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TECH SOFTBALL FIRST PITCH: Red Raiders looking to get back on winning track

Posted: March 16, 2017 - 6:37pm

After going 1-2 in a rain-shortened Tulsa Invitational, the Red Raiders are looking to get back on the winning track as they host the Seventh Annual Jeannine McHaney Memorial this weekend at Rocky Johnson Field.

Texas Tech (13-11), which is coming off a 7-0 loss to Tulsa, is slated to start the classic with a 6:30 p.m. Friday matchup against Saint Francis (21-8). The Red Raiders are slated to play East Carolina (14-11) at 4 p.m. Saturday followed by Saint Francis at 6:30 p.m. as part of a doubleheader to conclude the classic.

The trio of contests are all preparation for the Big 12 slate, which is scheduled to begin with a three-game road series against Iowa State from March 24-26.

“I think we just really want to get on a roll and just get the momentum going into Big 12 (play). So, we can just set the standard for us,” said Texas Tech senior outfielder Kierra Miles, who has 34 career home runs and ranks third in program history — two away from tying for second place.

Swinging strong, making mistakes

As a team, the Red Raiders lead the Big 12 conference in home runs (22) and ranks third in doubles (32), third in stolent bases (41) and second in triples (six) through five weeks into the season.

While the offense has been solid throughout the season, Texas Tech head coach Adrian Gregory is hoping her players can not only hit the ball well but also clean up a few miscues that led to big innings earlier in the season. In total, the Red Raiders have committed 41 errors.

“I think it’s a combination,” Gregory said of what she feels her squad must do to be in a good position to win this weekend. “I think it start on the mound and our pitchers have to work ahead of hitters. And then, if we do get behind, then somebody has to make a play.”

Scouting Saint Francis

For the first time in program history, the Red Raiders will take on Saint Francis of the Northeast Conference.

The Red Flash are on a nine-game winning streak, the longest since going on a 10-game roll back in 2015.

Junior Jordan Seneca, who has notched 12 home runs whit season, is tied for first nationally with Arkansas’ Nicole Schroeder. Sophomore Sierra McKee has tallied 11 doubles which puts her tied for first, as well.

Scouting East Carolina

Just like in its matchup with Saint Francis, Texas Tech will square off for the first time against the Pirates.

After having a Wednesday contest against NC State canceled due to low temperatures, East Carolina will return to the field for the first time since March 11.

East Carolina is coming off a 10-2 loss to national ranked James Madison, which was 9 for 17 with runners in scoring position.

Meredith Burroughs leads the team with 24 RBIs followed by and Alex Mycek at 23. The duo is also known for its power, combining for 17 of the teams 33 total home runs this season.

“It’s so important and we’ve been working so hard this week to get back in it,” Texas Tech sophomore infielder Kiana Workman, who is 3 for 4 in stolen base attempts this season. “It’s so awesome that we’re at home and get to be here with our home atmosphere. It’s so to set the tone going into conference.”

— Carlos Silva Jr., A-J Media

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