Red Raiders head to Houston for final road series

LUBBOCK, Texas – The Red Raiders (26-16, 6-12) will play their final Big 12 road series of the season as they travel to Houston to take on the Cougars (23-24, 3-18). The teams will compete in a three-game series beginning on Friday at 6 p.m. followed by a 2 p.m. start on Saturday and a noon start on Sunday.


Texas Tech is coming off an 0-3 outing against No. 6 Oklahoma State last weekend and will look to bolster its resume with postseason looming.


Houston is also coming off an 0-3 weekend after falling to No. 2 Oklahoma. The Cougars also played No. 12 Texas A&M in a mid-week on Tuesday and lost 12-2.


Historically, the Red Raiders are 3-5 against the Cougars. The last time these teams faced was in 2022 when they split a two-game series with Tech taking game one 1-0 and Houston taking game two 3-1.




• NO INTRODUCTION NEEDED – Reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Year Kailey Wyckoff has somehow been even better this season. She enters the weekend reaching base safely in 23 straight games and is slashing .421/.669/.500 on the season. She has also recorded 30 RBIs and drawn 18 walks to just 10 strikeouts. Wyckoff leads the team in batting average, on-base percentage and hits. On defense, she’s been a true utility player, spending time at catcher, first base and right and left field.


• CRITES NEW HEIGHTS – There was no question of senior catcher Kennedy Crites’ defense entering the 2024 season. Last year she led the Big 12 in throwing out batters, but on offense she showed flashes in 2023 of bringing consistent production. After a slow start to the season, batting .185 entering the month of March, she has turned it on the last two months. Crites is batting .325 with 26 hits, two homers and eight RBIs – all of which tie or set career highs for her.


• FEW BETTER THAN NO. 5 – Senior Riley Love has seemed to save the best for last as she has been on an absolute tear this season. She enters the weekend having recorded 37 hits, 11 doubles, 12 home runs, 44 RBIs and 88 total bases – all of which mark career highs. Her glove has been just as solid, having several stellar plays at the hot corner to save runs and base hits. For her impressive start she was recognized as the No. 6 ranked third baseman in the country by Softball America for the month of March and for April. Her doubles, RBIs and home runs rank in the top 10 in the Big 12.


• ORRICK MAKING NOISE – Senior shortstop Abbie Orrick has had an impressive stretch of play for the Red Raiders that continues to go on. Orrick is currently batting .325 with 39 hits, eight homers and 29 RBIs – all of which crush her previous career highs. The senior was one of the bright spots in the series finale against Oklahoma St. as she went 2-for-3 with a big two-run homer in the fourth inning to spark a comeback that fell just short.


• OUTFIELD IMPACT – Outfielders Arriana Villa and Demi Elder have also been having career seasons. Villa is batting .353 on the season with a career-high 14 doubles – her doubles are also tied for second most in the Big 12. Elder is batting .314 and has set new career highs in runs, hits, doubles, triples and walks while tying her career highs in homers and RBIs. Villa and Elder have been solid on defense as well, having just one error combined all season.


• IN THE RANKINGS – The Red Raiders currently sit at No. 32 in RPI and No. 35 in KPI. On offense, Tech ranks 3rd in the country for doubles per game (1.88), 22nd in homers per game (1.21), 13th in slugging (.539), 19th in runs per game (6.29), and 31st for batting average (.314). On defense, the Red Raiders rank t-11th in double plays (24), 11th in double plays per game (.57).

• TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE – The Red Raiders are among the best teams in the country when it comes to turning double plays. They rank third in the nation in double plays per game, averaging .64. This all came to a peak when Tech recorded three double plays against Baylor in a 2-1 loss which set a new program high for double plays in a game. Tech is up to 24 twin killings so far this season, with the program record being 32 which was set back in 2003.


• MADDY & MADDIE – The bullpen was of some interest heading into the 2024 season. The Red Raiders have a good number of arms, but not much experience behind those arms. Transfer Maddy Wright helped alleviate some of that when she committed to play for coach Snider following four years at Charlotte. A pleasant surprise early, however, has been the emergence of junior pitcher Maddie Kuehl. In her appearances she has already set new career highs in wins, innings pitched, batters faced, saves, complete games and strikeouts. This was all highlighted by her brilliant complete game performance against Texas State where she struck out a career-high seven batters in route to her second win of the season. Kuehl then set another career high for strikeouts, sitting down nine against New Mexico State as she improved to 5-3 on the season. The righty had another big strikeout performance against ACU, as she sat down eight batters en route to another win.



Release Provided By Jay Strader Texas Tech Athletics

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