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Feb. 20, 1997

Texas Tech Prepares for First Home Game

The Red Raider softball team (8-4-1) will open their 1997 home season with a doubleheader against Abilene Christian University on Tuesday. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Berl Huffman Complex.

The ACU Wildcats, who are in their first season of competition, have garnered a 3-1 record. The Wildcats are led by four transfers and two players who competed in the Texas All-Star game. Shelly Owen Martinez was an All-State selection in high school who led her team to four state titles. She transferred from New Mexico State where she pitched in 1992 and 1993. Chantiel McDonnell was a junior college All-American at West Valley Junior College. Teela Clark and Cassandra Reyes both played in the Texas High School All-Star game.

The Wildcats are coached by Carol Tabor, a 1989 graduate of ACU.

Tech Brings Home Three Wins, Two Losses In UTA Tournament

It was tough for the Texas Tech softball team to finally get to play in the Pepsi-Cola/UTA Intercollegiate Classic this weekend. The tournament looked as if it would be cancelled due to adverse weather and poor field conditions in the Metroplex. But after waiting a few days, the tournament games were shuffled and the Red Raiders got in five games in two days.

On Saturday, Tech lost to Northeast Louisiana, 2-4. and the University of Tennessee 0-3. Danielle Brady picked up a loss while Emily Hayes did the same against Tennessee. The Red Raiders behind Brady's pitching rebounded by shutting out Centenary 10-0.

On Sunday, Tech defeated Detroit 10-0. Jenny Cannon picked up the win. The Red Raiders then won over Sam Houston State, who had defeated Tech twice earlier this season. The 10-1 victory was given to Hayes.

"Overall it was a good weekend for us. We picked up some wins that will help build our confidence as we go into Tuesday's game. The team is excited about opening the home season. We are looking forward to playing in front of our home crowd," Gillispie said.

The 1997 Red Raiders

The Red Raiders return seven letterwinners from last season's squad, while adding 11 newcomers. Bringing a year of Big 12 experience to the team are pitchers Jenny Cannon, Emily Hayes and Danielle Brady. Outfielder Lora DeLashmutt, infielders Jessica Wimpy and Kim Tillett also return, while catcher Jessica Karenke will return behind the plate.

New to the Red Raider squad are a host of talented freshman and experienced transfers. Denise Jackson and Kim Martinez join the team from the softball rich Sacramento City College in Sacramento, Calif., while Stephanie Walls comes to Tech from the University of New Mexico. Freshman include Christine Munoz, Beth Hurley, Christina Jenkins, Paula Workman, Crystal Morgan, Stephenie McCoy, Tamara Harrington and Ellen Middleton.

Head Coach Renee Luers-Gillispie

Returning for her second season as head coach is Renee Luers-Gillispie. A 1984 graduate of West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas, Gillispie has a record of 141-127-2 over her six year career.

Prior to coming to Tech, Gillispie was head coach at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. There she had the highest winning percentage in the school's softball history. She took a team with only 13 wins in 1992 and reconstructed a program that boasted 35 wins in 1995.

Gillispie performed the same program turnaround during her stay at Joliet College in Joliet, Ill. During her two year stint, Gillispie took a team that was 2-29 and improved their record to an impressive 32-12 before leaving for Bradley.

Gillispie began her softball career as a pitcher from Danville, Iowa. She then went on to play at Kirkwood Community College where she pitched in two NJCAA National Championship Tournaments. In 1981, Gillispie was ranked ninth nationally in NJCAA pitching. From there, she then went to West Texas State University. In Divison I play at WTSU, Gillispie recorded nine career pitching records, including most wins, most strikeouts and most saves.

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