In Texas Tech softball’s five games entering its home tournament this weekend, the Red Raiders scored sixteen combined runs.
For full disclosure, two of those games were against No. 11 Alabama. But at home this weekend, in five games, the Red Raiders scored 44.
The tournament ended for the Red Raiders with a 12-11 loss to North Texas, a game in which they held an 8-2 lead through three innings.
“You can’t give up 17 hits and win — key lessons we already knew,” Texas Tech coach Adrian Gregory said. “We have to pitch better. We have to defend better. It’s been a great weekend for us to hit well. And we hadn’t really hit well up to this point. And this is how we know how to swing. We just have to put it all together.”
With North Texas (11-9) trailing 9-7 in the top of the sixth, the Mean Green exploded for five runs — two of which came on a throwing error from second baseman Raina O’Neal —to take a 12-9 lead.
A Devon Thomey homer brought the Red Raiders (11-9) to within two in the bottom of the sixth, 12-10.
In the bottom of the seventh, Susan Welborn doubled and scored on a North Texas fielding error before Kenzie Davis popped up to left field to end the game.
North Texas took a 2-0 lead after a Lindsay Gregory homer in the first inning and an O’Neal fielding error at second back for Texas Tech that allowed Camille Grahmann to score.
The Red Raiders answered with seven runs in the bottom of the second, highlighted by a Jessica Hartwell grand slam that scored Kiani Ramsey, Kiana Workman and Devon Thomey.
“I think my swing feels good and I was ready for that pitch,” Hartwell said. “We needed a big hit at that time and it was good to come through for the team.”
A Welborn homer in the bottom of the third gave Texas Tech an 8-2 lead. Welborn made her season debut Friday after missing the first three weeks because of a shoulder injury.
In the top of the fourth, North Texas climbed back into the game after a three-run homer from Kelli Schkade and a solo homer from Lindsay Gregory that made the score 8-6.
A Kierra Miles single in the bottom of the fourth that scored O’Neal put the Red Raiders up 9-6 before North Texas added a run on a Lindsay Gregory single.
Saturday, during the second day of the Texas Tech invitational, the Red Raiders swept UTEP and North Texas.
Against UTEP, freshman pitcher Kassidy Scott homered in the sixth inning to give the Red Raiders a 12-4 run-rule win.
In the second game, against North Texas, the Red Raiders trailed 3-0 before a Warnecke two-run homer helped the Red Raiders climb back into the game.
In the sixth inning of that game, Warnecke hit another homer that put Texas Tech up 6-4 — the second multi-homer game of Warnecke’s career.
The loss in the second game against North Texas drops Scott’s record to 5-5. She allowed nine hits and seven runs (three earned) in 3.1 innings.
“I think Kassidy is just fighting her own self and her own mental ability right now,” Adrian Gregory said. “She has to trust her pitches. At her level in high school or in travel, she could over throw and beat people based on speed and velocity and power. And she can’t do that at our level. She’s a young kid learning she has to make the ball move.”
Texas Tech Invitational results
at Rocky Johnson Field, March 3-5
North Texas 7, Wichita State 2
Texas Tech 8, UTEP 0
Wichita State 10, Texas Tech 7
Wichita State 7, UTEP 5
North Texas 14, Wichita State 10
Texas Tech 12, UTEP 4
Texas Tech 6, North Texas 5
UTEP 6, Wichita State 1
North Texas 12, Texas Tech 11