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.
SOPHOMORE SEASON (2014)
Became one of the top pitching/hitting combos in the Big 12 during her second season ... appeared in a total of 51 games either in the circle or at the plate ... led Texas Tech with 14-9 record and 2.43 ERA in 132.1 innings pitched ... made a team-leading starts 21 starts in the circle and then 13 appearances in relief ... also made 20 starts at first base and once as the designated player ... led the Red Raiders with 141 strikeouts and eight complete games, two of which that were shutouts ... hit .287 on the season with seven home runs and 31 RBI ... drew 13 walks and was plunked by six pitches for a .407 on-base percentage ... finished second on the team with a .585 slugging percentage ... recorded five multiple-hit games and was second on the team with eight multiple-RBI performances ... only multiple-hit game against non-conference foes came March 9 against Abilene Christian (2-for-2) ... other four multiple-hit performances came during Big 12 play ... drove in three runs twice in a two-day period, March 14-15, against Canisius and Cal State Fullerton ... her three RBI against Fullerton all came off a bases-loaded triple, the first of her career ... was one of two triples on the year -- other came in second game of a March 19 doubleheader with North Texas ... set a new career high with four RBI on March 22 against Texas State ... connected on a grand slam in the fifth inning to help the Red Raiders sweep the series with a 5-3 victory ... finished 8-3 with a 1.18 ERA in the circle against non-conference opponents ... tossed three complete games, the first being seven full innings against UT Arlington on Feb. 20 ... was the first seven-inning complete game of her career ... allowed just a run off five hits while striking out a seven in the win ... her seven marked a season high at the time ... snapped the at high with eight strikeouts on Feb. 22 against Illinois and then nine punchouts later that day against Creighton ... best outing of the season may have come March 19 in the doubleheader against North Texas ... allowed just one run off six hits and a walk in the complete-game victory ... recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts in the win, the most for a Tech pitcher since Amanda Renfro matched her own school record with 15 strikeouts against Georgia Southern on March 10, 2001 ... returned to the circle to record her fourth save of the season in the second game against North Texas ... named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week three times -- March 25, April 22 and April 29 ... her three weekly awards marked the most for a Red Raider in a season in school history ... was the only Big 12 pitcher to repeat as a weekly winner during the year ... IN BIG 12 PLAY ... appeared in all 18 games either at the plate or in the circle ... made a team-leading 11 starts in the circle with three appearances out of the bullpen ... totaled a 6-6 record with a 4.17 ERA in 55.1 innings ... five of her starts with the distance with two of those being shutouts ... tossed back-to-back complete game shutouts on April 19 and then April 25 against Kansas and Iowa State ... the 1-0 victory over Kansas swept the series in Lawrence, marking the first time the Red Raiders had taken all three games from a Big 12 opponent on the road ... did not allow a single earned run in the entire Iowa State series over 10 innings ... tossed five shutout innings in a 15-0 rout in the opener before earning the win again in the finale which ended in another run-rule victory ... earned Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors following both series ... hit .286 at the plate against league foes with five home runs and 15 RBI, both that of which that tied with Cassie McClure for the team high ... also recorded a .388 on-base percentage and an impressive .667 slugging percentage ... recorded two hits against Oklahoma State (April 11), Kansas (April 18), Iowa State (April 25 & 27) ... finished 2-for-4 with four RBI in game against Kansas that clinched the series for the Red Raiders ... gave Tech an early 3-0 lead with her fifth home run of the season, a three-run shot in the first inning ... added a RBI single in the ninth inning as well ... IN THE NCAA RANKINGS ... finished tied for fourth in the country with her six saves ... was just one save shy for the national lead after leading the NCAA for part of the season ... also ranked 127th for ERA and 128th for strikeouts ... IN THE BIG 12 RANKINGS ... ended the year as the Big 12 leader in saves ... also ranked sixth for strikeouts, seventh for appearances, innings pitches and games started, and then eighth for wins and ninth for shutouts and complete games ... in conference games only, ranked fourth for wins and shutouts, fifth for games started and completed games, sixth for innings pitched, strikeouts, opponent batting average and appearances and then ninth for ERA ... her five home runs also ranked tied for second in the league offensively ... IN THE BIG 12 RECORD BOOK ... finished tied for second all-time in conference history with her six saves ... was two save shy of Lisa Ferguson's (Baylor) record of eight saves from 2004 ... IN THE TEXAS TECH RECORD BOOK ... her six saves set a new Texas Tech school record ... also ranked seventh for strikeouts and ninth for wins ... AWARDS AND HONORS ... one of three Red Raiders named to the All-Big 12 teams ... was a second team selection ... also named to the NFCA All-Central Region first team ... honored as a pitcher/utility player selection ... Academic All-Big 12 first team honoree.
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.