AUBURN, Ala. – The 23rd-ranked Texas A&M softball team (31-20) ended the 2014 conference slate with a 9-15 record after losing a 9-1 five-inning game in the Southeastern Conference series finale at No. 22 Auburn (37-14-1, 10-11 SEC) on Sunday. The game was the Aggies’ final regular-season SEC game of the year, and Texas A&M will learn its fate in the conference tournament after league play ends next weekend. The Tigers took a series sweep with the win on Auburn’s Senior Day.
Texas A&M senior Cassie Tysarczyk’s solo home run in the fourth inning was the bright spot of the day for the Aggies, who will host their own Senior Day on Saturday, May 2, against former Big 12 rival Oklahoma State.
The Tigers attacked early, hitting a one-out home run over left field in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Auburn continued to score in each inning through the bottom of the third, plating four runs in the second on a three-run home run and a double, and adding one in the third on a bases-loaded walk for the 7-0 lead.
Texas A&M struggled through the first three frames but the offense came alive in the top of the fourth. Senior Cassie Tysarczyk led off with a solo home run over left field to stop the shutout. The shot was hit opposite field on a full count.
Senior Jenna Stark picked the momentum back up on two outs with a double ripped down the line in left field. Stark was replaced at second by senior Allison Garrett, who moved to third on a base hit from freshman April Ryan. Ryan took second on the throw to put two Aggie runners in scoring position, but the pair was stranded on the third out.
Auburn regained a seven-run lead at 8-1 in the bottom of the fifth with a leadoff home run over right-centerfield, the team’s third long ball of the day. After loading the bases with no outs, the Tigers used a sacrifice fly out to left field to plate the final run of the day and clinch the 9-1 run-rule.
Redshirt junior Rachel Fox (12-10) took her second loss of the weekend for the Aggies, giving up six earned runs on six hits and three walks through 1 1/3 innings of work. Junior Lauren Ainsley closed the game for Texas A&M and gave up three earned runs on six hits and four walks while tossing three strikeouts.
Auburn’s Marcy Harper (17-3) earned the win after allowing just one earned run on five hits while fanning three batters.
The Aggies return home to host Lamar in a Wednesday nonconference doubleheader at the Aggie Softball Complex. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.
HEAD COACH JO EVANS
On the offensive performance…
“We’ve got to be better. Yesterday we got three hits off of [Auburn pitcher Marcy Harper] and today we hit five; eight hits against a pitcher that throws to you two days in-a-row – we should be better than that. We should be locked in to the strike zone better than that and knowing what we want to hit. I thought early in the game we came up pretty aggressive at the plate and that made a difference, but I thought we sort of back off of that as the game went on. No excuses – we should just be better when we see a pitcher throwing that much.”
On the SEC Tournament fate riding on other teams…
“We needed to earn our way to the SEC Tournament, and this didn’t do it. This weekend was a really lackluster performance by our ball club and it’s not going to get it done. It’s not what we expected and not up to our standard by any means. I’m not pleased about what happened this weekend. Not when we had an opportunity. That first night I think we really shot ourselves in the foot.”