ORLANDO, Fla. – Texas Tech softball earned a 6-2 win at UCF Saturday after falling in extra innings to Hofstra to kick off its first day at the UCF Tournament in Orlando, Fla.
The Red Raiders (3-4) dropped a 3-2 decision in eight innings to Hofstra (7-2), but rebounded strong with a decisive victory over the Knights (4-4) for its second straight road win.
“I thought our kids stayed hungry in their pursuit to play the game hard,” head coach Adrian Gregory said. “We played a very good game against Hofstra and didn’t come out with the win, but we didn’t let that affect how we attacked the game tonight. I’m proud of our girls. They played the game with aggression, confidence and joy. They trusted the journey and did so many little things right. Today was a great step forward.”
Redshirt sophomore Karli Hamilton and junior Jessica Hartwell led the Red Raider effort against the Knights with three hits each. Hamilton posted a career-high three hits with a walk and two runs scored, while Hartwell tallied her third home run of the season and three RBI. Senior Kaylee Strickland recorded a career-high two hits and junior Kiana Workman smashed a two-RBI double.
Senior Cheyene Powell got the start and provided two solid innings before sophomore Kassidy Scott took over and went the distance to earn her third win of the season. She tossed five innings of scoreless ball, giving up just two hits with five strikeouts.
Trailing 1-0 in the third, Tech piled up three singles to even the game before a double from Workman put Tech in front 3-1. The Red Raiders added two more in the fourth thanks to RBI singles from Hamilton and Hartwell. A solo homer from Hartwell in the seventh closed the scoring.
Hofstra claimed an extra-inning win in the first game of the day. The two teams went to the eighth deadlocked at 1-1 before Hofstra scored a pair and then held on for the 3-2 win.
Texas Tech struck first in the bottom half of the first frame. Hartwell drew a two-out walk before Workman drove her home with a deep fly ball to left that was just out of reach of the left fielder.
Hofstra, however, answered in the top of the fourth on an RBI single from catcher Kaitlyne Musa. The Pride got their two runs in the eighth on a double from right fielder Brielle Pietrafesa. An RBI single from Hamilton was all Tech could muster in the bottom frame.
Despite a strong relief performance from Erin Edmoundson, the reliever was tagged with the loss after going 4.2 innings and giving up just two runs, one earned run and one hit with three strikeouts. Sophomore Sarah Cornell earned the complete-game win for the Pride, moving to 5-1 on the season.
Texas Tech closes play at the UCF Tournament on Sunday with games against Florida A&M and Hofstra. The Red Raiders take on the Rattlers at 9:30 a.m. CST and the Pride at 11:30 a.m. CST. Tech will then return home for its home opener Wednesday, Feb. 21, against Abilene Christian at 6 p.m.