COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 14 Texas A&M softball team dropped a 6-2 decision to Mississippi State, Saturday in the second game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series between the Aggies (38-14, 9-13 SEC) and the Bulldogs (32-20, 8-15).
The teams will play the rubber match tomorrow at noon as the Aggies honor seniors Mel Dumezich, Meagan May and Sydney Shannon on Senior Day. Members of the Class of 2013 will receive FREE admission to the game with the wearing of their class T-shirt.
Mississippi State hitters came out swinging and scored three runs in the top of the first on an RBI base hit and an RBI double.
The Aggies put two runners on base in the bottom of the inning, but both were stranded on the last out. Sophomore Brittany Clopton reached on a leadoff walk and moved to second on a base hit to centerfield by junior Amber Garza.
Junior Cassie Tysarczyk reached on a hard-hit single through the right side in the bottom of the second and advanced to second base on a fly out, but she was also left in scoring position on the third out.
A solo home run by Jenna Stark put the Aggies on the board in the bottom of the third. The junior hammered the ball over the fence in left, against 17-mile-an-hour winds gusting into the stadium. Stark’s long ball was her 10th this season, making her the sixth Aggie to reach double-digit home run figures in 2013.
A&M kept the momentum going in the fourth, coming within one run of the Bulldogs. Tysarczyk scored from third on a two-out single through the right side by junior Taran Tyler. Tysarczyk had reached on her second base hit of the day.
A critical error by the Aggies in the top of the fifth allowed Mississippi State to stretch its lead to 6-2 on a three-run home run. With a runner on first, a bobbled ball turned a routine fielder’s choice into a two-out, two-on situation as MSU third baseman Logan Foulks went yard over left to plate three unearned runs.
Trailing by four in the bottom of the seventh, the Aggies worked to rally. Tyler reached on a two-base throwing error with one out on the board and moved to third on a groundout. The shortstop was left stranded as the game ended, however, and Mississippi State evened the series at 1-1 with the 6-2 win.
Aggie sophomore Lauren Ainsley (12-7) tossed seven complete innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits and two walks while fanning nine batters for the loss. MSU’s Alison Owen (16-10) earned the win, striking out six hitters and giving up two earned runs on five hits and two walks through seven innings in the circle.
The Aggies and Bulldogs will play the series finale tomorrow at noon Central. A&M will honor its three seniors in a special Senior Day celebration after the game. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.