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Feb. 24, 1997

Texas Tech (13-5-1) heads to Troy Cox Invitational

The Red Raider softball team will travel to Las Cruces, N. M. to play in the Troy Cox Invitational. It will be the second time that Tech has been to the tournament.

Last season, the Red Raiders lost five and won two while in Las Cruces. This season, Coach Gillispie is expecting more.

"This is a great tournament. There will be several quality teams competing. I think we can do well if we stick to our game plan," Gillispie said.

Team competing in the four day affair include Baylor, Furman, Loyola of Chicago, Minnesota, University of New Mexico, Ohio State, Southern Utah, Wichita State, New Mexico State.

Tech goes 3-1 in UTSA Tournament
The Red Raiders picked up three wins and a loss during their competition at the Texas-San Antonio Tournament last weekend.

Tech defeated Southern Utah 3-1, and beat UTSA twice (3-2, 6-1). Their only defeat of the weekend came against the University of Texas-Arlington by a score of 1-3.

In the Southern Utah contest, Emily Hayes picked up the win. The Red Raiders scored one run in the first and two in the second. Southern Utah's only run came in the bottom of the fifth. The first meeting between Tech and UTSA saw Tech score one run in the bottom of the second and two runs in the bottom of the sixth. The Roadrunners scored one run in the fifth and sixth innings. Danielle Brady was awarded the win. In the second game between the two teams, The Red Raiders controlled the game from the first inning as they scored two runs. They added two more in the fourth and the final two in the seventh. UTSA scored their only run in the bottom of the third inning. Danielle Brady picked up the win.

The only team to derail Tech in the tournament was UT-Arlington. Tech took the lead in the top of the fourth when Denise Jackson hit a double that allowed Kim Martinez to score. However, UTA answered in the bottom of the inning by scoring three runs. Emily Hayes got the loss.

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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