COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Despite three home runs by the Aggies, the 21st-ranked Texas A&M softball team (29-16, 9-11 SEC) lost a 17-4, five-inning run-rule against No. 5 Florida (39-8, 10-7 SEC), Saturday in the second game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series, broadcast live on ESPNU. The teams played in front of 1,595 fans – a crowd that ranks 12th all-time at the Aggie Softball Complex. With the win, the Gators are guaranteed a series victory. The teams will play the final game of the series Sunday at noon CT.
The Aggies trailed 13-0 after the second inning, but a two-run home run over centerfield by senior Nicole Morgan broke the scoring seal in the bottom of the third inning. Solo bombs from senior Jenna Stark in the fourth inning and senior Cassie Tysarczyk in the fifth added Texas A&M’s final two runs of the game.
Texas A&M had six hits on the day after senior Emily Albus and freshman Reagan Boenker added base hits. Tysarczyk reached base in all three of her plate appearances and scored two runs to lead the Aggies’ offensive effort, drawing a walk in the first inning and reaching on a fielder’s choice before scoring on Morgan’s blast in the third.
Florida started game two just like game one, taking a 2-0 lead on a two-run home run in the top of the first inning, but added eleven runs in the second inning to ensure a difficult day for the Aggies. The Gators hit five home runs, including a grand slam, on the day and added three doubles to the 16-hit tally.
The Aggies held the Gators at bay with bases loaded in the third, but Florida added another four runs in the top of the fourth on a pair of home runs.
Stark’s leadoff, first-pitch rocket came in the bottom of the inning and narrowed the Gators’ lead to 17-3. The shot cleared the wall in dead-centerfield. Boenker reached on a base hit up the middle in the next at bat and was joined on base by junior Brittany Clopton, who drew a walk, but the pair was stranded on the third out.
Tysarczyk added another leadoff home run in the bottom of the fifth to bring the game to its final 17-4 score. The lefty turned on a 1-1 pitch and sent it over the fence where it joined Stark’s ball behind centerfield.
Sophomore Katie Marks (12-4) was the first of four pitchers for the Aggies and suffered the loss after allowing five earned runs on four hits while striking out a batter in one inning of work. UF starter Delanie Gourley (13-1) earned the win on a four-inning outing, ceding three earned runs on five hits and two walks while fanning four.
Texas A&M and Florida will face off in the series finale Sunday at noon CT. The game will not be aired on national TV, but a live audio broadcast can be heard worldwide via Sports Radio 1150 The Zone on RadioAggieland.com and on the Radio Aggieland app. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.