Aggies Break Program Best-Start Record with Wins Over UTSA, Purdue
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Improving to the team's best start in program history, the No. 9 Texas A&M softball team (14-0) run-ruled UTSA (7-5) and topped Purdue (5-7) Friday on day one of the Texas A&M Invitational.
An 8-0, five-inning run-rule of UTSA pushed the Aggies out to a 13-0 record on the season, breaking the program record for best start that was set in 2007. The Aggies' 5-1 win over the Boilermakers stretched the program-best to a 14-0 start.
Senior Meagan May set another A&M record on the night when she hit her 57th-career home run to break Aggie All-American Megan Gibson's record of 56.
The Aggies batted through the lineup and leapt to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first against UTSA on a home run to right field by freshman Cali Lanphear and a pair of doubles by senior Meagan May and junior Cassie Tysarczyk.
Sophomore Brittany Clopton also contributed a hit in the first inning, and junior Emily Albus and senior Mel Dumezich each reached on walks before scoring a run.
A&M also put runners on the bags in the second and third innings in the form of one hit, two walks and two hit-by-pitches, but left four stranded in scoring position.
In the bottom of the fourth Tysarczyk, who was 2-for-2 on the game, hit her second double against the Roadrunners before scoring the 6-0 run on a double to left-center by Dumezich. The right-handed pitcher scored on an error by the shortstop that put junior Jenna Stark on first and sent Lanphear to third. Lanphear flew home on a wild pitch for the 8-0 run.
The Aggies held the Roadrunners to a three-up, three-down fifth inning and the game ended with A&M winning its eighth shutout and sixth run-rule of the season.
Dumezich (8-0) threw the complete game, earning her fourth solo shutout of the season after striking out one and giving up one hit and no walks through five innings. UTSA's Jolene Graham threw four complete innings, giving up six earned runs on seven hits and eight walks. She did not strike out any batters.
Purdue got a 1-0 start on the Aggies in game two, sending a runner home from second on an RBI single to left field in the top of the first.
A&M answered in the next half-inning to even the score at 1-1. Albus sprinted to first on an infield single and stole second before taking third when the throw from home went into centerfield. A sacrifice fly out by May gave the junior time to tag third and cross the plate for the Aggies' first run of the game.
May broke the program career home run record with her 57th homer in the bottom of the third inning, pounding a bomb over center field to plate two runs and give the Aggies a 3-1 lead. The original record was set by Aggie All-American and current UTSA assistant coach Megan Gibson, who was sitting in the stands for the record-breaker. May also owns the program single-season home run record after hitting 24 long balls as a freshman.
In the bottom of the fifth, sophomore Brittany Clopton reached on an infield single and moved to second on an infield base hit by Albus before May joined the pair on base with a walk and was replaced on first by junior Allison Garrett. A sacrifice pop-out by Morgan plated Clopton for the 4-1 run and moved Albus to third. Garrett and Albus attempted a double steal in the next at-bat but the Purdue catcher overthrew second and allowed Albus to score on the error.
Leading 5-1, the Aggies held the Boilermakers through the final two innings. In the top of the sixth, Albus caught a line drive in centerfield and fired it to first to catch the runner returning to tag. Three routine groundouts in the top of the seventh ended the game as A&M improved to 14-0 in 2013.
Sophomore Lauren Ainsley (5-0) threw seven complete innings, striking out three and giving up just one earned run on three hits and one walk. Purdue's Lilly Fecho (2-3) fanned three and allowed three earned runs on five hits and one walk for the loss.
Be sure to take advantage of the 12th Man Rewards special this weekend: get your Texas A&M Invitational card, available at the 12th Man Rewards table, stamped at four of the five Aggie softball games this weekend to be entered in the prize drawing. Prizes include a signed softball, a signed football and a TV.
The 9th-ranked Aggies will host Purdue again tomorrow at 3 p.m. before playing a rematch with the Roadrunners at 5:15 p.m. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.