COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 10th-ranked Texas A&M softball team sent the game into extra innings with a four-run seventh inning, but No. 13 LSU took a 9-6 victory in eight frames, Saturday at the Aggie Softball Complex in the second game of the three-game Southeastern Conference series.
A program-fourth record 1,959 fans were in attendance for the game, which was aired nationally on ESPN. The Aggies (34-8, 6-7 SEC) took game one, 6-2, and the series is tied at 1-1 with the Tigers (34-9, 10-4 SEC). The series finale is set for tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Central on FSN.
A&M tied the game twice, but never took a lead on LSU. The Tigers scored first, sending two runs across the plate on a pair of bases-loaded walks. LSU loaded the bags eight times on the day, never getting a hit with bases juiced, but forcing four runs through.
The Aggies answered the early surge with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Junior Jenna Stark pounded a one-out home run over left field to put A&M on the board. Freshman Cali Lanphear and junior Amber Garza drew back-to-back walks before an RBI single up the middle by junior Taran Tyler plated Lanphear for the equalizer.
LSU regained the advantage in the top of the third when an RBI single sent the 3-2 run across. The Tigers pushed their lead out to 6-2 in the next inning as they batted through the order.
Two one-out walks in the bottom of the sixth put Aggies on base, but the home team was unable to capitalize on the chances. Their luck would change in the bottom of the seventh when a four-run effort tied the game and sent it into extra innings.
Junior Emily Albus led off in the final frame of regulation with an infield single and was pushed to second on a walk by junior Cassie Tysarczyk. With runners on first and second, junior Nicole Morgan hammered a double that slammed off the top of the wall in left to score Garza and Tysarczyk. Ready for a rally, senior Mel Dumezich followed suit and busted a pitch, sending it sailing over the wall in left-centerfield for a two-run home run that tied the game at 6-6.
LSU moved through its lineup again in the top of the eighth, sending three runners home on two RBI singles and a bases-loaded walk.
A determined Emily Albus sped around the base paths in the bottom of the final inning for a standup, two-out triple through the right side, but the centerfielder was stranded as the game ended with LSU taking a 9-6 victory on ESPN. Albus was 2-for-4 with a run scored and a walk.
Sophomore Lauren Ainsley (10-3) suffered the loss after allowing five earned runs on four hits and five walks in five innings of work. LSU closer Rachele Fico (21-7) took the win, giving up one hit and striking out four batters in two innings in the circle.
The Aggies and Tigers will play the rubber match tomorrow on FSN at 12:37 p.m. Central. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.