COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 13 Texas A&M softball team (19-5, 2-1 SEC) travels to the state of South Carolina this week to play a Wednesday game at College of Charleston (15-8) and a three-game Southeastern Conference series at the University of South Carolina (14-7, 0-3 SEC) this weekend.
The Aggies and Cougars will face off in a nonconference game at 4 p.m. CT/5 ET at Patriots Point Athletics Complex in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Wednesday. Texas A&M will then travel to Columbia, S.C., to play three SEC games against USC, Friday at 5 p.m. CT/6 ET, Saturday at 1 p.m. CT/2 ET and Sunday at 12 p.m. CT/1 ET at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
Fans can keep up with the action all week by listening to the live audio broadcasts worldwide on AggieAthletics.com or RadioAggieland.com via 95.1-3 The Zone HD. The series at USC can also be heard locally on Sports Radio 1150 AM. Each game this season can be heard worldwide on HD radio or smartphone via 95.1-3 The Zone HD. Download the Radio Aggieland app to listen to the games, or tune in online. Select games this season can also be heard in the Bryan-College Station area on Sports Radio 1150 AM.
Instantaneous live mobile stats can be seen from any mobile device, as well as any computer at TAMUstats.com. Live stats will also be available for every game of the 2014 season through AggieAthletics.com. Click on the live stats link on the Aggie softball schedule page any time after first pitch to follow the action.
LAST TIME OUT
The Aggies earned the series win in their first SEC outing of the season, topping No. 15 Missouri two games-to-one. The Tigers took a shutout win in the first game of the series, but Texas A&M rallied in a big way with an 11-2 run-rule victory Saturday, followed by an extra-inning walk-off win in Sunday’s series finale. Senior Nicole Morgan had two three-run home runs against the Tigers, and senior Cassie Tysarczyk was responsible for a solo home run Saturday and the game winner on Sunday. Sophomore Katie Marks (10-0) took both wins in the circle, tossing five innings in each game to keep her spotless win-loss record.
MORGAN SEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Morgan was named the SEC Player of the Week for the first time in her career, Monday after a big outing against 15th-ranked Missouri last weekend. The senior had two three-run home runs for six RBI against the Tigers and boasted a .900 slugging percentage and .533 on-base percentage over the entire week, including the Aggies’ midweek win at Texas State.
SCOUTING COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON
The Cougars are pacing a 15-8 mark this season after going 3-1 at Tennessee’s tournament last weekend. CofC’s only low point of the weekend was a 0-3 loss to No. 3 UT after posting wins over Holy Cross, Campbell and Western Kentucky. Notable wins for the Cougars this season include victories over Ole Miss (2-0) and DePaul (3-1). College of Charleston will play a Tuesday doubleheader against Bryant before hosting the Aggies Wednesday. The Cougars are led this season by Lizzy Vaughn (25 hits, 12 runs, 5 doubles, 13 RBI) and Mackenzie Maples (21 hits, 6 runs, 8 doubles, 15 RBI), who are both hitting above .300 through all 23 games. Carly Hansis (.375) owns the best average on the team and leads the team, along with Rebecca Mueller (.313) with two home runs. The Cougars are averaging just under a strikeout per inning in the circle. Samantha Martin (5-2) leads the bullpen with a 1.71 ERA, tossing 34 Ks in 45 innings. Valerie Cassell (2-0, 2.39 ERA, 34 Ks, 29.1 innings) has also put in a significant amount of work, and Hope Klicker (8-6, 2.68 ERA, 66Ks) has been a mainstay in the circle, pitching 75.2 frames this season.
