratch across a run.
A solid stop by Russell at third base marked the first out of the inning and she prevented an Orange runner from advancing 60 feet away from home plate. However, Syracuse's Rebecca Clyde grounded out to first base and the Orange runner at second took off running. As freshman first baseman Brianna Cantu turned to run to the bag, Syracuse's Gabby Teran rounded third and beat the throw at the plate to top the Red Raiders, 3-2.
Wall (1-1) took the loss for the Red Raiders and Tech falls to 10-5 on the season.
COMING UP NEXT
The Red Raiders will pick up action in Fullerton, Calif., with five games at the Judi Garman Classic on Feb. 27-29. For all the latest information on the Texas Tech softball team, visit TexasTech.com or follow @TexasTechSB on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.