The Texas Tech softball team competes in NCAA Division I and represents Texas Tech University. The Red Raiders have played home games at Rocky Johnson Field in Lubbock since 2001. The team is led by Coach Craig Snider. Players include Erin Edmoundson, Josh Jung, Sami Ward, and Emily Payne. Their recent success is due in part to the efforts of these student-athletes.
After Sami Ward was fired in May, Texas Tech has named Craig Snider as the new head softball coach. Snider was most recently the hitting coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M, and was also an assistant coach at Florida State for the 2018 WCWS National Championship team. He will be the ninth head coach in Texas Tech softball history. Snider has been an assistant coach at Florida State, Oklahoma, and Texas since 2012. He has coached 20 All-Americans and made three trips to the Women’s College World Series.
Before arriving at Texas Tech, Snider spent eight seasons at Florida State University. His success helped the Seminoles win 11 ACCC championships, three NCAA Tremendous Regionals, and three WCWS appearances, including the 2018 National Championship. Snider made Florida State one of the nation’s premier offensive programs. This season, the Seminoles led the nation in batting average, home runs per game, points, and slugging percentage.
While Snider’s success at Texas Tech is still in its infancy, the Red Raiders will likely be very competitive for years to come. He has been an assistant coach for 21 years at Florida State, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma. His teams have earned 20 All-Americans and three NCAA Regional appearances. Those results make Snider a great candidate to become a head coach in the future.
A former assistant coach at Florida State, Snider won 11 ACC titles and seven NCAA Super Regionals, and led the Seminoles to three College World Series appearances. A native of Franklin, Kentucky, Snider is a graduate of Centenary. He has two children, Riley and Henry. Snider’s recruiting skills will serve him well. The future is bright for Texas Tech softball under Snider.
After finishing the 2021 season with a 7-11 record and a 5.86 ERA, Erin Edmoundson knew that she could do better. In addition, she only had one more season left in her NCAA eligibility, and she knew she had to make the most of it. To help ease her transition to college life, Edmoundson jumped through the transfer portal. Despite the setback, she is still poised to make an impact in the coming seasons.
The incoming freshman is already gaining momentum. After pitching four seasons in Lubbock, Erin Edmoundson will transfer to Tennessee. Despite her impressive stats as a freshman and sophomore, her biggest test will come in her fifth season. She has a career ERA of 3.07 and is looking to improve on it this year. This year, Edmoundson is 9-1 with a 1.15 ERA.
Two more players are moving on from the Tech softball program. Kendall Fritz transferred from Nevada and Olivia Rains from national champion Oklahoma. In addition, Erin Edmoundson has transferred to Tennessee to use her remaining eligibility. She has already begun practicing with the Lady Vols. The former No. 3 ranked softball star, the former top-ranked player at Texas Tech, has a new home in Knoxville.
As a senior, Edmoundson is a force to be reckoned with. She fanned five batters in 5.2 innings, which ranked 10th in the country. She also had four shutouts, and was sixth in the Big 12 in strikeouts and opponent batting average. After her stellar senior season, Edmoundson will be the next star on the roster.
Josh Jung is the older brother of freshman pitcher Jace Jung. Both are Texas Tech softball fans, and both play the position on the same softball team. Their parents have always been very supportive of Josh, and it is clear that Jung has been a staple of the Tech lineup since the team’s season opener in 2020. Their younger brother has also gotten some valuable advice from their father, who has coached Jung throughout his softball career.
In the Big 12 this season, Jung led the conference with 21 home runs, while recording a 1.159 on-base plus slugging percentage. This year, Jung is eligible for the MLB Draft and has already met with baseball scouts. According to MLB Pipeline, the Texas Rangers have the No. 3 pick in the draft, and Jung has been talking to them. He is confident that he can make the Rangers’ front office proud.
While Josh is a line-drive hitter, Jace is all about the distance. Last year, Josh watched 21 home runs leave the park. Jace needs 20 home runs to become Tech’s all-time leader in home runs. In contrast, Josh has hit no more than 15 home runs in a season. Interestingly, the two have the same last name. That may be a clue to how similar their game is.
The senior is one of the most consistent players on the team. He played at three different positions, and in his freshman year, he was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year. In his second season, Jung made his first start at shortstop, and was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year. His senior season, he hit a school-record four doubles, setting a new record for Texas Tech players.
Sami Ward, Texas Tech softball, is entering her second season as the head coach of the team. She was named the eighth head coach in program history on Oct. 16. Ward has experience coaching both college and professional teams. In her first season, she led the Lady Red Raiders to a 21-26 record and third place in the Big 12 championship. She coached three players to All-Rookie team honors, including Riley Love and Arriana Villa. Her team also posted the highest fielding percentage in program history.
Ward began her collegiate softball career at Loyola Marymount and has since accumulated impressive stats. In her career, she ranks among the top 10 in RBI, at-bats, doubles, home runs, and pitching innings. She also earned first-team all-conference honors and the Pacific Coast Player of the Year honor. Despite her early success in softball, Ward’s collegiate career was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The firing of Sami Ward was unexpected, but not surprising. The red-and-black head coach at Texas Tech had a 43-52 record since he was hired. The Red Raiders are currently 8-28 in the Big 12 and are unranked in the country. The firing comes just days after Texas Tech’s 3-0 sweep of the University of Texas. The Red Raiders have only one loss in the Big 12 since Ward was hired.
Brooke Reed, the director of softball operations at Tech, will serve as the interim head coach. She has been the head coach of Tech softball for nine years. She is also the first black head coach in Tech softball history. Along with Reed, Ward is assisted by Brandi Stuart, a former Florida State player who was recently inducted into the school’s athletics hall of fame. They will face the Oklahoma State Sooners in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship May 12-14.
Sami Ward’s Contract
Former head coach Sami Ward has been fired by texas tech softball. The school has been searching for a new head coach since October 2020. However, a buyout clause in Ward’s contract requires the school to pay 80% of the remaining salary. The contract also contains offset language. This language may be a problem for the school. However, the school will not be in a position to fire Ward unless the program fails to make progress under its new head coach.
The announcement of Sami Ward’s departure comes at a bad time for the Tigers. It was a tough day for the program, as it lost three games in a row to Texas on Sunday. The loss to the Longhorns was Texas’ 11th straight. Texas Tech went 22-26 in the 2022 season. Under Ward, the team posted a 42-16 record in 2019. In addition, the Lions had their highest fielding percentage in program history.
Ward is a versatile coach. Prior to joining Texas Tech, she served as head coach at Academy of Art University, a Division-II program in San Francisco. The following year, she was named the program’s first full-fledged NCAA member. She also served as an assistant coach at North Dakota (2008-11) and Dakota Wesleyan University (2006-07).
Under Ward’s leadership, Loyola Marymount developed into one of the top softball programs on the west coast. Under her guidance, the team finished 138-109 overall and 38-21 in WCC play. In addition, the Loyola Marymount softball team made it to the WCC Championship round three times, finishing second in the standings in each of those seasons. Despite this impressive run, the team’s season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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