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Texas Tech Continues Northeast Tour at Seton Hall Classic

Cara Custer


Cara Custer
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Cara Custer enters this weekend's Seton Hall Classic as the Big 12 wins leader.

March 15, 2012

Game Notes |  Gameday Central |  2012 Statistics

NEWARK, N.J. - Texas Tech opens the final leg of its busy Spring Break Friday morning with the start of the Seton Hall Classic at Ivy Hill Park in South Orange, N.J. The Red Raiders will battle Monmouth, Manhattan, and the host Pirates in pool play over the first two days before playing the final two games in a tournament format.

RED RAIDER ENTER WEEKEND ON A ROLL
The Red Raiders enter this weekend on a roll, winning each of their last 10 games against non-conference opponents, including four this week with doubleheader sweeps of No. 23 New Mexico and Stony Brook. Tech's only blemish during the month of March was to losses in its Big 12 opener at Texas on March 6-7. The Red Raiders are outscoring non-conference opponents 64-22 during the month of March alone.

INSIDE THE SERIES
Texas Tech has not previously faced Manhattan, Monmouth, or Seton Hall in school history. The Red Raiders will be playing their first game ever in the New Jersey area.

ON DECK
Following the Seton Hall Classic, Tech will take the next week off before returning to Rocky Johnson Field March 27 to face Midwestern State. The Red Raiders resume Big 12 play that same weekend, hosting Iowa State in a three-game series beginning March 30.

LOOKING BACK
Tech has already enjoyed success in the New York as the Red Raiders swept a doubleheader of Stony Brook on Wednesday. The two wins improve the Red Raiders to 4-0 on the week as Tech also took a doubleheader sweep of No. 23 New Mexico Monday afternoon in Lubbock. In addition to their work on the field, the Red Raiders enjoyed a Broadway play on Tuesday night and has Thursday to explore the New York area.

KENNEY SETS CAREER HOME RUN RECORD
After tying the Tech career home run record earlier this week, Mikey Kenney passed Kim Martinez for first all-time Wednesday with her solo home run in the second inning against Stony Brook. The dinger, which came in the second game of a doubleheader, was the 28th of Kenney's career, moving her past Martinez who totaled 27 during the 1997 and 1999 seasons. Kenney has now homored three times in the last five games, giving her nine on the year which is tied with Lauren Chamberlain of Oklahoma for the Big 12 lead.

HAYS EARNS WIN NO. 100 AT TEXAS TECH
Shanon Hays picked up his 100th victory while the head coach at Texas Tech Wednesday with the Red Raiders' 4-1 win in the series opener at Stony Brook. Tech went on to win the second game as well, moving Hays to 101-41 in two-plus seasons at Tech. The Lubbock native, who is 213-57 in five seasons as a collegiate coach, trails only Renee Luers-Gillespie as the school's all-time winningest coach. Gillespie went 136-159-1 during just over four seasons from 1996-2000.

BLEDSOE HEATS UP AT STONY BROOK
After struggling for the first part of the season, Emily Bledsoe was able to string several hits together at Stony Brook Wednesday, going 4-for-8 over two games while driving in a pair of runs and scoring two of her own. The senior, who was named to the USA Softball Preseason Watch List, now has four multiple-hit games while her two RBI performance in the first game marked the second time she had two or more this year. Bledsoe's fifth-inning double marked the 42nd of her career, leaving her six shy of entering the top 10 in Big 12 history.

RICHARDSON REACHING BASE OVER PAST FOUR GAMES
Raven Richardson comes into this weekend having reached base in 11 of her last 14 plate appearances, with six of those coming from hits. The senior went a perfect 4-for-4 in the series opener with New Mexico on Monday then drew three-straight walks in the finale. After an 0-for-3 performance in the opener against Stony Brook, Richardson rebounded with a 2-for-2 day at the plate that included two walks. Richardson is hitting .667 this week with a home run, two doubles, and four RBI.

HALL BECOMES BIG 12 DOUBLES LEADER
After two doubles during the Stony Brook series, Logan Hall now leads all Big 12 players with eight on the season. Following a relatively slow start to the season, Hall has posted six doubles during the month of March alone. She leads Lexi Slater (Iowa State), Lexi Bryant (Kansas), and Maggie Hull (Kansas) for the conference high.

CUSTER REGAINS BIG 12 LEAD IN WINS
Cara Custer enters this weekend as the Big 12 leader with 12 wins so far as she is 12-5 on the year with a 2.22 earned-run average. Prior to suffering two losses at Texas last week, the freshman had picked up a victory in nine of her last 10 appearances with the lone exception being a no-decision against Texas State on Feb. 26. Custer went 3-0 during the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic against Binghamton and UT-Arlington while not giving up an earned run over 18.0 innings. She gave up 12 hits during that span while striking out 18 as well. Custer is also among the Big 12 leaders in innings pitched, strikeouts, appearances, games started, and complete games.

DON'T FORGET TALLEY
Even with Cara Custer's emergence early in the season, Tech would not be 21-7 on the year without the consistency of sophomore Brittany Talley. The left-hander, who provides a good 1-2 punch in the rotation with Custer, is 7-2 on the year with a team-leading 2.01 earned-run average. In seven starts this season, Talley has given up more than one earned run only twice, which came when San Diego State put across three runs in the season opener and then Monday in the second game against New Mexico. Since the San Diego State game, Talley went the distance in four of her next six starts while also making five appearances out of the bullpen. She gave up three runs, two of which were earned, in 14.0 innings during the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic against UT-Arlington and Binghamton. She held Stony Brook to just one run Wednesday in a complete game effort against the Seawolves.

PEREZ CONTINUES TO SHINE IN CLEANUP ROLE
Through 26 games this season, Adriana Perez has already showed why she was the two-time California JUCO Catcher of the Year. The Lancaster, Calif. native is currently among the Big 12 leaders as she leads the team with a team-high .365 average. Perez has homored five times so far while also driving in 19 runs. With her emergence, Tech head coach Shanon Hays has been able to move Sandy James, last year's cleanup hitter, to the No. 3 hole since Perez is protecting her in the lineup.

PENCIL BLEDSOE IN THE LINEUP
During Cal Ripken, Jr.'s historic stretch with the Baltimore Orioles, he earned the iconic nickname "Iron Man" after breaking the major league record for 2,632 consecutive games played. While not nearing Ripken's mark, Emily Bledsoe has impressed many not just for her glove or bat but for her toughness as well as the Fulshear, Texas native has started in all 199 games since her freshman season in 2009. Already a regular in the Tech record book, the senior broke into the Tech record book with both starts against New Mexico, passing current volunteer assistant coach Leah Legler for 10th all-time in games played. With a start Friday against Monmouth, Bledsoe will move into sole possession of eighth all-time, passing Jennifer Bowers (2005-08) and Ashley Parker (2004-07) who both played in a total of 199 games.


 

 

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