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Tech Softball Hits the Road to Battle Longhorns, Bears

Coming off a double-header sweep Tuesday, Tech returns to conference play when it travels to take on Texas Thursday and Baylor Saturday and Sunday.
Coming off a double-header sweep Tuesday, Tech returns to conference play when it travels to take on Texas Thursday and Baylor Saturday and Sunday.

April 17, 2008

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

On Deck
Looking to build off the momentum of Tuesday's double-header sweep of UT-San Antonio, Texas Tech softball (15-31, 3-8) returns to conference play as it hits the road for a pair of in-state battles. First, the Red Raiders will travel to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns Thursday at 6 p.m. It will be the third meeting of the season and second conference game between the two schools.

From there, Tech will head to Baylor for a weekend series with the Bears. First pitch Saturday is set for 2 p.m. CT, while Sunday's action is scheduled to get under way at 1 p.m.

Texas Series
Tech and Texas have met 23 times previously, including two meetings this year, coming into Thursday. The Longhorns lead the series 18-5, including a 7-2 mark in Austin. UT won the first meeting of the season between the two 8-2 in Hawai'i, with the Red Raiders returning the favor with a 5-4 win in Lubbock just two weeks later.

Scouting the Longhorns
The Longhorns enter the week with a 6-5 mark in Big 12 play after splitting the weekend series with Kansas last weekend. Tallie Thrasher paces UT with a .371 avg. and eight home runs, while Loryn Johnson is hitting .366 with 10 home runs and 28 RBI. Meagan Denny carries a 1.77 ERA and has 196 strikeouts in the circle. Connie Clark is in her 13th season at the helm of the Longhorn program.

Baylor Series
The Red Raiders and Bears have tangled 29 times previously coming into this weekend. Baylor holds the advantage 23-6, including a 10-2 mark in Waco. Tech has not won in Waco since April 8, 2003. The Red Raiders upset the Bears 8-4 last year at the Big 12 Tournament.

Scouting the Bears
Baylor carries a 21-14 record, 4-7 conference mark into this week and was ranked in the Top 25 for much of the first half of the season. The Bears are paced by Kirsten Shortridge's .389 avg. and 22 stolen bases, in addition to her team-leading 73.2 innings pitched. Brette Reagan carries a .386 average coming into the week, while Jenny Isham leads Baylor with a 10-2 record in the circle. Glenn Moore is in his eighth season as the coach of Balor softball.

Big 12 Pitcher of the Week
Sophomore Ashly Jacobs was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week last week for her efforts in helping Tech to its first victories over Nebraska in seven years and its first-ever season sweep over the Huskers the weekend before. The Houston, Texas, native went 2-0 and pitched 11.2 scoreless innings while giving up just one walk and striking out six.

Nebraska Numbers
It was a weekend of note for the Red Raiders April 5-6, as they beat Nebraska for the first time in seven years and the first time ever in Lubbock, in addition to recording their first-ever season sweep of the Cornhuskers... Legler led Tech with a .500 avg. for the weekend, while Ashly Jacobs pitched 11.2 shutout innings and picked up wins in both games. Jennifer Corkin hit her second home run of the season in Friday's game, and Devin Zaragoza hit .429 with a pair of RBI over the two games.

No Runs for You Jacobs recently completed a string of 22.2 consecutive shutout innings before being scratched for a run... She allowed just two runs, only one of which was earned, over 25.2 innings as part of the stretch.

In Perspective
Twenty-four of the Red Raiders' losses this season have come against teams that are either ranked in the Top 25 or have been receiving votes. Fourteen losses have come against Top 25 teams, while 12 losses have been by two runs or less.

Can You Say Strength of Schedule?
Eight of Tech's 2008 opponents are currently ranked in the Top 25, while four others are receiving votes... Twelve teams on the Red Raiders' schedule were ranked in the preseason polls.

On the Road
The Red Raiders played their first 29 games on the road. 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 home game at Rocky Johnson Field.

Killer Tomatoes
While not one of their usual uniform combinations, the Red Raiders may want to consider playing more games in an odd looking red-jersey, red-pant motife. Tech has gone 5-0 while hitting .331 and scoring a combined 30 runs on 43 hits in this combo. Opponents have hit just .165 against Tech in this outfit.



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