CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Despite a monster home run in opening frame from Peyton Blythe, Texas Tech fell to Utah, 6-2, in day two of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic Friday at Big League Dreams.
Despite two Tech (10-4) relief pitchers not relinquishing a run in the late innings, the early runs for Utah (8-3) proved to be enough to power them to the morning win.
The Red Raiders struck first in the opening frame of the ballgame as Blythe hit a monster two-run home run to give Tech an early 2-0 lead.
In its first at-bat, Utah took the lead once and for all after plating four runs off two hits in the bottom of the first. A single and a walk set up Julia Jimenez for an RBI fielder’s choice. After a second walk was issued, Kaylah Nelsen doubled down the left field line to clear the bases and give Utah a 4-2 lead.
After a quiet second frame, a two-RBI single again from Nelsen saw the Utes claim a 6-2 lead. Maddie Kuehl entered in the second inning for starter Ranci Willis (0-1) and saw the majority of the action for the Red Raiders.
Kuehl hurled 3.0 innings and allowed four hits and two runs. The righty hung a zero in the fourth frame to bring Tech’s offense back to the plate. After the Red Raiders were retired in order, Erna Carlin checked into the circle and scattered three hits to keep the Utes scoreless in the fifth.
Carlin found herself in trouble in the sixth with one-out and the bases loaded. Sage Hoover came in to work in the circle and forced a pair oof pop outs to evade any danger.
Despite four total scoreless frames for Utah, Tech was not able to get the offense rolling to overcome the early four-run deficit.
Willis suffered the loss after allowing the three-run first inning for the Utes. Mariah Lopez (4-2) earned her fourth win of the season after tallying seven strikeouts and allowing just the two runs in the first inning.
Texas Tech looks to bounce back with a pair of late-night games tomorrow in day three of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Game one versus Bethune-Cookman is set for 7 p.m., and game two against UC San Diego will come right after at 10 p.m.
Release provided by Hanna Cooper Texas Tech Athletics