SCOUTING SOUTH CAROLINA
The Gamecocks (14-7) struggled at No. 11 Alabama last weekend, getting swept in their first SEC series of the season that stretched the team’s losing streak to five games. USC will host Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday night before hosting the Aggies this weekend in the Gamecocks’ first home conference series this season. Four USC hitters are averaging above .300 with Kaylea Snaer (.359, 23 hits, 14 runs, 20 RBI, 4 HR) leading the way. Other significant sluggers are Ashlyn Masters (.339, 21 hits, 14 runs, 11 RBI) and Sarah Mooney (.322, 19 hits, 10 runs, 16 RBI, 6 HR). Nickie Blue (9-3) has had some success in the circle, posting a 2.84 ERA as one of the team’s main pitchers of record. The rookie was named SEC Freshman of the Week two weeks ago after hurling 16 strikeouts in 15 shutout innings to earn a 2-0 record and a pair of saves. Julie Sarratt (5-4) has tossed 55.2 innings, striking out 63 batters on her way to a 2.14 ERA.
VS. THE FIELD
The Aggies and College of Charleston have met just once in history – a 6-4 win for Texas A&M at the 2013 Citrus Classic in Orlando. The Aggies had a 6-0 advantage going into the seventh inning, when CofC put four runs on the board to stop the shutout. Texas A&M and South Carolina haven’t played each other since 2003 when the Aggies took a pair of wins at the NCAA Regional in Tempe, Ariz. Texas A&M holds a 15-11 all-time advantage over USC as the teams meet for the first time as conference opponents Friday.
EVANS JOINS 1,000 WINS CLUB
Texas A&M Head Coach Jo 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. The Utah native is in her 18th season with the Aggies, and has taken Texas A&M to 14 NCAA Tournaments, two WCWS appearances and three conference championships.
Texas A&M sophomore Katie Marks transferred from USC in the fall, and received a hardship waiver from the SEC to see playing time in her first year. Marks made 28 appearances and posted an 8-8 record in garnet and black as a freshman.
As a team, the Aggies lead the Southeastern conference in overall stats in runners picked off with seven, and rank second in fielding double plays with nine. Morgan leads the conference with a .954 slugging percentage, 62 total bases, nine home runs and seven pickoffs, and ranks second with a .578 on base percentage and 33 RBI. The senior sits at third with 23 walks, and ranks fourth overall among conference hitters with a .446 average. Morgan's accurate arm behind the plate makes her the No. 1 pickoff thrower in the SEC by a long shot, collecting each of the Aggies’ seven through 21 games - over three times more pickoffs than the No. 2 player on the list. Senior Emily Albus' 35 hits rank fourth among her peers and Marks ranks third with 10 wins in the circle.
In conference games only, the Aggies sit at second with 15 runs and 15 RBI and lead the league in fewest walks allowed with just two through three games and fielding double plays with two. Morgan’s 1.143 against Missouri ties for best in the league, along with her six RBI and two home runs vs. the Tigers. Senior Jenna Stark’s four hit-by-pitches last weekend tie for first in the SEC, as do Marks’ two wins.
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. 13 in the NFCA/USA Today Top 25 Poll and No. 16 the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll. The Aggies’ remaining 2014 opponents in the top 25 are No. 1/1 Florida, No. 4/2 Tennessee, No. 9/11 Kentucky, No. 15/17 Georgia, No. 16/18 Missouri and No. 24/23 Auburn. In addition, Arkansas is receiving votes.
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 a pair of SEC games vs. Kentucky on Saturday, April 5 at 5 p.m. CT and Sunday, April 6 game noon CT. Both A&M-UK matchups will be broadcast live on FSN South. Of the Aggies’ five televised contests, four will be played at the Aggie Softball Complex. The Aggies will host 2013 national runner-up and top-ranked Tennessee on ESPNU on Friday, April 11 at 7 p.m. CT and Sunday, April 13 at noon CT. A week later the Aggies and No. 3 Florida will face off on ESPNU – Friday, April 18 at 7 p.m. CT and Saturday, April 19 at 5 p.m. CT.
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 returns to the Lone Star State next week to host Northwestern State in a single game Tuesday, before facing Georgia in a three-game SEC series at the Aggie Softball Complex. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.