COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 21st-ranked Texas A&M softball team (28-14, 9-9 SEC) is ready to host Sam Houston State (22-18, 11-6 Southland) in the final game of a two-game, split-site series between the regional rivals, Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT at the Aggie Softball Complex. The Aggies and Bearkats faced off in Huntsville in February, in a game that ended with an 8-3 Texas A&M win.
Fans can listen to the live audio broadcast on AggieAthletics.com or RadioAggieland.com, via Sports Radio 1150 AM The Zone. Live stats will also be available on the team’s web site after first pitch.
LAST TIME OUT
The Aggies dropped a 2-1 series to No. 4 Tennessee last weekend, with Friday and Sunday's games being aired live from the Aggie Softball Complex on ESPNU. Texas A&M took a 4-1 win in game one, led by an eight-strikeout performance from redshirt junior Rachel Fox in the circle and a two-home run outing from senior Cassie Tysarczyk at the plate.
EVANS AND JACKSON WIN NO. 700
In their 18th season with the Aggies, Head Coach Jo Evans and Associate Head Coach Joy Jackson reached the 700th win of their Texas A&M careers last weekend against Tennessee. The Aggies’ 4-1 victory over the Lady Vols on April 11 sealed the deal for the duo. Evans reached the 1,000th win of her career on March 1 when the Aggies beat Wisconsin, 6-2. The milestone makes Evans the only active Southeastern Conference coach with 1,000 Division I wins, and one of just eight DI coaches nationwide with 1,000 victories as a DI head coach. The Aggie skipper began her head coaching career at Colorado State, posting a 91-67 record from 1986-89. Taking a job at her alma mater next, Evans led Utah to the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) in 1991 and recording a 222-143 mark from 1990-96.
SCOUTING SAM HOUSTON STATE
The Bearkats have enjoyed quite a bit of success after their season-opening loss to Texas A&M this year, posting a 22-18 record with an 11-6 mark in Southland Conference play to sit at third in league standings. Led by Cecilia Castillo (.359, 42 H, 21 R, 9 2B, 3 HR, 21 RBI) at the plate, Sam Houston State has six batters hitting above .300 this year. Hillary Adams and Tiffany Castillo are each approaching double digits in home runs with eight long balls each. The pair leads the team with 26 and 28 RBI, respectively. In the circle Shelby Lancaster (7-6, 3.20 ERA, 102.2 IP, 28 Ks) and Haley Baros (9-8, 3 saves, 3.26 ERA, 96.2 IP, 36 Ks) have done most of the work. The Bearkat pitching staff has tossed five shutouts this season.
VS. THE BEARKATS
The Aggies are 90-13 all-time against the Bearkats, after defeating SHSU 8-3 in Huntsville on Feb. 12. The teams also met twice last season, with Texas A&M sweeping the split-sight series. Texas A&M hasn’t lost a game in the all-time series with Sam Houston State since Valentine’s Day of 1995. The Aggies are on a 43-game winning streak vs. the Bearkats.
Sam Houston State Head Coach Bob Brock was the Aggies’ skipper from 1982-1996, pushing the team to three national championships (1982, ’83, ’87) and two national runner-up finishes (1984, ’86). Brock hired former Texas A&M team captain Adrian Gregory as an assistant coach in 2010. Gregory helped the Aggies to a Big 12 Championship and earned All-Conference honors as a junior before graduating from Texas A&M in 2006.
MORGAN DRAFTED BY REBELLION
Senior Nicole Morgan was chosen as the No. 17 overall pick in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Draft by the Pennsylvania Rebellion on March 31. Morgan was the first selection of the fifth round of the draft, and the fifth pick by the Rebellion. The Rebellion are in their first season in the NPF after coming together in November of 2013, inheriting the roster of the NY/NJ Comets. Based in Washington, Penn., the team will play at CONSOL Energy Park as they compete for the first time in 2014.
Among conference opponents, the Aggies continue to lead the league with eight pickoffs. Senior Emily Albus' .436 batting average ranks fourth among SEC hitters, and her 65 hits are a league best. Morgan ranks among the top 10 in the league with seven pickoffs (1st), a .727 slugging percentage (7th), a .523 on base percentage (T-7th), 44 RBI (4th), 10 home runs (T-5th) and 40 walks (3rd). Donnell's five saves, 19 games finished and 21 games in relief are each league bests.
