Texas Tech teams picked up some momentum this week on the basketball, baseball, softball and tennis fronts, while the women’s basketball woes continued.
The Red Raider faithful was in a somber mood this time last week after the basketball team dropped a game at home against No. 3 Kansas by one point. It was game that felt like it closed the door on Tech’s NCAA Tournament hopes, and people slowly started to embrace the idea of an NIT appearance.
Then Monday happened.
The Baylor Bears came to town ranked No. 6 in the nation, and simply got outplayed and out-hustled in a bounce-back win for the Red Raiders, 84-78. Tech was instantly back in the March Madness conversation and now can cement its place as a tournament-worthy team with a win against No. 9 West Virginia in Morgantown today.
The defending Big 12 champion baseball team took the field yesterday for an opening weekend doubleheader in Starkville, MS. The Red Raiders plated a combined 20 runs in nine hours, winning games against Western Illinois 15-1 and reigning SEC champs Mississippi State 5-2 in front of 10,217 fans – the largest opening day crowd in Dudy Noble Field history.
Tech returns to the field today for their second game against Western Illinois hoping to duplicate its performance from yesterday. Sophomore RHP Ryan Shetter is the probable starter for this afternoon’s game.
The Tech softball team traveled to beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, not for vacation, but to play in the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge. The Red Raiders won both games in their Thursday doubleheader, but lost a close one yesterday to Mississippi State, 6-3. The team continues its tournament play at 9 a.m. CT against Cal State Fullerton before finishing the tournament against No. 22 Fresno State on Sunday.
Tech athletics also picked up a win outside the lines this week. Women’s tennis coach Todd Petty signed Florida State transfer Lana Rush to his 2017 recruiting class on Friday.
Rush is a native of London, England, and was ranked the No. 1 player in Great Britain from age 10-16. She joins Tech after two seasons at Florida State, where she went 9-11 in spring singles play during her sophomore campaign.
The Lady Raiders dropped their ninth consecutive Big 12 Conference game, losing to Iowa State in Ames, 79-68. Tech is now 11-14 on the season with a 3-11 record in conference play.
Even in the midst of the losing spell, there was some relatively pleasant news for the Lady Raiders when sophomore guard Recee’ Caldwell earned a spot on the Academic All-Big 12 First team. Have to take the wins where you can get them.