LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech raced out to a three-run lead in the first before allowing IPFW to rally with three runs in the third and two more in the fourth in a 5-4 loss Friday afternoon at Rocky Johnson Field.
The loss drops Tech (14-8) to 1-1 through one day of the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic. The Red Raiders, who will play a total of seven games through Monday, previously defeated UMKC, 8-0, in five innings earlier in the day.
"We got a few hits early but couldn't keep it together," Tech head coach Shanon Hays said. "We are still working to find that core group who is going to play well for us and right now we look like a young team. We made too many mistakes and IPFW is a good team and made us pay."
Tech took an early lead in the first with a Mikey Kenney leadoff home run that was her fifth of the year and second to open a game. Kenney also drew a walk in the fourth before finishing 1-for-3 at the plate.
Katelyn Williams added to the Tech lead with the first of two doubles in the game as she drove a first-pitch liner to the gap in left center to score Adriana Perez and pinch runner Marisa Malazzo.
Williams put Tech back in the lead in the third as well, lining another double to nearly the same exact spot to score Sandy James. Williams and James were the only Red Raiders to record at least two hits as they both finished 2-for-4.
The Mastodons (8-4) rallied in the third to tie the game off starter Cara Custer as Dani Pugh powered a two-run single to right while Kayti Hanson dropped a squeeze bunt in front of the plate to score another.
Alex Bousquet and Hillary Kartman gave IPFW the lead for good an inning later with a RBI groundout to short and then a single just inside the chalk in left field. Both runs were charged to Brittany Talley (5-4), who relieved Custer to start the fourth before the right-hander returned with one out in the inning.
Miranda Kramer (6-3) shut down the Red Raiders from there as she retired Tech in order in the fifth and sixth before leaving the game with two outs in the seventh after a liner from James went off her arm.
Megan Flenniken came on to intentionally walk Perez and then strike out Williams to close the game. Kramer had previously allowed four runs, three of which were earned, off seven hits while striking out six in 6.2 innings.
Tech moved a runner into scoring position earlier in the seventh after Shelby Johnson drew a one-out walk and then followed by stealing second. She was caught trying to swipe third just before James' single, however.
Tech and IPFW will face each other again Saturday afternoon in a scheduled 1:30 p.m. first pitch at Rocky Johnson Field. The Red Raiders will close the day at 4 p.m. against UMKC.