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No. 8 Texas A&M Splits Games on Day One of Aggie Classic

February 14, 2014
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 8 Texas A&M softball team (7-1) run-ruled Oregon State (3-5), 8-0 in six innings, in the first game of the day before ending its winning streak with a 2-4 loss to McNeese State (4-3), Friday in the Aggie Classic.

In game one vs. the Beavers, Texas A&M took the lead in the third inning and never gave up a run in the shutout. Sophomore transfer Katie Marks (3-0) threw a complete game shutout in the circle, the second of her young Aggie career. Sophomore Cali Lanphear was 2-for-3 on the game with a double, a triple and four RBI.

A two-out double to left-centerfield by senior Cassie Tysarczyk put the Aggies on the board with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Freshman April Ryan drew a walk and senior Nicole Morgan hit a single to left field, each with one out, to reach base before Tysarczyk’s shot sent them home for the 2-0 lead on the Beavers.

Texas A&M stretched to a 7-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Senior Taran Tyler scored on a fielding error by the Beavers to start the rally, and an RBI base hit by Ryan kept the momentum going. With bases loaded, Lanphear stepped up to the plate and slugged a triple to left-centerfield to clear the bases.

It was Lanphear who came through again for the walk-off run-rule in the bottom of the sixth. Senior Amber Garza led off with a double to left field and, with two outs, Lanphear pounded her second extra-base hit of the game to right-centerfield. The double plated Garza and ended the game with an 8-0 Aggie victory.

Texas A&M held five Beaver runners on base throughout six innings as Marks earned her second shutout of the year. The Katy, Texas, native struck out five while walking two and allowing five hits. OSU’s Amanda Najdek (1-3) suffered the loss after giving up eight earned runs on 10 hits and six walks.

The tables were turned in game two as the Aggies stranded 11 runners against McNeese State, six of them in scoring position.

After leading off with an infield single in the bottom of the first, senior Emily Albus reached third but was sent back to the dugout when three straight outs ended the inning.

Lanphear drew a walk in the second and scored on a double to right-centerfield by Tyler for the 1-0 lead. Tyler became the second Aggie runner of the game to be left on base in scoring territory.

The Cowgirls scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the third, after a dropped strike three that would have been the third out kept the action going. Both runs were sent home on base hits to the outfield.

Ryan gave the Aggies a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the inning when she reached on a double down the right-field line. Garza joined her on base when she was hit by a pitch, but again the Aggies were unable to produce a run.

McNeese State continued to advance on Texas A&M in the fourth when a pair of doubles and a walk scored two runs for the 4-1 lead. The Aggies responded in the fifth with a single run, but it wasn’t enough.

Junior Brittany Clopton led off with a base hit slapped up the middle. A bunt single by Albus sent her to second and Ryan added a third base hit to advance Clopton to third. Senior Nicole Morgan flied out to right field but sent the runner home from third for a sacrifice. With two outs, Tyler joined Albus and Ryan on the base paths, but the bags were left loaded and McNeese State maintained a 4-2 lead.

The Aggies loaded the bases again on two outs with Clopton, Albus and Ryan in the bottom of the sixth, but Clopton was thrown out trying to advance home to end the frame. Ryan was 3-for-3 against the Cowgirls, and Albus was 3-for-4.

Texas A&M junior Lauren Ainsley (1-1) took the first loss of the season after throwing four full innings from the circle. She allowed two earned runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out two. Redshirt junior Rachel Fox finished the game for the Aggies, allowing no runs on three hits and two walks with two strikeouts.

Cowgirl pitcher Jamie Allred (3-2) earned the win after giving up two earned runs on 10 hits and three walks. Allred struck out eight batters in the complete-game effort.

The Aggies return to action at the Aggie Classic tomorrow in a 3 p.m. rematch with McNeese State and a 5:15 p.m. game against Oregon State. Both matchups can be heard live on AggieAthletics.com. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.

HEAD COACH JO EVANS
On Clopton being thrown out at home in the sixth vs. McNeese State…
“That’s on me. Sending Brittany was stupid. It was inexcusable and it ended up potentially costing us a ballgame. Obviously I’m not happy with myself with [Nicole Morgan] coming up. I took a chance with a lot of speed and it was a stupid thing to do.”

On the game vs. McNeese State…
“We had plenty of opportunities tonight and we stranded 11 runners. That’s way too many runners – many of those in scoring position with who you think is the right person up. We hit the ball well, I thought, and I give all the credit to McNeese State. I thought they played terrific. I thought their centerfielder made a couple of really nice plays out there. They were really aggressive. Defensively they were really solid. I thought they really did a nice job out there.”

On the dropped third strike in the top of the second vs. McNeese State…
“Between my blunder and that – inexcusable. That should never happen. We’ve got an out right there, and instead we end up giving up two runs. We ought to be looking at a 2-2 game, as opposed to a 4-2 loss. That’s on every infielder out there who doesn’t have enough sense to know what needs to happen in that situation. We were yelling in the dugout. As soon as that ball got thrown in the air, I knew we were in big trouble. That’s just something that shouldn’t happen.”

On April Ryan’s performance on the day…
“She’s so solid. You look at her up there – she’s aggressive, she wants to hit, she’s looking for counts to hit in. She’s really attacking the ball. I’m really pleased with her. She’s doing everything she can to help us win a ballgame.”

On Katie Marks’ performance vs. Oregon State…
“I thought Katie was terrific. She just kept them off balance, she worked ahead. She got outs when she needed to. She worked in a couple of jams early-on and got herself right out of it. I thought she looked really composed on the mound and looked really comfortable early-on. I’m really pleased with the way she wanted the ball and got after it. Then offensively, our team gives her a chance to feel really comfortable out there, scoring eight runs.”

On Nicole Morgan throwing two pickoffs at second base against OSU…
“Her arm is unbelievable. I don’t know many teams who are going to take leads off of Nic. She’ll throw you out. Both times April Ryan was right there, ready for the ball and making a great tag, and Nic has a great arm. I don’t know anybody that has a better arm than she does. She’s just so quick behind the plate and really heads-up. She did a nice job. It really shut down an inning where we could be in trouble after we had walked somebody and that kid was just kind of hanging out there.”

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