The Montana softball team dropped its first game of the season 2-1 in 10 innings to Texas Tech on Sunday, despite an outstanding pitching performance from Tristin Achenbach.
It was Montana's first loss in the five games it played at the season-opening Louisiana Tech Big Easy Classic.
Achenbach pitched all 10 innings, allowing just five hits and two runs — neither of which were earned — while striking out nine without a walk.
Montana had the game’s first big moment when sophomore Brooklyn Weisgram hit a one-out home run to left-center in the bottom of the fifth to open the scoring.
Texas Tech answered right back in the top of the sixth.
The Red Raiders loaded the bases with one out against Achenbach, on a single, an error and a hit-by-pitch, with preseason all-American Karli Hamilton due up.
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Hamilton singled to center, driving in one. It was kept a one-run play when Weisgram came up firing and threw out the potential go-ahead run at the plate.
The game’s winning run was scored on another close play in the top of the 10th. With a runner on third and two outs, Heaven Burton grounded one to short and beat it out.
“It was one of the fastest kids in the country running down to first,” Montana coach Melanie Meuchel said of Burton, who led Texas Tech with 22 stolen bases last season.
Montana went down in order in the bottom of the 10th.
“Our team gave everything they had. It’s something I’ve said all along: they are locked in,” said Meuchel.
“They have a lot of skill and a lot of determination. They’re excited to compete against anybody and ready to take on any challenge. I’m really proud of the opening-weekend effort all around.”
Montana will play at UNLV’s Marucci Desert Classic starting on Thursday evening against the host Rebels.