Texas was able to outscore the Red Raiders, 2-0, on Sunday to capture its first series win this season away from McCombs Field.
The Longhorns dropped Saturday’s game to the Raiders in a 3-2 decision after Texas Tech was able to capitalize on a few defensive mistakes late in the game in order to win over the burnt orange and white.
“Well I think (the series win) was big to keep us in the hunt,” Texas head coach Mike White said. “You never know what can happen and it’s about winning series. I think Texas Tech has been shut out twice all year — by a college team, anyway — and (pitcher) Miranda Elish (did both) of them so its tremendous.”
Elish saw the circle for Texas on Friday and Sunday, both of which she played a complete game.
“(I was) trusting in the game coach White was calling and executing the pitches, trusting in my defense behind me, not much really changed,” Elish said of her performance on Sunday. “Sometimes I got a little tentative and that’s when you would see those walks come in, but for the most part, you know, just attacking the strike zone and challenging the hitters.”
The junior allowed just two hits on Sunday, giving her no earned runs across her two appearances in Lubbock. Additionally, she capped off her 12th complete game and seventh solo shutout of the season with four walks and nine strikeouts.
“You have to throw pitches that they’re gonna swing at,” Elish said. “You wanna get swings and misses ... I just have to pound the zone and if I’m throwing good pitches then they’re gonna swing and miss.”
Texas’ defense was able to step up behind Elish on Sunday, especially, helping the right-handed pitcher to ride her momentum until the end of the game. At the bottom of the sixth, shortstop Kaitlyn Slack and first baseman Malory Schattle did just that by executing an inning-ending double play.
“When your teammates get you out of a jam and do a play like that, it’s huge and it’s a momentum shifter and it keeps our lead by two,” Elish said. “There’s not really much more you can ask for out of your defense than that.”
The Longhorns won their second Big 12 series of the season in front of the largest crowd in Rocky Johnson Field history, with 1,294 fans showing up to watch the competition.
“I’ve been impressed with how tough it is in the Big 12 and the crowds really get into it and I thought we held our composure really well,” White said. “Especially Miranda Elish in the seventh inning came right out firing strikes and they were getting in trouble so it was a lot better for my heart rate too.”