The Texas Tech softball team was defeated by the University of Houston 3-1 in their final game at the Houston Invitational on Saturday. With the loss, Tech moved to 3-1 overall this season after beating the University of Texas at San Antonio twice and UH once earlier in the weekend.

In their final game, the Red Raiders tallied four hits and struck out five times. Junior Ellie Bailey batted in the only run in the game for Tech when she hit a double to right field in the first inning that scored graduate student Molly Grumbo.

Sophomore Kennedy Crites pinch hit for Grumbo in the 5th and singled to left field. Junior Riley Ehlen also came into the game as a pinch hitter for junior Alanna Barraza also singled to left field on a 1-2 count.

The Red Raiders got on base eight times with the help of three errors committed by UH. Of those eight runners, Tech stranded seven. 

Tech had trouble with UH Senior pitcher Kenna Wilkey on Sunday, hitting 1-15 with runners on base. In her two appearances so far, Wilkey has thrown 13.1 innings with five hits and 13 strikeouts while giving up just one run, according to UH athletics. 

The pitchers for the Red Raiders were called upon to help the offense. Senior Morgan Hornback started the game on Sunday, but only made it to the third inning after giving up three runs. Hornback finished her game with three hits and two strikeouts on 62 pitches.

Sophomore Olivia Rains came in to relieve Hornback in the middle of the third inning. Rains completed the rest of the game by striking out one and giving up four hits. This was Rains’ second appearance in the tournament, the first coming against UTSA when she got pulled going into the third inning.

Tech’s loss to UH on Sunday capped off the tournament, with the Red Raiders winning three of the four games they played in.

In their first game of the tournament, Tech run-ruled UTSA 8-0 in five innings, thanks in large part to junior pitcher Kendall Fritz. In her game against UTSA, Fritz allowed one hit while striking out five batters on 65 pitches. Fritz would continue against UH in game three.

In game two against the Roadrunners on Saturday, there were 11 hits between the two teams — six for Tech and five for UTSA — and the Red Raiders pulled away in the seventh inning to win 6-5. Sophomore Carson Armijo hit the go-ahead two-run HR that later won the game. Armijo finishes the tournament 5-12, leading the team with five RBIs with two HRs. 

In the second game of their double header on Saturday, Tech faced off against UH. Fritz would get the start against the Cougars and picked up right where she left off against UTSA. With her second straight shutout game, Fritz tossed four strikeouts with giving up one hit.

So far on the year, Fritz has accumulated nine strikeouts in 12 innings, giving up two hits and one walk in 37 batters faced. She leads the team in ERA and strikeouts, with an ERA of 0.00. 

Tech will travel east to Clearwater, Florida to play in the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational from Feb. 17 – Feb. 20. There, they will open up with two games on Thursday against Auburn University at 11:30 a.m. and Clemson University at 2:30 p.m. On Friday, Tech will play Northwestern University at 9:30 a.m. and the University of Central Florida at 5 p.m. 

Tech will only play one game each on Saturday and Sunday, facing off against the University of Washington at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, they play Louisiana State University at 8 a.m.

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