COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 21 Texas A&M softball team is set to host No. 5 Florida in a three-game Southeastern Conference series, this weekend at the Aggie Softball Complex. The series opener is set for a 7 p.m. CT first pitch, Friday on ESPNU. Game two – slated for 5 p.m. CT Saturday – will also be aired live on ESPNU. Sunday’s series finale will not be broadcast nationally, and is set to begin at noon CT.
Fans can listen to the live audio broadcast of all three games this weekend on AggieAthletics.com or RadioAggieland.com, and on mobile via the Radio Aggieland app. Each game will air locally on Sports Radio 1150 AM The Zone.
Come to each Friday home game covered in maroon and you could win a prize as the Fan of the Game, who will also be entered into a grand prize drawing that will be announced at the end of the season.
Also on Fridays, get ready for Softball Bingo by picking up a card at the 12th Man Rewards table to play along. The first three single bingo winners will receive a prize, and the first blackout card wins a team-autographed softball or poster.
700 Wins Celebration
Be sure to get to the game early on Friday as Head Coach Jo Evans and Associate Head Coach Joy Jackson are honored for the 700th win of their A&M careers before the game.
Junior Aggie Club Day
Members of the Junior Aggie Club will enjoy special activities on the concourse at Saturday’s game, with inflatables, a drawstring bag giveaway, face tattoos and poster making.
Steal Home Saturdays
Kids can stick around after Saturday’s game to run the bases at the Aggie Softball Complex.
Easter Egg Hunts
Bring the kids out to the ballpark for photos with the Easter Bunny from 4-5:30 p.m. Saturday, and for an Easter Egg Hunt on the concourse before both Saturday and Sunday’s games. Keep an eye out for five special “golden eggs” both days.
Take a Kid to the Ballgame
Children under 12 will receive free admission to Sunday’s game with the purchase of one adult general admission (GA) ticket.
Sidewalk Chalk Sundays
Kids can have fun with sidewalk chalk on the concourse at each Sunday Aggie Softball game this season. Write a message to the team or play some hopscotch!
The Gators enter the weekend riding a six-game win streak to go along with a 37-8 overall record and an 8-7 mark in conference play. Florida opened the season on a 23-game win streak before dropping a 2-0 decision to Ole Miss in Gainesville. The Gators are 4-5 in their last five SEC series, winning one against then-No. 7 Alabama and getting swept by then No. 2 Tennessee. In conference games, Florida is hitting .233 compared to the .297 mark the team is hitting overall. Offensively, the Gators boast a +196 scoring differential from their opponents after plating 295 runs and allowing only 99. Florida has four batters hitting above the .300 mark, led by Kelsey Stewart with a .387 (60-for-155) average to go along with nine doubles, four triples, four homers, 39 RBI and 25 stolen bases. The sophomore also leads the team in runs scored with 43. Six players for the Gators have hit more than five long balls this year. Junior Lauren Haeger leads the team with 10 long balls. Senior Stephanie Tofft has knocked in the most runs for Florida with 41. In the circle, senior Hannah Rogers leads the team in wins and ERA with an 18-6 record and a 1.81 earned run average over 131.2 innings pitched. Haeger (7-1, 2.01 ERA, 62.2 IP) and freshman Delanie Gourley (12-1, 2.49 ERA, 95.2 IP) have also logged significant innings for the Gators.
VS. THE GATORS
The Aggies and Gators have met seven times, six of those in the postseason and each in recent history. Florida leads the all-time series against Texas A&M, 4-3. The Aggies and Gators first met in the 2007 College Station Super Regional when Texas A&M won the best-of-three series to advance to the Women’s College World Series for the first time in nearly 20 years. The Aggies and Gators met again the next season in the WCWS semifinal round. The top-ranked Gators took an easy win in the first game of the series, 6-1, forcing a second game to decide who would advance to the Championship Series. After eight scoreless innings, then-freshman Kelsey Spittler pounded an RBI triple into the right-field corner for the 1-0 win. Then-senior Megan Gibson earned her 21st shutout of the season with the complete-game effort. The Aggies went on to face Arizona State and became the eventual national runners-up – Texas A&M’s best finish since the Aggies’ 1987 national championship. The next time A&M and UF met was in the 2009 Gainesville Regional, a game that the Gators won 7-1. The most recent meeting between Texas A&M and Florida was a 6-4 win by the top-ranked Gators at the 2012 Cathedral City Classic.
LAST TIME OUT
Sophomore Cali Lanphear hit a grand slam and senior Cassie Tysarczyk added a walk-off home run as Texas A&M run-ruled Sam Houston State 11-2 in five innings in a Wednesday nonconference matchup at the Aggie Softball Complex. Lanphear’s bases-clearing blast came in the second inning and was the first grand slam of the sophomore’s young career. Tysarczyk’s two-run shot topped the wall in left-centerfield to force the run rule in the bottom of the fifth inning. Tysarczyk was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI. Senior Jenna Stark was also 2-for-3 with three RBI, and scored one run. The first baseman had a pair of base hits ripped through the left side. Redshirt junior Rachel Fox (12-7) earned the win after tossing three complete shutout innings. Fox allowed just one hit, while striking out two batters in three frames.
EVANS AND JACKSON WIN NO. 700
In their 18th season with the Aggies, Head Coach Jo Evans and Associate Head Coach Joy Jackson reached the 700th win of their Texas A&M careers last weekend against Tennessee. The Aggies’ 4-1 victory over the Lady Vols on April 11 sealed the deal for the duo. 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.
MORGAN DRAFTED BY REBELLION
Senior Nicole Morgan was chosen as the No. 17 overall pick in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Draft by the Pennsylvania Rebellion on March 31. Morgan was the first selection of the fifth round of the draft, and the fifth pick by the Rebellion. The Rebellion are in their first season in the NPF after coming together in November of 2013, inheriting the roster of the NY/NJ Comets. Based in Washington, Penn., the team will play at CONSOL Energy Park as they compete for the first time in 2014.
Among conference opponents, the Aggies continue to lead the league with eight pickoffs. Senior Emily Albus' .438 batting average ranks fourth among SEC hitters, and her 67 hits are a league best. Morgan ranks among the top 10 in the league with seven pickoffs (1st), a .723 slugging percentage (7th), a .525 on base percentage (7th), 44 RBI (5th), 10 home runs (T-5th) and 41 walks (T-2nd). Donnell's five saves, 20 games finished and 22 games in relief are each league bests.
VS. THE NATION
The Aggies are currently No. 15 in the latest RPI rankings and are among the nation's best in several statistical categories. As a team, Texas A&M ranks 14th in fielding percentage (.974). Senior Nicole Morgan ranks 11th in the nation in sacrifice flies (4) and fifth in walks per game (.98), and freshman Abby Donnell's five saves rank fourth.
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. 21 in the NFCA/USA Today Top 25 Poll and No. 22 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll. The Aggies’ remaining 2014 opponents in the top 25 are No. 5/7 Florida and No. 23/23 Auburn.
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 two games vs. Kentucky that were aired on FSN South in early April. Of the Aggies’ five televised contests, four will be played at the Aggie Softball Complex. The Aggies hosted 2013 national runner-up Tennessee on ESPNU last weekend, and Texas A&M will play another pair of games on ESPNU this weekend when Florida comes to College Station. Friday and Saturday’s games can be seen nationwide.
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 will Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in a 4 p.m. doubleheader at the Aggie Softball Complex on Tuesday, before heading to Auburn for a three-game Southeastern Conference series next weekend. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.