LUBBOCK, Texas – The Texas Tech softball team begins the second half of its Big 12 slate with a trip to the state capitol, where it will take on Texas in a three-game series April 13-15 at McCombs Field.
The Red Raiders (21-19, 1-8) and Longhorns (23-15, 6-0) will kick things off at 7 p.m. on Friday night before a 1 p.m. first pitch on Saturday and an 11 a.m. meeting on Sunday. All three games will be broadcast on Longhorn Network and the WatchESPN app.
In its last trip to Austin, the Red Raiders won the series opener, 3-2, before dropping the final two games. The Longhorns managed a three-game sweep last season in Lubbock, a series that included a 14-inning affair in the opener.
Both sides enter the week following disappointing midweek results as Tech dropped an 11-10 decision to Abilene Christian on Tuesday while Texas fell at No. 25 Texas State on Wednesday.
Prior to Wednesday’s loss, the Longhorns were rolling with four straight wins while boasting a perfect mark in Big 12 play. Texas has taken advantage of playing Iowa State and Kansas to kick off league play, while the Red Raiders have battled three ranked Big 12 opponents so far in No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 16 Baylor and No. 25 Oklahoma State.
Junior Jessica Hartwell will lead the Red Raiders into Austin after being named National Player of the Week by FastPitch News on Tuesday. It marked the second national weekly honor for the Galt, Calif., native who was named USA Softball Player of the Week and Big 12 Player of the Week on March 6.
Hartwell set a Texas Tech record with three home runs in last Friday’s series opener against No. 16 Baylor. She currently leads the conference with a .500 batting average during Big 12 play and ranks eighth nationally with a .901 slugging percentage and 14th with 13 homers on the year.
As a team, Tech is outhitting Texas .285 to .264 for the season and has double the number of stolen bases. Sophomore Kaitlyn Washington leads the Longhorns, hitting .362 on the year, while Paige von Sprecken (9-6) is the team’s top option in the circle with a 1.55 ERA in 99.2 innings pitched.
This week proves a pivotal week when looking toward the postseason. With three Big 12 series remaining, the Red Raiders entered the week ranked No. 47 in the latest NCAA RPI, boasting a pair of RPI Top-25 wins. Overall, 10 of Tech’s 19 losses have come against NFCA Top-25 teams.
Tech will be gunning for its first series win over the Longhorns since 2015, when it won 2-of-3 in Lubbock. Last time in Austin, the Red Raiders won the series opener before dropping the final two, and the Longhorns now carry a six-game win streak in the series thanks to four wins in 2017.
To follow along with the Red Raiders in Austin, follow @TexasTechSB on Twitter and Instagram, and visit TexasTech.com for previews, box scores, recaps and more.