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Texas Tech Softball 2011 Season Review

Raven Richardson


Raven Richardson
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June 16, 2011

Season Review |  Record Book |  Year in Photos

LEADING OFF...
When the final out was made to end the 2011 Texas Tech softball season, the Red Raiders closed one of the most successful campaigns in school history with their second-straight trip to a NCAA Regional, continuing the winning trend for a program on the rise.

HIGHEST WINNING PERCENTAGE EVER
Texas Tech's 42-16 (.724) record marked the highest winning percentage in school history, surpassing the previous school record from 1998 when the Red Raiders went 45-19 overall (.721).

RED RAIDERS POST SECOND 40-WIN SEASON
The Red Raiders came three wins shy of matching the single-season school record as the 2011 season was only the season 40-win season in program history. No Tech team had reached the 40 win mark since the 1998 squad went 45-19 overall.

TWO SEASONS, TWO REGIONAL TRIPS FOR HAYS
After inheriting a program that went 15-42 in 2009, head coach Shanon Hays has led Texas Tech to the postseason in each of his two seasons. Tech had only advanced to the regional round twice in program history prior to Hays arrival as last year's squad broke a 10-year postseason absence after being selected to the Stanford Regional.

LOOKING TO GET PAST REGIONALS
As the dust slowly settled following the season-ending loss to Arizona, head coach Shanon Hays had one challenge for his young squad - make a Super Regional in 2012. The Red Raiders will not lose a single player due to graduation, giving Hays an experienced group returning for his third season.

BLEDSOE, JAMES EARN ALL-BIG 12 ACCOLADES
Emily Bledsoe and Sandy James both earned spots on the All-Big 12 second team as part of the conference's postseason awards announcement. Bledsoe, a junior from Fulshear, Texas, was honored on the second team for the second-straight season, while James, a sophomore Dallas, Texas native, picked up her first postseason accolade at Tech.


HALL LEADS NFCA ALL-REGION HONOREES
Logan Hall (pictured right) led Tech's list of four selections to the NFCA All-Region teams as the junior became the first Tech player to be selected to the first team since Sandy Butler and Amanda Renfro in 2001. Tech's four total selections were also the most for a single season in school history as Cydney Allen, Emily Bledsoe, and Mikey Kenney were all honored on the second team. Bledsoe picked up the honor for the second-straight season, joining Renfro as the only Tech players to be honored in consecutive years.

REWRITING THE RECORD BOOK
To say the 2011 season was a record-setting year might be an understatement. The Red Raiders snapped numerous team and individual records throughout the year. Here is a rundown of the records broken this year:

Team Single-Season Records
• Best overall home record - 26-9
• Best win/loss record - 42-16 (.724)
• Most mercy-run rule games - 20
• Consecutive game winning streak - 24
• Most home wins - 26
• Consecutive home wins - 19

Team Single-Season Offensive Records
• Batting average - .341
• Runs - 416
• Hits - 501
• Doubles - 84
• Home runs - 58
• Grand slams - 5
• RBI - 363
• Total bases - 785
• Slugging percentage - .534
• Walks - 191

Team Single-Season Pitching Records
• Consecutive shutout innings - 27.0
• No-hitters - 2*

Team Single-Game Offensive Records
• Runs by both teams - 27 vs. St. John's on Feb. 26
• Triples - 3 vs. Utah Valley on Feb. 18*
• Home runs - 5 vs. St. John's on Feb. 26*
• Walks - 18 vs. Colorado State on March 17

Team Single-Game Fielding Records
• Recorded first ever triple play vs. BYU on Feb. 10


Individual Single-Season Offensive Records
• Runs - Mikey Kenney (60) (pictured right)
• Home runs - Sandy James (16)
• Sacrifice flies - Logan Hall (4)

Individual Single-Game Offensive Records
• Runs scored - Mikey Kenney (5) at Iowa State on April 10
• Triples - Logan Hall (2)* vs. Utah Valley on Feb. 18
• Home runs - Cydney Allen, Logan Hall, Sandy James (2)
• RBI - Sandy James (8)* at Iowa State on April 10
• Walks - Cydney Allen (4)* vs. Colorado State on March 17

* Designates tying the school record.

TWO-STRAIGHT REGIONALS A FIRST FOR TECH
The Red Raiders had not previously advanced to the regional round in consecutive seasons in school history. Tech made the postseason following both the 1999 and 2001 seasons.

HAYS CLOSING IN ON 200 CAREER WINS
Shanon Hays will enter the 2012 season closing in on 200 career wins as the second-year head coach is currently 194-50 in four seasons as a softball coach. Hays, who spent his first two seasons leading Lubbock Christian University, is 80-34 in his two years at Tech, boasting a winning percentage over .700.

