RED RAIDERS WINNERS OF 10-STRAIGHT HEADING INTO WEEKEND SERIES
The Red Raiders enter this weekend's series winners of 10-straight overall and 15-straight against non-conference opponents. The winning streak matches Tech's longest of the season as the Red Raiders also rolled off 10-straight victories from Feb. 17-26, marking the program's longest run since opening the 2011 season with a 24-0 record. Tech's last loss came in its Big 12 opening series at Texas on March 6-7 in Austin. The Red Raiders are currently 16-2 during the month of March alone.
INSIDE THE IOWA STATE SERIES
Texas Tech has historically controlled the series with the Cyclones as the Red Raiders hold an 19-13 advantage heading into this weekend. Tech has won seven of the last nine meetings between the two schools, including a two-game sweep last year in Ames. The Red Raiders are 9-5 against the Cyclones when playing in Lubbock. Tech head coach Shanon Hays is 3-1 all-time against Iowa State with the lone loss coming in March 28 series finale in 2010. The Red Raiders scored at least 15 runs in both games a year ago, winning the opener 15-5 before routing the Cyclones, 16-5, in the finale, marking the most runs in a league series in school history.
The Red Raiders continue Big 12 play next weekend with a road trip to Oklahoma for a three-game series with the 7th-ranked Sooners. The series opens at 7 p.m. Thursday evening and continues with a 7 p.m. first pitch Friday and noon finale on Saturday.
Tech won its 10th-straight game Tuesday evening with a 10-2 rout of Midwestern State at Rocky Johnson Field in the final non-conference game of the year. The game ended an eight-day break for the Red Raiders who were drew the first open week to start conference play. The win marked Tech's 15th-straight over a non-conference opponent.
TECH IN HOME CONFERENCE OPENERS
The Red Raiders have traditionally struggled in Big 12 home openers, compiling only a 9-24 record in series games since joining the conference in 1996. Tech comes into this weekend having lost nine of their last 10 home-opening series games, including a two-game sweep at the hands of No. 13 Missouri last year. The Red Raiders have only swept an opponent (two-game series) during a conference home opener once in school history as Tech defeated Missouri in an April 10, 1999 doubleheader.
JAMES LOOKS TO REPEAT LAST YEAR'S PERFORMANCE AGAINST THE CYCLONES
Of all Tech players, Sandy James might be the one most looking forward to facing Iowa State after the junior went 5-for-8 at the plate a year ago with a pair of home runs and 11 RBI. James homored in each game against the Cyclones, powering a three-run first inning bomb in the series opener and then a second-inning grand slam in the Sunday game. The grand slam was part of an eight-RBI performance by James that tied the school single-game record. She finished 4-for-4 in the series finale to lead Tech to a 16-5 victory.
LONG BREAK DOES NOT STOP PEREZ' HOT STREAK
Even with an eight-day break in between games, Adriana Perez' bat remained hot Tuesday evening as the junior crushed two home runs as part of a four RBI performance. It was the second-straight game for Perez to homer more than once and the fourth time a Tech player had done so this year joining Sandy James. Perez also has totaled 11 RBI over the last two games, giving her 34 on the year which currently ranks third in the Big 12. The Lancaster, Calif. native is currently riding a season-high 11 game hitting streak that is the longest for any Tech player this year.
RED RAIDERS ON PACE TO POSSIBLY BREAK LAST YEAR'S HOME RUN RECORD
After hitting six home runs Tuesday night against Midwestern State, the Red Raiders stand a chance to break last year's single-season home run record of 58 as Tech has totaled 44 so far this season. Through 34 games a year ago, Tech had totaled 43 on the season. The Red Raiders have hit a total of 20 home runs alone during their 10-game winning streak that began with the New Mexico doubleheader. Tech is also hitting .379 as a team during that stretch with 81 runs scored.
RYBA RETURNS TO THE LINEUP
After 14 games away from the field, Melisa Ryba returned the field at the Seton Hall Classic, crushing a three-run homer in the first plate appearance. She came off the bench in all five games that weekend, replacing Katelyn Williams in the lineup to go 5-for-11 at the plate. The junior kept the hot-hitting going against Midwestern State as she went 1-for-2 at the plate with a second-inning home run that carried over the scoreboard in right field. Ryba earned her first start in the game since facing Idaho State Feb. 18 in Las Vegas. Prior to the Seton Hall Classic, Ryba had not previously seen action since facing UTEP on Feb. 25 in Waco.
TEXAS TECH INDIVIDUAL NOTES
Following Tuesday night's no-hit performance over the first four innings against Midwestern State, Cara Custer has only allowed two hits and no runs over her last 14.0 innings while picking up three wins during that span.
Raven Richardson is hitting a team-best .591 during Tech's 10-game winning streak as she has also crushed three home runs while driving in 11 runs during that stretch as well.
Mikey Kenney and Emily Bledsoe may both break the runs scored record this weekend as both players are within three runs of career leader Kim Martinez who totaled 135 during the 1997 and 1999 seasons. Kenney currently has 133 during her three-year career while Bledsoe is one back with 132 total.
Kenney is another Tech player that has traditionally fared well against the Cyclones as she is 8-for-13 in four total games. She has also hit a home run and driven in four RBI during that time as well.
Cydney Allen has come off the bench to hit two pinch-hit home runs during Tech's 10-game winning streak. The two home runs are the Allen's only ones of the season after hitting 11 a year ago.
Brittany Talley is 3-0 in four appearances during Tech's 10-game winning streak. She has compiled a 2.67 earned-run average during that span while also only allowing six free passes (walks, hit by pitches) over 18.1 innings. She enters this weekend 8-2 on the year, giving her 22 total wins over her career which currently ranks sixth all-time at Tech.
RED RAIDERS RANKED NO. 29 IN FIRST RPI RANKINGS
Texas Tech was ranked 29th in the first RPI (ratings percentage index) rankings that were released Monday afternoon, one spot higher than where Tech debuted a year ago. The Red Raiders, who ended last season ranked 30th in the RPI rankings, placed sixth among Big 12 schools in the poll, trailing Texas (No. 8), Texas A&M (No. 12), Oklahoma (No. 13), Missouri (No. 15) and Kansas (No. 25). Tech has played four non-conference opponents (Tennessee, Stanford, DePaul, Texas State) ranked in the top 40 so far this season, going 4-3 in those games.