COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 10th-ranked Texas A&M softball team (33-7, 5-6 SEC) is set to host No. 13 LSU (33-8, 9-3 SEC) in a three-game Southeastern Conference series this weekend at the Aggie Softball Complex. Game one Friday is slated for a 7 p.m. first pitch. Saturday’s contest will start at 4:05 p.m. on ESPN, and Sunday’s series finale is set for a 12:37 p.m. start time on FSN. All times are Central.
Several promotions will highlight the weekend. Friday is White Out – fans should all wear white, and a certain number of white shirts will be given out. Fish Camps will also be recognized on Friday. A list of all Fish Camp staffers will be at the front gate. Those on the list will be admitted FREE, and the camp with the most members in attendance will win a prize. Also on Friday is a Whataburger Food Drive – bring two cans of food items and get a Whataburger coupon. Whataburger will have drop locations set up at each entrance. A&M Faculty will also receive discounted tickets to Friday’s game by purchasing them in advance here.
Saturday is Maroon Out. Fans should dress in their Aggie best, and be on the lookout for some FREE maroon t-shirts at the game. Aggie Softball Alumni will receive FREE admission to Sunday’s matchup. Former players will receive more information about this promotion from the A&M softball staff.
Saturday’s broadcast will be aired on ESPN. The network will air the 12:30 p.m. A&M-Mississippi State baseball game, followed by the 2 p.m. A&M spring football game before moving to the Aggie Softball Complex. Pam Ward will call the pitch-by-pitch, with Michele Smith adding color commentary.
Sunday’s game will be shown on FSN, with Tom Werme providing play-by-play and Cheri Kempf giving the analysis. FOX will air the game on SportSouth, FS Southwest, Sun Sports, FS Midwest Plus, FS Arizona, FS North Plus and FS West.
LAST TIME OUT
The Aggies hosted Lamar in a Tuesday doubleheader, sweeping both games in run-rule fashion, 9-0 and 12-4 in five innings each. A&M had 23 hits on the night, including six doubles, a triple and five home runs. Junior Emily Albus hit for the cycle on the night, with her first career home run and a double in game one, followed by a single and a triple in game two. Freshman Breanna Dozier also hit the first bomb of her career, and freshman Kristen Davenport (1-0) earned her first win in the circle as an Aggie.
The No. 13 Tigers are 33-8 this season, and 9-3 in SEC play, coming off of a trip to the Women’s College World Series. Shortstop Bianka Bell earned her second straight SEC Freshman of the Week honor Monday after recording RBI in all four LSU games on the week. The power hitter leads the team with nine home runs, 71 total bases and 36 RBI this season to highlight her .328 average at the plate. Speedster AJ Andrews has swiped 16 bags on the year in as many attempts, and leads the Tigers with a .364 clip and 32 runs scored. Rachele Fico (20-6), who was the No. 1 overall pick in the NPF draft, is the team’s ace. The right-hander owns a 1.80 ERA and 10 solo shutouts, giving up just 41 earned runs and striking out 185 batters in 159.1 innings of work.
This is the first conference meeting between the Aggies and Tigers, who have met several times recently in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 NCAA Regionals. A&M holds a 5-4 all-time advantage against the Tigers, dropping the last two games to LSU in the form of two narrow losses in the 2012 NCAA College Station Regional. The losses ended the Aggies’ season as LSU eventually reached the WCWS. A&M ended the Tigers’ season in the 2011 NCAA College Station Regional.
MORGAN AT ASA/USA WNT TRYOUTS
Junior Nicole Morgan has been invited to the ASA/USA Softball Selection Camp, set for June 9-13. If chosen for the national squad, Morgan will travel to and play in several exhibition and international events this summer, culminating in the 2015 Pan Am Games and 2014 World Championship qualifiers August 5-18 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Dumezich threw three no-hitters over the span of 11 days for the Aggies, earning USA Softball National Player of the Week and SEC player of the Week honors on Feb. 26. The senior threw her career-first no-hitter against Stephen F. Austin (Feb. 20) and added a second vs. Southeastern Louisiana (Feb. 24) the same week. Dumezich’s third no-hitter in less than two weeks came against Illinois State and was her first seven-inning effort as the Aggies run-ruled SFA and SELU.
