COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The 15th-ranked Texas A&M softball team (23-8, 4-4 SEC) evened the three-game Southeastern Conference series at 1-1 with a 4-2 win against No. 14 Georgia (27-3, 4-1 SEC) in game two, Saturday at the Aggie Softball Complex.
The Aggies’ victory handed the Bulldogs their first SEC loss of the season and tarnished pitcher Geri Ann Glasco’s perfect record in the circle.
Senior Emily Albus had a spectacular day, both at the plate and on defense, going 4-for-4 with three bunt hits and making several big catches at the wall in centerfield. Freshman Abby Donnell and senior Jenna Stark continued to give the Bulldogs a hard time as they combined for three of the Aggies’ four RBI on the day.
The Bulldogs’ only runs of the day came on the wheels of a two-run home run over right-centerfield in the sixth as the Aggies were truly dominant in game two of the series.
After sending a runner to second in both the first and second innings, the Aggies got on the board with an RBI hit from Nicole Morgan in the bottom of the third. The senior singled up the middle on the first pitch to plate junior Brittany Clopton, who reached on her first of two base hits on the day.
Clopton moved into scoring position on Albus’ second bunt hit of the game before speeding home for the 1-0 lead. The left fielder was 2-for-3 on the day and added a big catch at the wall in left to end the top of the fourth with two UGA runners on base.
The floodgates opened after Morgan’s shot, and the Aggies left the third inning with a 4-0 lead over UGA with the entire lineup producing at the plate. After a walk from senior Cassie Tysarczyk and a fielder’s choice by senior Amber Garza, Donnell pounded a bases-loaded hit up the middle to plate a pair of runs and stretch the lead to 3-0. In the next at bat, Stark hit her third double of the year to send Garza home for the 4-0 advantage.
UGA stranded five runners on the day, unable to catch up to the Aggies as their only runs of the day came in the sixth inning. A double play by Stark halted the mini rally for the Bulldogs and kept Texas A&M in the lead.
Junior Rachel Fox (8-5) tossed five complete innings for the win, allowing two earned runs on five hits and two walks while fanning three batters. Donnell earned her fourth save of the year with two frames of relief. The freshman had a perfect outing that included one strikeout. Glasco (12-1) gave up four earned runs on 10 hits and two walks for her first loss of the season.
The series finale between the Aggies and the Bulldogs, originally slated for a noon CT first pitch, has been pushed up to an 11 a.m. start time Sunday due to inclement weather predicted later in the day. The first 250 fans through the gate will receive a free Aggie softball koozie. Tune in on AggieAthletics.com to follow the action. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.
HEAD COACH JO EVANS
On timely hits coming through for the win…
“It was nice to see. We did such a good job of setting the table with Clopton and Albus throughout the game, and getting runners on. We stranded a bunch early-on again in the first two innings, and then in the third we get another opportunity. It was nice to see [Nicole Morgan] where they have to pitch to her. She steps up there and gets herself an RBI. I’m really pleased with the way Jenna Stark went up there hitting. I can’t even remember everybody who came up that inning, but they came up and were looking to drive the ball and really hit the ball hard with two outs, putting pressure on them. Yesterday we left with so many missed opportunities and today we got some timely hits right when we needed them.”
On Rachel Fox’s outing in the circle…
“She did a nice job. She was throwing so well through three innings, we go out and score four runs and it almost looked like she got a little bit tight. I think you should get a little bit looser when you’ve just put up a four spot, but she fought through it, which was great. She walked a kid and struggled a little bit in that top of the fourth inning, and then she settled right back in against great hitters. Any one of those hitters, with the exception of maybe one, can drive the ball over the wall at any given time, so we know that and our pitchers know that. They did such a great job to keep the ball down and make good pitches. I thought Rachel did a good job, and then of course Abby coming in there and taking care of business. We were in a bit of a jam for sure. They put up two runs with no outs and the next kid’s on. That was a huge double play that Jenna Stark made at first base. She did a great job. It’s either be hit by the ball or get out there and make a play. That was huge to me. It’s a big, big difference in the game because they were on a roll. They were certainly in a rally right there, feeling good about themselves. That just shut them right now.”
On Emily Albus’ perfect performance at the plate…
“She was great today. I’m really proud of Em. A year ago, the kid really struggled offensively and struck out a lot, didn’t feel good about herself. Last year she really didn’t have her bunting game and this year she worked so hard in the offseason. Coach Jackson had the slappers out every day, working on placing the ball and getting down bunts, and it’s made all the difference in the world in Em’s game. She’s playing great defense too.”