LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech sophomore Gretchen Aucoin was tabbed the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday following her dominating performance in the circle last week against both North Texas and Texas State.
Aucoin went 1-0 with a 0.93 ERA in 15.0 innings last week where she surrendered just two runs while striking out an impressive 26 hitters during that span. She is now 8-3 on the season with a 1.18 ERA that ranks second currently in the Big 12.
The Ocean Springs, Miss. native opened the week with her third complete game of the season as she allowed just one run off six hits while striking out a career-high 13 hitters against North Texas last Wednesday. Her 13 strikeouts marked the most for a Tech pitcher since Amanda Renfro fanned a school record 15 hitters twice during the 2001 season.
Aucoin returned to the circle later in the evening to record the save in Tech’s 5-4 victory over the Mean Green as she struck out the side in the seventh. She ended the night having each of her final eight outs coming via strikeouts.
The save was the first of two on the week for Aucoin, who also provided two innings of no-hit relief in the series finale against Texas State where she struck out four. Aucoin snapped both the Tech single-season and career records with the save as she now has an NCAA-leading five this year and seven in just over a season with the Red Raiders.
Her presence was not just felt in the circle, however, as Aucoin compiled a team-leading .706 on-base percentage after a 4-for-9 performance (.444 avg.) at the plate that included seven RBI.
Aucoin helped propel the Red Raiders to sweeps of both North Texas and Texas State with a two-run triple, her second of the season, against the Mean Green before connecting on her first career grand slam in Tech’s 5-3 come-from-behind victory in the series finale against the Bobcats.
The Red Raiders trailed 3-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning before Aucoin gave Tech the lead for good with a first-pitch shot over the centerfield fence. The four RBI off the grand slam marked a new career high for Aucoin, who led all Red Raiders with seven RBI last week. She also drew five walks and was plunked three times as well.
Aucoin is the second Red Raider to earn Pitcher of the Week honors this season, joining Brittany Talley who received the honor on Feb. 11. Tech had not previously had two different pitchers garner the accolade in the same season. Aucoin is just the fourth Red Raider to ever be named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week, joining Renfro, Talley and Ashly Jacobs.
This is also the second-straight week where a Red Raider has received a weekly award as Sydni Emanuel was named the conference Pitcher of the Week on March 18. It is the most weekly awards for Tech in a season since earning three in 2011.
Aucoin and the Red Raiders return to Rocky Johnson Field this weekend to open Big 12 play against No. 12 Baylor. The series opener is set for a 7 p.m. first pitch Friday evening.
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