LUBBOCK, Texas - Lexie Elkins finished off a five RBI game with a walk-off two-run double in the seventh that sent Texas Tech to an 8-7 victory over Northern Colorado Sunday afternoon at Rocky Johnson Field.
The victory capped a back-and-forth final few innings where Northern Colorado (7-10-1) overcame an early four-run deficit to tie the game twice and eventually take a 7-6 lead into the bottom half of the inning.
"Right now any win feels spectacular," Tech head coach Shanon Hays said. "We have some talented kids on this team and we were able to work around a few disastrous innings and still get a win. That was key. We still have lot to work on but we have the pieces to be a really good team."
The Red Raiders (13-7), who snapped a two-game skid with the win, pushed two runs across in the fifth inning to retake the lead after the Bears posted a four-spot in the top-half of the frame. Northern Colorado rallied with a two-out, two-run homer from Nicole Hudson to tie the game again in the sixth before taking the lead in the seventh off a Morgan Yuhas RBI single.
Elkins, though, wrapped an impressive day with her out-out double that landed just inside the left-field line to score Mikey Kenney and Shelby Johnson, who both singled to start the rally. Sandy James was intentionally walked to bring Elkins to the plate.
It marked Tech's first walk-off victory since Kenney connected on a game-winning RBI single on April 22 last year to propel the Red Raiders to a 6-5 victory over No. 25 Baylor.
Elkins finished 3-for-4 with a two-run single in the fourth and a RBI double in the fifth. She came into the game with just four RBI on the season and doubled that total with her second multiple-hit game of the weekend.
"She was great," Hays said of his 17-year-old freshman. "She's a talented kid who is going through a few adjustments that will make her better. We brought her in here because we knew the type of ability she has and it paid dividends today."
Adriana Perez also went 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI as she put Tech on the board in the first with a RBI single to score Johnson and then a sacrifice fly in the fifth to plate Kenney. Sydnie Tapia also added a sacrifice fly in Tech's three-run third inning.
Cara Custer (6-2) picked up the win despite one of her rougher outings of the season. The right-hander had not allowed a single earned run in her last 42 innings but managed to give up seven off nine hits in 6.2 innings. She was relieved briefly in the fifth by Brittany Talley but returned soon after.
Megan Wilkinson (2-6) took the loss for the Bears after giving up six runs, five of which were earned, off nine hits and one walk. She was relieved briefly by Kelci Cheney in the fourth before returning an inning later.
The Red Raiders continue their 12-game homestand next weekend with the third-annual Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic. The four-day event begins Friday and will include UMKC, IPFW, Troy and UT Arlington.