Texas Tech opens season Friday with doubleheader against Central Florida and No. 18 Louisville
Texas Tech adds former Jacksonville ace as the program's new volunteer assistant coach
Texas Tech adds former South Carolina standout as its new assistant coach
Texas Tech assistant announced to her first head coaching position Sunday afternoon
Red Raiders finish 41-17 overall en route to the program's third-straight postseason appearance
Take a behind-the-scenes look at Texas Tech Softball with Shanon Hays
Raider Power goes inside with Texas Tech softball to visit with associate head coach Aly Sartini.
Raider Power goes inside strength and conditioning with Texas Tech softball.
Texas Tech vs. Texas - Saturday
Texas Tech vs. Texas - Friday
Texas Tech vs. Kansas - Sunday
Texas Tech vs. Kansas (Fri.)
Texas Tech takes on Oklahoma State on Senior Day at Rocky Johnson Field
Aly Sartini enters her fourth season in the Texas Tech dugout and second full year in the role of associate head coach after earning the promotion midway through the 2011 season.
Regarded as one of the top assistant coaches nationally, Sartini serves as Tech's pitching coach while also coordinating the program's recruiting efforts. She also oversees the program's academic and travel functions as well.
In only three seasons, Sartini has helped push the Red Raiders to three-straight NCAA Regional appearances and two-straight 40-win seasons, including a 42-16 mark in 2011 that ranked as the highest winning percentage in school history.
Part of the reason for Tech's transformation into one of the nation's top programs has steamed from its performance in the circle. The Red Raiders are 121-51 during Sartini's tenure as the Tech pitching staff has accounted for 34 total shutouts and three no-hitters.
Sartini inherited a staff in 2010 that had posted a 5.01 earned-run average the year before and immediately cut its ERA in half. Led by Ashly Jacobs, Tech finished with a 2.41 ERA in 2010, the school's lowest average since the 2001 season.
The Red Raiders gave up only 310 hits that year, marking the fewest surrendered since the 2000 season and the second-fewest in the Big 12 era.
Jacobs, meanwhile, finished her best season in a Tech uniform under Sartini's guidance. The right-hander posted a career-low 2.01 ERA which was the lowest for a Tech pitcher since Amanda Renfro in 2001. Two of Tech's other pitchers that season, Ashley Brokeshoulder, and Karli Merlich, also recorded ERAs under 3.00 as well.
Following Jacobs' departure, Sartini turned to a group of newcomers in 2011, notably freshman Brittany Talley and junior-college transfer Kelsey Dennis. The duo combined for an ERA just under 3.00 while posting a 27-13 overall record.
Talley and fellow freshman Kermitria Ward both tossed no-hitters during the year, becoming the first two players to do so since the 2001 season. Tech had only recorded multiple no-hitters twice in a season once before during the 1999 season.
Sartini went with another young rotation in 2012 as Talley and freshman Cara Custer saw the majority of the action en route to leading Tech to a 2.59 ERA and a 41-17 record. Talley and Custer accounted for 37 of the Red Raiders' wins, seven of which that came against ranked opponents, including No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 9 Missouri, and No. 5 Texas.
Custer finished 25-11 on the year, marking the most wins by a Tech freshman and the highest winning percentage in school history for pitchers with a minimum of 25 decisions. She also ended the year among the all-time greats in single-season appearances, games started, complete games, shutouts, strikeouts and innings pitched.
The Spanaway Lake, Wash. native ranked fourth in the Big 12 for wins as she was only the second Tech pitcher to reach 20 wins in a season, joining Renfro, who accomplished the feat three times from 1998-2001. Renfro is the only player to have her number retired in program history.
Sartini joined head coach Shanon Hays at Tech after a successful five-year stint at her alma mater, Arkansas. The Razorbacks, playing in one of the nation's toughest softball leagues, the Southeastern Conference (SEC), earned consecutive NCAA postseason berths during Sartini's final two seasons in 2008 and 2009.
At Arkansas, Sartini worked with the team's pitchers, hitters and infielders, while also directing the program's camps and various business functions. In her final season, 20 members of the Arkansas softball team earned academic honors, including three who were perfect in the classroom, under Sartini's guidance as academic coordinator for the squad.
Sartini began her coaching career at Birmingham-Southern College where she spent three seasons as an assistant coach building the program.
A member of the inaugural Arkansas team in 1997, she played three infield positions - second, third and shortstop - and was available to pitch at a moment's notice, helping lead the Razorbacks to three SEC tournaments and an NCAA Regional berth.
An All-SEC selection in 1999, Sartini still ranks third all-time for assists in Arkansas' history and ranks near the top of the record books for walks and sacrifices. She is part of the infield combination that still shares the NCAA record for double plays in a game with four turned on March 21, 1999.
The Galt, Calif. native graduated from Arkansas with a bachelor's degree in agriculture, food and life science with an emphasis in education, communication and technology in 2000.