Provided by Texas Tech Athletics
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – Melisa Ryba crushed a three-run homer in the fourth to help Texas Tech overcome an early 1-0 deficit and defeat Monmouth, 4-2, Friday morning in the Seton Hall Classic opener at Ivy Hill Park.
The win marks Tech's 11th-straight over non-conference opponents dating back to the start of the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic March 2 in Lubbock.
For the second-straight game, Tech (22-7) had to overcome an early deficit to score the win as the Red Raiders went down 3-0 through four innings of Wednesday's second game at Stony Brook.
In her first plate appearance in over two weeks, Ryba crushed a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left center for her first home run since opening her Tech career with a solo shot in the season opener against San Diego State on Feb. 9.
Tech added another run in the sixth as Sandy James nailed a liner to third that was dropped by Vanessa Cardoza. The ball sailed to the fence down the line, allowing Mikey Kenney to score from second.
The run gave Tech starter Brittany Talley (8-2) just enough room to hold off an advantageous Monmouth squad that totaled 11 hits in the game, five of which came on bunts or liners in the infield.
The Hawks struggled scoring runners once reaching base, though, as they stranded 12 during the game, including six over the first two innings thanks to bases-loaded opportunities.
Talley walked in a run in the second to give Monmouth the early lead. The Hawks cut into Tech's lead later in the fifth thanks to a Chelsea Paprocki RBI single up the middle.
Cara Custer relieved Talley after 5.1 innings, earning her second save of the year after giving up a hit over the final five outs.
Monmouth's 12 runners left on base marked the most for a Tech opponent this season. Tech also stranded a season-high 10 runners in the game, including three early as the Red Raiders loaded the bases with no outs in the second only for the Hawks to escape the jam.
Lauren Sulick (5-5) took the loss for Monmouth after give up all four runs, three of which were earned, in a complete game effort.
The Red Raiders will face host Seton Hall later this afternoon. First pitch was originally scheduled for 10:30 p.m. (CT).
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Texas Tech 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 4 6 0
Monmouth 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 11 2
WP – Talley (8-2) LP - Sulick (5-5) SV – Custer (2)