ORLANDO, Fla. - The
fifth-ranked Texas A&M softball team (19-1) rallied to a 6-4 win over No.
13 Louisiana (14-3) before ending a program-best start of 19 straight wins with
a 2-9 loss to 14th-ranked Michigan (12-3) Friday on day one of the
Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The Aggies now have just one loss in 20 games and will play
three more, vs. Illinois State, College of Charleston and Penn State, to close
out the weekend.
Louisiana struck early, using a single and a home run in the
first two at-bats to jump to a 2-0 lead. The Aggies didn't let the lead stay
long, scoring two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.
Junior Brittany Clopton, who was celebrating her birthday,
hit an infield single to start the half-inning. Two straight walks loaded the
bases before senior Mel Dumezich was hit by a pitch to force Clopton across the
plate. A third walk, by freshman Cali Lanphear, forced senior Nicole Morgan
home to tie the game.
The Ragin' Cajuns stretched back out to a two-run lead in
the top of the fifth on a pair of base hits and a fielding error.
A&M again answered quickly, this time with just one run
on a Nicole Morgan solo blast over dead-center field.
Trailing 3-4 in the bottom of the sixth, the Aggies took
their first lead of the game. With one out, Lanphear drew a walk before junior
Jenna Stark hammered a home run over the wall in right field and picked up two
RBI as she carried Lanphear home on the hit.
Senior Sydney Shannon used the momentum for a long hit of
her own, a double to right center, before junior Allison Garrett replaced her
on the base paths. Garrett took third on a wild pitch and, with two outs,
sophomore Brittany Clopton reached on a throwing error that gave Garrett time
to score from third, unearned.
The Aggies retired three batters in the top of the seventh
with no more damage done and ended the game with a 6-4 victory over the Ragin'
Cajuns for their 19th-straight win on the season.
Dumezich (13-0) took the win after throwing nine strikeouts
and allowing three earned runs on seven hits and one walk. UL pitcher Jordan
Wallace suffered the loss after she gave up five earned runs on five hits and
six walks through 5.1 innings in the circle. The game marked the first time the
ace was removed from the rubber in the middle of an inning this year.
The Aggies' streak came to a halt against the No. 14
Michigan Wolverines after early mistakes were left unanswered in the 2-9 loss.
A series of errors and four base hits gave the Wolverines
four unearned runs in the top of the first. Dumezich entered to pitch for the
Aggies and stopped the bleeding as she threw a groundout for the final out of
Michigan used a leadoff single and a fielding error in the
top of the second to push two more runs, one unearned, home for the 6-0 lead.
Looking for a rally in the bottom of the second, the Aggies
tallied two runs on a bomb over centerfield by Stark. The blast picked up two
RBI as Lanphear, who reached on a fielder's choice, also scored on the play. Stark
hit two home runs on the day as she went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI.
The Aggies left two runners on the bags in the bottom of the
third and fourth innings. Michigan added a seventh run in the top of the fourth
with a one-run home run over centerfield that brought the score to 7-2.
A&M was again unable to make a rally effort, stranding
four runners through the sixth inning. Michigan threw its last stone in the top
of the seventh with a two-run home run that pushed the Wolverine lead to 9-2
before the team shut down the A&M side in the final half-inning.
Aggie pitcher Lauren Ainsley (6-1), who started the game and
reentered in the seventh to close out, took the loss after giving up four
unearned runs on four hits and striking out one through 1.1 innings. Michigan's
Sara Driesenga (11-2) earned her 11th victory of the season after
she struck out 10 batters and gave up just two runs on seven hits in the
The Aggies will play Illinois State tomorrow at 11:15 a.m.
CST, followed by a game with College of Charleston at 1:30 p.m. CST. To learn
more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball