Freshman utility player Katelyn Belch hit a walk-off home run to lead the Wildcats to a stunning 11-10 comeback victory against Texas Tech Tuesday evening at Poly Wells Field.
Similar to its comeback win against Monmouth earlier in the season, ACU pulled out some late-inning magic to erase a 10-3 lead by the Red Raiders scoring two runs in the sixth, and six more in the seventh to complete the rally.
The Red Raiders piled on four runs in the first inning to take an early 4-0 lead. Senior first baseman Brianna Barnhill cut the deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the first inning with a single that scored senior shortstop Peyton Hedrick and senior center fielder Braegan Hamilton.
The Red Raiders would then go on to take a 9-2 lead with a five-run fourth inning, but the Wildcats weren’t ready to give up yet, as junior right fielder Donelle Johnson sparked her team’s late comeback with a home run in the fifth inning.
“I had just missed in my two at-bats before that one and so coach just told me to hit something hard so I went up with a new approach and the outcome was great,” Johnson said. “Every run was important that game and every person on the team had a role and I think that the home run was just one of the pieces to the puzzle that just helped to keep the inning going.”
Texas Tech’s redshirt sophomore outfielder Karli Hamilton hit a homer in the sixth to take a 10-3 lead, but this would be the final run for the Red Raiders. The Wildcats would then score eight unanswered runs capped off by Belch’s walk-off home run.
Head coach Bobby Reeves said everything was clicking for his team Tuesday evening.
“The home run changed the momentum. They were fighting, hitting, pitching and defending and refused to lose,” Reeves said. “We have struggled at times this year with having all three phases of the game, having 2 or only 1 working during a game but tonight it was all together, And tonight all worked which will hopefully carry into this weekend.”