BIG 12 IMPRESSES AT NATIONAL LEVEL
With as many as nine schools ranked or receiving votes in the top 25 polls at points during the season, the Big 12 proved to be one of the toughest leagues in the country. The conference received a record eight bids to a NCAA Regional with five of those schools advancing to the Super Regional round. Despite a crowded Women's College World Series field that included four Big 12 schools, the conference was unable to claim its fourth all-time National Championship as Arizona State defeated Florida in the title series.


GENTSCH EARNS TOP ACADEMIC HONOR
Holley Gentsch (pictured left) earned the highest academic honor in program history when she was named to the Capital One Academic All-America second team at the end of the season. Gentsch is only the second softball student-athlete to be named an Academic All-American, joining Paula Workman who was a third team selection in 1998 and 1999.

SEVEN HONORED ON ACADEMIC ALL-BIG 12
The Texas Tech softball program had seven players honored on the Academic All-Big 12 teams that were released prior to the end of the regular season. Juniors Ashley Hamada and Holley Gentsch were among only five conference players to be recognized for recording a 4.0 GPA. They were joined on the first team by Meredith Heath, Raven Richardson, Mikey Kenney, and Randi Tongate. Sandy James picked up second team accolades.

JAMES BREAKS HOME RUN RECORD IN ARIZONA
Sandy James' two-run homer in the elimination game against New Mexico State not only put the Red Raiders back in the lead, but it snapped the school's single-season home run record. The dinger was James' 16th of the year, breaking the previous mark held by Mikey Kenney (2010) and Kim Martinez (1997).


BLEDSOE TO CHASE SEVERAL RECORDS IN 2012
Emily Bledsoe will enter her senior season chasing numerous career records as the junior is among the top 10 all-time in most offensive categories. The Fulshear, Texas native already snapped the career mark for doubles with 38, passing the previous record of 36 held by Jennifer Corkin and Kim Martinez. Below is a listing of where Bledsoe stands heading into the 2012 season: • Batting average - 4th (.330)
• Hits - 7th (152)
• Runs - 4th (111)
• RBI - 5th (89)
• Home runs - T-9th (13)
• Triples - T-4th (5)
• Doubles - 1st (38)
• Stolen bases - 7th (26)
• Walks - 6th (56)

RICHARDSON ENDS YEAR AS BATTING LEADER
After a strong showing at the Tucson Regional, Raven Richardson finished the year leading the team in hitting as her .384 average was one point higher than Emily Bledsoe. Richardson hit 6-for-11 while in Tucson, including two home runs and a triple as part of a three RBI weekend.


GRADUATION NOT A WORRY FOR HAYS
Shanon Hays will get one good fortune that some coaches across the country may wish they had as the Red Raiders could return its entire roster in 2012 as the squad does not lose a player to graduation.

RED RAIDERS IN THE POLLS
For the second-straight season, the Red Raiders will end the year receiving votes in one of the two major softball polls as Tech picked up nine points in the USA Today/NFCA top 25 rankings. Tech broke an 11-year absence from the polls earlier this season as the Red Raiders were ranked as high as No. 19 throughout the year.

RED RAIDERS IN THE NATIONAL STATS
Backed by one of the top offenses in the country, the Red Raiders remained one of the nation's leaders in several offensive categories throughout the year. Below is a listing of how Tech finished the year in the NCAA stats:
• Batting Average - 4th (.340)
• Scoring - 4th (7.17 runs per game)
• Win/loss Percentage - T-25th (.724)
• Home runs per game - T-34th (1.00)
• Doubles per game - 24th (1.45)
• Slugging Percentage - 9th (.533)

INDIVIDUALS IN THE NCAA STATS
With the success the Red Raiders had nationally, several Red Raiders found themselves among the nation's leaders in several offensive and pitching categories. Below is a listing of how Tech players finished the year in the NCAA stats:


Cydney Allen
• RBI per game - 44th (0.96)

Emily Bledsoe
• Runs per game - 30th (0.97)

Sandy James (pictured right)
• Home runs - T-25th (16)
• RBI per game - 23rd (1.07)
• Slugging percentage - 30th (.772)

Mikey Kenney
• Runs per game - 19th (1.03)

Brittany Talley, Kermitria Ward
• Saves - T-31st (3)

RICHARDSON HEADS TO WASHINGTON D.C.
Soon after the Red Raiders closed the season, Raven Richardson headed to Washington D.C. to begin a summer-long internship with The Washington Center, a national organization that provides college students professional internships and academic seminars. Richardson will update Tech fans on her internship throughout the summer at the school's official website, www.texastech.com.

GENTSCH, HAMADA HONORED FOR ACADEMICS
In addition to being honored by the conference, Holley Gentsch and Ashley Hamada were both selected to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 teams with Gentsch picking up first team honors and Hamada earning a second team selection.


 

 

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