April 29, 1997

Tech Prepares for Second Annual Big 12 Tournament

It's the second time around for the Red Raiders as they head to the Big 12 Conference Tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Tech enters the tournament as the ninth seed with a 1-13 conference mark. They will face eighth seed Baylor at 10 a.m. on Friday in the first game of the tournament.

The Big 12 series between Tech and Baylor had the Bears winning two games, 0-1, 0-3, in Waco. Emily Hayes took the loss in the first game. She had six hits and four strikeouts in six innings of work. Kim Martinez improved her series batting average to .500 in the second game when she went three of three from the plate.

Should Tech win the first game, they will play the number one seed Missouri on Friday at noon in game two. Earlier this season, the Tigers swept Tech at home, 10-0, 10-4. Lora DeLashmutt had three hits in five at bats, including a homerun in the second game.

All-America candidate Kim Martinez
Junior infielder Kim Martinez continues to prove why she is a valid All-America candidate. Martinez has maintained a .495 or better batting average this season, while leading the Red Raiders and the Big 12 in practically ever batting category for the season. Kim holds the top spot in batting average (.495), runs scored (56), doubles (21), total bases (162), slugging percentage (.915), hits (89), on base percentage (.536), runs batted in (70) and home runs (15). Nationally, Kim is fourth in batting, eighth in home runs, 14th in doubles, and fourth in RBI.

Other Red Raiders making noise
While Kim Martinez is in the spotlight for her exceptional playing abilities, there are other Red Raiders who are also performing well this season. Junior Kim Tillett, a member of last season's squad, is the team's second leading hitter and has the second most putouts on the squad with 155. Freshman Paula Workman is behind Martinez in runs with 49. She is the top walker on the team with 23, while also being the number two player in hits with 60, and doubles with 14. Junior transfer Denise Jackson is tied with Martinez in triples with four. She is third in doubles with 10 and second in RBI with 31. Freshman Christina Munoz leads the team in sacrifice hits with 11. She has also appeared on the Big 12 list in that category. Freshman Stephanie Walls leads the team in stolen bases. She is 10 of 13 on the season. Defensively, freshman Tamara Harrington has the team's most putouts with 30. Workman has a team high 128 assists.

Familiar faces on the mound
Only six members from the 1996 squad returned this season to play for the Red Raiders. Half of those six were pitchers. While the rest of the team hardly resembles the previous season squad, the pitching crew is identical. Sophomore Emily Hayes is currently leading Tech with an ERA of 1.96. In her first twelve appearances of the season, Hayes maintained an ERA below 1.00. Against Texas Women's University, Hayes struck out nine batters, and gave up only one hit.

The Red Raiders winningest pitcher this season is junior Danielle Brady. She has a mark of 16-12. She has pitched in a team high 156.1 innings. Against Eastern New Mexico, the junior from Sacramento, had nine strike outs and one hit in five innings of work. Brady has started in 27 games and completed 19.

Junior transfer Jenny Cannon is currently 7-4 on the season. Her best game of the year was on March 25, when she was one walk away from a perfect game. Cannon did record a no hitter against the Wildcats, as she struck out five.

Freshman Crystal Morgan was the lone newcomer to the Red Raider pitching crew. She threw in two games before a knee injury sidelined her for the remainder of the season. Morgan's ERA prior to her injury was 1.75.

Not home or away, but neutral
The Big 12 Tournament is played on a neutral field and that will be just fine with the Red Raiders. This season Tech is 17-8 in games played on neutral sites. Their most productive neutral site series was during Spring Break when Tech travelled to the Rebel Games in Orlando , Fla. They returned home with a record of 9-1. In conference play, Tech has played only one team on a neutral site. In that series, Tech took one game from Nebraska at the UNI-dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Big 12 Conference Tournament
The Red Raiders will compete in the Second Annual Big 12 Championships May 2-4 at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Big 12 defending regular season and tournament champion, Oklahoma, will play host to the event.

Texas Tech in the Big 12 Tournament
Last season, the first year Texas Tech program finished Big 12 conference play with a record of 1-20 and a last place finish in the Big 12. In the first game of the tournament, eighth seeded Tech faced seventh seed Iowa State on May 10. (Baylor and Texas played last season, but did not compete in the Big 12 Conference or post-season tournament, thus setting the field to eight teams.) The Red Raiders lost 3-4 and were eliminated from the tournament. Tech had three hits on six runs and one error. Iowa State managed four runs on ten hits and recorded three errors. Jenny Cannon took the lose for Tech.

Record breaking season
It's been a record breaking season for the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The 1997 squad has shattered most all of the school records set by last season's team. While it is only Tech's second season of play, this year's team has a lot to be proud of as they make their mark on the Red Raider record books. Here's a look at the some of the single game records set this season.

Team Game Highs
Record Current Old Runs Scored 19 9 Hits 17 16 RBI 16 9 Doubles 5 4 Triples 3 1 Home runs 2 1 Total Bases 28 19 Stolen Bases 7 2 Strike outs 11 8

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 171-153-2 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 Division I play at WTSU, Gillispie recorded nine career pitching records, including most wins, most strike outs and most saves.

