Texas Tech sophomore pitcher Gretchen Aucoin had quite a week during March. She struck out 16 batters in one series for a win and a save and then launched a game-winning grand slam in the next to capture another win for her team. Not bad for a girl who wasn't even sure she would play college softball.
FRESHMAN SEASON (2013)
Saw significant time at the plate and in the circle as a freshman ... appeared in 35 total games ... made 17 starts in the lineup, hitting .317 as the starting pitcher, first baseman or designated player ... first true pitching and hitting combination player in the Shanon Hays era ... was normally one of top pinch hitting options when not in the starting lineup ... finished 19-for-60 at the plate with six runs scored ... drew seven walks and was plunked three times for a .414 on-base percentage ... totaled 26 bases after connecting on four doubles, and a home run ... drove in nine RBI as well ... notched six multiple-hit games and two multiple-RBI performances ... first career multiple hit game came Feb. 15 against UMKC on a 2-for-4 day ... followed up by going 2-for-3 the next day against Penn State ... also went 2-for-3 with a RBI double on March 10 against Troy ... recorded first career multiple-RBI game on March 16 with a 2-for-2 day against Buffalo that included two RBI ... went 6-3 in the circle with a 3.35 earned-run average (ERA) ... added a team-leading two saves as well ... appeared in 27 games in the circle while making nine starts ... struck out 76 hitters while also allowing only 20 walks in 60.2 innings of work ... opponents only hit .238 against the right-hander ... average ranked 10th in the Big 12 among conference pitchers ... efficient coming out of the bullpen, allowing only four of 12 inherited runners to score all season ... picked up first career victory Feb. 16 after three innings of work in a run-rule win over UMKC ... game marked her first career start in the circle as well ... opened the year with a 5-0 record with wins also against Jackson State (March 1), UMKC (March 9), Troy (March 10) and Buffalo (March 16) ... struck out a season-high nine batters in second win over the year against UMKC ... also had eight strikeouts against Troy and Buffalo ... recorded both of her two saves on March 15, coming on in relief to secure wins over Fairfield and Seton Hall ... her two saves ended the year ranked tied for fourth in the Big 12 ... longest outing of the season came March 9 with six innings against UMKC ... IN BIG 12 PLAY ... appeared in 15 of 18 games either at the plate or in the circle ... hit .240 in conference play (6-for-25) with a home run and four RBI ... totaled 11 bases which included a pair of doubles ... took six walks for a .267 on-base percentage ... recorded a career-high three hits on a 3-for-3 day on April 21 in the series finale at Iowa State ... crushed her first career home run with a two-run shot in the fourth inning against the Cyclones ... added a RBI single an inning later ... her three RBI and three runs scored both marked a season high ... also picked up the victory in the circle against the Cyclones, tossing 4.1 innings and striking out five ... closed the year with a RBI double May 3 at Baylor ... appeared in 10 games in the circle ... earned three starts, all of which occurred in the final three series of the season ... went 1-2 with a 5.70 ERA in 23.1 innings of work ... totaled 28 strikeouts, second-most on the team in league action behind Cara Custer ... her 28 strikeouts ended league play ranked 10th in the Big 12 ... also ranked 10th in the conference after holding opponents to a .316 batting average in league games ... gave out on nine free passes via walks, fewest on the team among players with at least 10 innings of action ... longest outing came April 27 against Texas ... went five full innings, allowing three runs off six hits while striking out six ... AWARDS AND HONORS ... named to inaugural Big 12 Academic All-Rookie team ... was one of four Red Raiders honored by the conference.
OCEAN SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL
Only played basketball for Ocean Springs High School in order to concentrate on the travel ball circuit ... was named the Mississippi Press Register 2012 Female Athlete of the Year ... three-year letterwinner for the school's basketball program ... helped lead the school to the south state semifinals her sophomore and senior seasons ... named to the Sun Herald All-South team as a senior ... was also a two-time All-District 8-6A selection ... wrapped high school career averaging 11.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game ... member of the school's Mentor/Ambassador Program ... was also voted the school's 2011 Homecoming Queen and most athletic female as a senior ... graduated with high honors.
Was one of the more highly-sought after travel ball players in the country ... traveled from Mississippi to California her final two summers of high school to play on top travel teams in the country ... member of the San Diego Renegades in 2011 and then Orange County Batbusters in 2012 ... Renegades finished third at the 16U Premier Nationals ... Batbusters concluded the 2012 18U Premier Nationals in ninth place ... hard-throwing right-hander that has been clocked in the upper 60s ... also one of the top hitting prospects in the country as well ... picked Texas Tech over Alabama, Mississippi State and Southern Mississippi.
Gretchen Noelle Aucoin ... born June 27, 1994, to parents Robert and Rebecca Aucoin ... has an older brother, Alex, who played baseball for Faulkner University and William Carey College ... father is retired United States Air Force ... mother is a registered nurse ... human sciences major ... hopes to eventually attend nursing school.