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Mar. 3, 1997

Texas Tech (18-9-1) Set to Host Red Raider Classic

The Red Raider softball team will host the Red Raider Classic this weekend. It marks the second year, that the Red Raiders have hosted the tournament.

Games will begin on Saturday and continue through Sunday. The tournament will again be held at the Berl Huffman Complex on three of the four fields.

Teams in the tournament include Purdue, New Mexico State, Oklahoma City University and Texas Tech. Play will begin on Saturday with a round robin format. On Sunday all four teams will play in a double elimination tournament.

In conjunction with the Division I bracket, there will be 11 junior college, NCAA Division II and III, and NAIA schools competing in their own tournament.

Tech goes 4-3 in Troy Cox Invitational
The Red Raiders picked up four wins and three losses this weekend at the Troy Cox Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M.

Tech opened the tournament with a 0-3 loss to host New Mexico. The Red Raiders then beat Loyola 9-8.

On Friday, Tech defeated Furman 6-3 before losing to Baylor 1-6. The following day's games saw the Red Raiders beat Wichita State 3-2 and New Mexico State 6-2. On the final day of the tournament, Tech played for the third place slot, but lost to nationally ranked Minnesota 4-7.

For the tournament, the Red Raiders batted .268 and had two homeruns, two triples and five doubles. Red Raider third baseman Kim Martinez was named to the All-Tournament team.

Ohio State won the championship, with New Mexico State claiming second.

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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