VS. THE NATION
The Aggies are currently No. 15 in the latest RPI rankings and are among the nation's best in several statistical categories. As a team, Texas A&M ranks 14th in fielding percentage (.974). Senior Nicole Morgan ranks 11th in the nation in sacrifice flies (4) and fifth in walks per game (.98), and freshman Abby Donnell's five saves rank fourth.
RANKING THE AGGIES
Texas A&M started the 2014 season with a No. 11 preseason ranking in both national polls and are currently ranked No. 21 in the NFCA/USA Today Top 25 Poll and No. 22 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll. The Aggies’ remaining 2014 opponents in the top 25 are No. 5/7 Florida and No. 23/23 Auburn.
FOLLOW THE AGGIES
Get the latest news, updates and action from Aggie Softball by following the team’s official Twitter account @AggieSoftball. Fans on Facebook can also stay connected by liking the Aggie Softball page (facebook.com/TAMUSoftball).
Aggie Softball fans worldwide can listen to each game of the 2014 season live on AggieAthletics.com. All contests are provided by The Zone and can be heard on smartphones and HD radios via 95.1-3 The Zone HD on the Radio Aggieland app. Select games are also available in the Bryan-College Station area on Sports Radio 1150 AM. Every game will be live online at RadioAggieland.com and AggieAthletics.com.
MOBILE LIVE STATS
Fans who wish to follow the action of each game this season can also receive free, instantaneous live stats on any computer or smartphone by visiting TAMUstats.com. Users can access current live stats and stats from past games.
WATCH THE AGGIES ONLINE
For the 11th straight season, 12th Man TV will bring Aggies around the globe live video of Texas A&M softball. Fans will be able to watch all non-televised Aggie home games, along with select road games, through the all-new 12th Man TV. Subscription packages start at $11.95/month and include exclusive live and on-demand content not found anywhere else. For more information log on to AggieAthletics.com.
AGGIE SOFTBALL ON TV
The Aggies will play at least five games on national TV this season, beginning with two games vs. Kentucky that were aired on FSN South in early April. Of the Aggies’ five televised contests, four will be played at the Aggie Softball Complex. The Aggies hosted 2013 national runner-up Tennessee on ESPNU last weekend, and Texas A&M will play another pair of games on ESPNU this weekend when Florida comes to College Station. Friday and Saturday’s games can be seen nationwide.
In addition to the five regular-season games, the entire SEC tournament, including both play-in games, will be broadcast on ESPN networks. The SEC Tournament is set for May 7-10 in Columbia, S.C.
All tickets may be purchased over the phone at 1-888-99-AGGIE OR 979-845-2311, online at tickets.12thManFoundation.com, or in person at The Zone at Kyle Field ticket office. Season tickets are currently available for just $125. Individual game tickets for softball will go on sale in January and are $10 for reserved (sections 4-8) and $8 for Adult General Admission (sections 1-3). Youth GA tickets are available for $5 each. Group rates are also available to groups of at least 20, and cost $8 for reserved seats and $3 for GA. Texas A&M students with no all-sports option may purchase a student walkup ticket for $5. Junior Aggie Club members are admitted free of charge to all Aggie softball games. Membership to the JAC is just $25, and information is available at www.JuniorAggieClub.com.
Each game at the Aggie Softball Complex features special promotions and incentives for fans in attendance. To check out updates to the team’s full 2014 promotional calendar, go to www.AggieAthletics.com/promotions.
Parking for all Aggie softball games is available in Lot 100 at both Reed Arena and Olsen Field. For games that do not conflict with baseball, the entry gate on the Reed Arena side of the stadium will not be opened; fans are encouraged to park at Olsen Field for those games to allow easy access to the stadium entrance. Visitors may park for free when there is not a conflict with an A&M men’s basketball or baseball game. This does not include 24-hour numbered, 12th Man or timed spaces. Visit transportation.tamu.edu for more information.
Texas A&M will host No. 5 Florida in a three-game Southeastern Conference Series at the Aggie Softball Complex this weekend. Friday and Saturday’s games will be aired live on ESPNU. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.