One of the traits that’s come to define freshman pitcher Tiarra Davis is her ability to get out of tough jams.
Friday afternoon Davis showed that skill off yet again, getting out of a bases loaded, one out situation without a run in the third inning and nearly getting out of a two on, one out situation unscathed in the sixth in a 5-1 win over Texas Tech.
“My defense was there to back me up when I got into jams,” Davis said. “I’m putting my full trust in them that they’ll get me out of the jams I work myself into.”
Davis, as she has in her previous starts, started the game with a near perfect two innings of work, striking out three batters in the process. But, the top of the third presented a tougher challenge. Three of the first four batters of the inning reached to load the bases with one out.
After a meeting with head coach Connie Clark, Davis came back firing, getting the next two batters to pop out to end the threat.
Davis found herself in a similar situation in the top of the sixth, getting the first batter to line out, but then giving up hits to the next two batters to put runners at first and third. After a strike out, Davis appeared have gotten out of the inning, but a line drive was bobbled by second baseman Stephanie Ceo allowing the Red Raiders (27-13, 0-4 Big 12) to score their first run of the game.
Clark said she though Davis did a good job of bearing down with runners on base and finding ways to get out of the inning.
“We had an opportunity to get out of the jam but we had the error there,” Clark said. “To keep the shutout would have been nice, but she did a really nice job of attacking the strike zone and staying pitch to pitch.”
After scoring the second-most runs in program history Wednesday night, the Longhorns’ (22-15, 2-0 Big 12) offense initially came out the same way it had ended the last game. Senior center fielder Brejae Washington led off with a double to center field and then scored on a Lindsey Stephens pop fly that Texas Tech shortstop Samantha Camello bobbled.
Then senior shortstop Taylor Thom, who hit two home runs Wednesday, hit a two-run shot to right-center field to put Texas up 3-0.
In the second inning, freshman third baseman Devon Tunning and Ceo each got on to start the inning and scored two batters later on a Stephens single to right.
Davis said the five run lead helped her to relax a little in the circle.
“It’s a good feeling for me to work with a cushion knowing I don’t have to be perfect out there,” Davis said.
The Longhorns and Red Raiders will meet Saturday at 4 p.m. in game two of a three-game series. Coach Clark said making adjustments going into that game will be like a game of chess to stay ahead of the curve.
“We know what they’re bringing to the table, so we’ll just try to be the team that makes the adjustments first and that should affect the outcome,” Clark said.