Gillispie is assisted by pitching coach Bobby Reeves and hitting instructor John Harris. A three time Men's ASA All-America pitcher, Reeves helped his team to two National Championships. Harris, a former member of the California Angels, was a three time All-America pick at Lubbock Christian University.

The 1997 Red Raiders
The Red Raiders return six letterwinners from last season's squad, while adding 10 newcomers. Bringing a year of Big 12 experience to the team are pitchers Jenny Cannon, Emily Hayes and Danielle Brady. Outfielder Lora DeLashmutt, and infielder Kim Tillett also return, while catcher Jessica Karenke will be back 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, Paula Workman, Stephenie McCoy, Tamara Harrington and Ellen Middleton.

1996-97 Season In Review
In their second year of competition, the Red Raider softball team hardly resembles the squad Tech put on the field in their first year. This season's team has come out full force and introduced the Lubbock and Texas Tech community to a growing sport that is sure to bring more championship recognition to the Texas Tech athletic family.

  • Texas Tech started their season off with two wins over Stephen F. Austin. Emily Hayes record Tech's first win of the season with a 4-0 shutout of SFA.
  • After losing their next two games to Sam Houston State, the Red Raiders got back on track by taking two from Southwest Texas state and one from Texas Women's University.
  • The softball season is often interrupted due to Mother Nature. That was the case as Tech had to call their second game against TWU in the eighth inning. Rain, snow sleet, thunder and lightning managed to give Tech their first and only tie of the season.
  • In their first tournament of the season, Tech won three games and lost two. During the tournament, Kim Martinez hit her first home run of the season. It marked the beginning of a string of dingers that has put Kim among the best hitters in the conference and the nation.
  • In their 1997 home opener, Tech defeated Abilene Christian 8-0 and 10-0. Martinez hit two home runs, while Paula Workman added another.
  • At the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunner Classic, Tech went 4-2 and captured first place. It was the first tournament win in Red Raider softball history.
  • At the Troy Cox Invitational, Tech took home four wins and two losses. Martinez was named to the All-Tournament team for her work at third base.
  • The Red Raiders hosted their second annual Red Raider Classic during March. Fifteen teams from all levels of collegiate play participated in the two day event.
  • During Spring Break, the Red Raiders travelled to Florida to compete in the Rebel Games. They came back with nine wins, one loss, and a lot of fun in the sun. In between games, the Red Raiders visited such scenic tourist areas as Disney World, Universal Studios, Church Street Station, and Daytona Beach.
  • Tech won the last three games of the Rebel Games, then went on to win two games over Abilene Christian and two games over Eastern New Mexico. The seven game win streak was the longest of the season and the longest in Red Raider softball history.
  • Tech started Conference play on March 29, as they hosted Kansas. The Jayhawks won both games.
  • Taking a break from Big 12 action, Tech took on Texas-Permian Basin on April Fools Day. Tech racked up their largest winning margin of the season as they defeated UTPB 18-0 and 19-0. No foolin!
  • Tech won their first conference game of the season. However, it wasn't easy. After a late spring snowstorm crippled parts of Iowa and Nebraska, the Red Raiders found themselves without a place to play the Cornhuskers and Cyclones. Eventually, Tech and Nebraska met in Cedar Falls, Iowa to play indoors at the University of Northern Iowa UNI-dome. The Red Raiders won game one 8-5, before falling 2-5 to the Cornhuskers. The games with Iowa State were cancelled.

Catch this
Junior catcher Jessica Karenke finally has some help behind the plate. Last season Karenke was the Red Raiders' only true catcher. She started in 44 games and played in 45. However, this season, Karenke splits the receiving responsibilities with freshman Ellen Middleton.

Walk on in
Freshman outfielder Beth Hurley is the Red Raiders only walk-on this season. A 1996 graduate of Abilene Cooper High School, Hurley has played in 20 games and started in 12.

Individual Game Highs

At Bats          5 (4 players tied)
Runs Scored      4, Middleton vs. UTPB
                 4, Walls vs. UTPB
Hits             4 (4 players tied)
RBI              6, Martinez (3 times)
Doubles          3, Martinez vs. Cornell
Home runs        2, Martinez (twice)
                 2, Karenke  vs. ACU
Totals Bases    12, Martinez vs. UTPB
Walks            3, DeLashmutt vs. Detroit
Strike outs      3, Workman vs. Army
                 3, DeLashmutt vs. Baylor
Sac Hits         2, Munoz vs. Southern Utah
Stolen Bases     4, Walls, UTPB
Runners LOB      5, Munoz vs. Sam Houston
Putouts         15, Harrington vs. NE La.
Assists          7, Martinez vs. NE Louisiana
Errors           3, Workman vs. UT-Arlington
Passed Balls     2, Karenke vs. Purdue
Innings pitched 10, Brady vs. NE Louisiana
Runs Allowed    12, Brady vs, Okla. City Univ.
Earned runs     11, Brady vs. Okla. City Univ.
Walks Allowed    4, Hayes vs. NM State
Strike outs     11, Brady vs. Morehead
HIts Allowed    16, Cannon vs. Missouri
Doubles Allowed  5, Brady vs. Kansas
                 5, Hayes vs. Kansas
Homers Allowed   3, Cannon vs. Okla. State
Wild Pitches     2, Hayes (twice)


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