GRAND SLAMS GALORE
Morgan has proven to be a threat at the plate with bases loaded, pounding three grand slams this season. Morgan’s first four-RBI homer came early in the season as she topped the fence with three on base against Cal State Bakersfield on Feb. 9 for her second long ball of the game. On Feb. 17, Morgan plated four against Stephen F. Austin before clearing the bags at Missouri on March 9. Junior Amber Garza joined Morgan in the grand slam club with a four-RBI homer against Texas State on March 26, and Tysarczyk tacked on a fifth for the team when she went yard with bases loaded vs. Colorado State on April 5.
HOME RUN HITTERS
A&M has hit 68 home runs this season, including 19 in SEC play. Morgan’s 13 long balls are a team best, followed by freshman Cali Lanphear’s 12. Senior Meagan May broke the program’s career home run record with 57 and reached the 60-bomb mark at Tennessee. Nine different Aggie hitters have gone yard this season, seven of them hitting five or more long balls.
The Aggies’ early success in their first season in the Southeastern Conference has shown in the SEC overall statistics as the team tops league members in several areas through last weekend’s games. A&M ranks second in the SEC in overall stats in home runs (63) and saves (4) and lead the conference with two runners picked off. Morgan paces the league with 13 home runs while Dumezich has a league-best 160.2 innings pitched, three saves, 22 wins, 32 appearances and 26 starts. Her 176 strikeouts rank third among SEC hurlers.
VS. THE NCAA
Through games played on April 7 the Aggies hold a No. 11 RPI ranking and are among the best in the nation in several statistical areas. As a team, A&M is fourth in the country in home runs per game (1.66) and slugging percentage (.579), 24th in scoring (6.21) and 15th in win-loss percentage (.816). Individually, Dumezich is fourth in victories (22), 19th in saves (3), 19th in strikeouts (176) and 12th in shutouts (6). Morgan ranks 21st in sacrifice flies (3) and 15th in home runs (13). Freshman Cali Lanphear sits at 29th in home runs per game (.34) and slugging percentage (.822).
A&M started the season ranked No. 17 in both national polls and is now sitting at No. 11 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25 and No. 10 in the NFCA/USA Today poll. The team’s No. 4 national ranking on March 19 was the highest since the end of the 2008 season when the reigning national runners-up were second in the final poll. The Aggies’ remaining 2013 opponent in the polls is No. 13/14 LSU. In addition, Georgia is receiving votes.
Individual game and season 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, while individual game tickets for softball are $10 for reserved (sections 4-8) and $8 for 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.
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.
The “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” promotion returns in 2013, allowing four (4) kids under 12 to be admitted free on Sundays with the purchase of one adult ticket. All seats in this promotion are General Admission. Children must be accompanied by an adult purchasing a ticket to qualify for the promotion. Everyone, regardless of age, is required to have a ticket in the General Admission section, though GA tickets for children under 2 are free of charge.
Parking for all Aggie softball games is available in Reed Arena lot 100G and Olsen Field lot 100J. 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.
EVERY GAME ON RADIO
All of the Aggie softball team’s games this season will be broadcast by The Zone. Select games will be aired locally on Sports Radio 1150 The Zone, while the remaining contests can be heard on any smartphone or HD radio worldwide via 95.1-3 The Zone HD. Links to the online broadcasts for each game can be found at RadioAggieland.com and AggieAthletics.com.
The Zone’s Program Director, Louie Belina (away), and Tim Schnettler (home) will be calling the pitch-by-pitch, with David Batson providing color commentary. Former Texas A&M softball Director of Operations Stephen Grove will add analysis in select games as well.
WATCH THE AGGIES ONLINE
For the 10th 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.
AGGIES ON THE TUBE
At least three Aggie softball games will be played on national television this season. A&M’s April 13 home game vs. LSU will be aired on ESPN at 4 p.m., while the Sunday, April 14, game between the two schools will be broadcast live at 12:30 p.m. on FSN. ESPNU will televise the A&M-Tennessee matchup on March 23 in Knoxville, Tenn. In addition to the three regular season games, the ESPN Network will show the entire SEC Tournament nationwide, including the two play-in games. All times are Central.
The Aggies travel to Texas State Tuesday for a single midweek game, before heading east for a three-game SEC series at Georgia next weekend. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.