CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – The Texas Tech softball team (4-10) had a seventh inning rally fall just short as the Red Raiders dropped an 8-7 contest to Long Beach State (5-8) Saturday afternoon at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
A big fourth inning propelled the Beach into the win, as they scored four runs to take a 6-4 lead with five hits in the inning.
LBSU got on the board first in the top of the second when a throwing error allowed two runs to cross. In the bottom half of the inning the Red Raiders answered putting up a three spot to lead 3-2. Riley Ehlen led off the inning with a single and Kennedy Crites walked to put two on for Peyton Blythe who notched her second home run in the last two games, going deep to center field.
Tech added one more run in the third to make it 4-2 on a triple from Payton Jackson that scored Carson Armijo.
The Beach opened the fourth with a single up the middle and put runners on second and third after a single and an error. Back-to-back base hits scored three runs to give them a 5-4 lead. One more run came across after the runner on third scored on a ground out to the pitcher.
Long Beach doubled its lead in the top of the sixth with a triple to centerfield that scored a pair of runs followed by a single to the left that brought in the eighth run of the game to make it 8-4.
Tech held them scoreless in the top of the seventh to keep it a four-run deficit. Riley Love walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh and moved to second on a wild pitch. Arriana Villa knocked an infield single to put runners on the corners for Ellie Bailey who smacked a pinch-hit double to left field to bring in one run, 8-5. Armijo singled up the middle in the next at bat, scoring Villa and Demi Elder to make it a one run game at 8-7. The Beach made a call to their bullpen for the final two outs of the game, striking out one batter and forcing a deep fly out to right for the final out of the game.
Erna Carlin got the start in the circle for the Red Raiders, pitching 2.0 innings allowing two runs, none earned, on three hits. Olivia Rains (0-3) entered the third inning, pitching the third and opening the fourth inning before exiting after 1.0 innings pitched with four runs allowed on four hits. Morgan Hornback pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on four hits with two strikeouts. Ranci Willis finished the game for Tech, tossing the final 1.1 innings with no hits and no runs allowed and one strikeout.
- Payton Jackson reached base for the seventh straight game by tripling in the third inning, her second career triple.
- Arriana Villa’s base hit in the bottom of the seventh added on to her hit streak, which is now at four games.
- Despite the loss, the Red Raiders scored the second most runs this season with seven, they only scored more in their 8-0 season opening win over UTSA.
The Red Raiders close out the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic against # 18 Northwestern Sunday morning at 10:45 am CT.