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Stark’s Homer Helps Maroon to Series Lead in Extra-Inning Showdown

November 20, 2013
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M softball senior Allison Garrett hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth as Maroon took a 2-1 Maroon & White Series lead with the 6-5 win over White in an extra-inning battle on Wednesday night.

Garrett’s walk-off hit came after senior Jenna Stark’s seventh-inning three-run home run that sent the game into extra frames and allowed the come-back win.

The teams will face off in game four of the intra-squad scrimmage on Thursday at 4:15 p.m. A Maroon victory will end the series, and a White victory will force a fifth game. If necessary, game five will likely begin just after game four due to rain in Friday’s forecast. All times are Central.

Thursday’s softball action will be broadcast live on 95.1-3 The Zone HD, making it available worldwide via AggieAthletics.com and RadioAggieland.com.

White quickly loaded the bases in the top of the first on a pair of infield singles from senior Kaydee Rayburn and freshman April Ryan and a walk by sophomore Cali Lanphear. With no outs on the board, senior Cassie Tysarczyk slugged a double to left-center field for a 2-0 White advantage.

A solo home run by senior Amber Garza in the bottom of the inning cut the White lead in half. Maroon stranded two in scoring position in the second.

White took advantage of Maroon’s no-run second inning, stretching its lead to 3-1 in the top of the fourth. Senior Taran Tyler laced a one-out double down the left-field line and scored Maroon’s third run of the night on an RBI ground-out by Rayburn.

The designated visitors continued to put up runs, scoring two in the top of the sixth for a 5-1 advantage over Maroon. Freshman Reagan Boenker drew a walk and scored on a base hit by freshman Abby Donnell and a fielding error in left. Donnell also scored, unearned, on a single to right field by Ryan that made Boenker’s run earned.

Maroon answered with just one run in the bottom of the inning when senior Nicole Morgan scored on a perfectly-placed Garrett base hit that landed just behind third base on the left-field line.

Still trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Maroon continued to fight. Garza drew a walk and was joined on the bags by Morgan, who hit a single to reach base. With two on and no outs, Stark came out swinging and squared off on a pitch to send it sailing over left to tie the game.

Neither team was able to score in the first one-and-a-half frames of extra innings, though White put two on base with singles in the top of the ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth, Morgan was hit by a pitch before a Stark base hit moved her to second. Freshman Suzanne White drew a walk to load the bases as Garrett again placed a ball perfectly on the base line, this time going the opposite direction with a single just over first base that scored Morgan for the walk-off win.

Sophomore Lauren Ainsley earned the win in the circle for Maroon, throwing four full innings of relief. The right-hander struck out four and gave up one earned run on six hits and a walk. Sophomore Katie Marks suffered the loss, allowing four earned runs in 2 2/3 innings of work. The transfer gave up four hits and three walks while fanning two batters.

The series will end Thursday with game four starting at 4:15 p.m. CST and game five, if necessary, beginning immediately afterward. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.

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