March 20, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
With tournament play complete and arguably one of the toughest schedules in the country to show from it, Texas Tech softball will have its first home and Big 12 games of the season this weekend as the Red Raiders play host to No. 7/9 Texas A&M Friday at 5 p.m. CT and Saturday at noon.
Fans can catch the action live via 1420 KJDL in Lubbock. Matt Driskill will call the action and Harley Chambliss will provide play-by-play analysis.
The Aggies and Red Raiders will meet for the 29th time in the series Friday night. Texas A&M leads the series 17-11, including an 8-4 advantage in Lubbock. The Red Raiders have won the last two meetings, however, including a 4-3 victory in the Big 12 Tournament last year.
Scouting the Aggies
No. 9/7 Texas A&M enters the weekend having won seven of its last 10 games, including a 7-0 win over No. 15 Baylor Wednesday. The Aggies currently lead the Big 12 in pitching with a 1.19 team ERA and are third in hitting at .293. Megan Gibson leads A&M in the circle and at the plate. The senior All-American is hitting .333 with nine home runs and 31 RBI, while carrying a 17-0 record with a 0.72 ERA. Macie Morrow leads the team in hitting with a .339 avg. Jo Evans is in her 12th season at the helm of the Aggies.
Senior outfielder Devin Zaragoza and sophomore Leah Legler were both named to the Hawai'i Spring Fling all-tournament team last week... Tech had at least eight hits in three of the six games in the tournament, including nine-hit outings against Maine and Texas... Three Red Raiders hit over .300 for the tournament, including Legler (.389), Robyn Wike (.364) and Liz Eimen (.316)... Two players captured career firsts as junior Megan Shupp hit her first career home run against Hawaii and freshman Tye Coats recorded her first career save in Tech's first game against Maine.
On the Road
Friday's home opener will be the 30th game this season for Tech. Playing that many road games to start a season is nothing unusual for the Red Raiders under Teresa Wilson. In 2006, Tech played its first 34 games, including four conference games, on the road. Last year, the Red Raiders played its first 30 contests away from Lubbock before playing its first game, also its conference opener, at Rocky Johnson Field.
Sixteen of the Red Raiders' losses this season have come against teams that are either ranked in the Top 25 or have been receiving votes. Ten losses have come against Top 25 teams, while eight losses have come by two runs or less.
Can You Say Strength of Schedule?
Nine of Tech's 2008 opponents are currently ranked in the Top 25, while three others are receiving votes... Twelve teams on the Red Raiders' opponents were ranked in the preseason polls.
Six different states are represented on the
Texas Tech roster, with players hailing from Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oklahoma,Washington and, of course, Texas.... In addition,
the Red Raiders' 2008 travel schedule has wracked up the travel miles. They started the season in Las Vegas, Nev. before going toTempe, Ariz., Albuquerque, N.M. and Fullerton,Calif. during the first month of play. Tech recently completed a stretch that went from Palo Alto, Calif. to Hawai'i and then into Dallas before bussing back to Lubbock.
The Red Raiders' Rocky Johnson Field is undergoing quite a face lift. This past summer, the previous field was torn up and new grass and dirt were laid. New dugouts are also under construction at the present time, hence the chairs, tables and temporary fencing.
Tech have played six different schools twice in its non-conference schedule. This includes Washington, Stanford, New Mexico, Loyola Chicago, Maine and North Carolina... The Red Raiders are scheduled to play six double headers this year, which does not include back-to-back games in tournaments.
Eimen On the Ball
Few Tech players are hitting the ball better than Liz Eimen of late. The Mannford, Okla., native is hitting .379 over her last 10 games, including a career-best five-game hitting streak. She has raised her average a staggering 139 points over this time. Coming into the last two weeks, she was hitting just .120.
The Hits Keep Coming
Legler has recorded 14 multi-hit games on the season. She is sixth in the Big 12 in hits with 34, which already eclipses her 24 hits all of last season. Her .366 avg. ranks 13th in the conference coming into this weekend.