ATHENS, Ga. – Despite a seventh-inning home run by junior Amber Garza, the No. 13 Texas A&M softball team dropped a 6-3 decision at Georgia in the Southeastern Conference series finale, Sunday at the Jack Turner Softball Stadium. The win secured the series sweep for UGA (34-15, 11-7 SEC), as A&M dropped to 35-12 (6-11 SEC) on the season.
A&M had nine hits on the day but struggled to send runners home before the third out, stranding 11 on the day.
A pair of base hits by the Bulldogs gave Georgia a 1-0 lead after the first inning. A&M didn’t wait long to respond, plating two runs in the top of the second to take a 2-1 lead.
Junior Taran Tyler and senior Meagan May drew two-out walks before junior Emily Albus loaded the bags with a single through the left side. Sophomore Brittany Clopton took advantage of the bases-juiced situation, sending a ball bounding up the middle to score Tyler and May.
UGA regained its lead in the bottom of the inning, scoring two on an RBI groundout and a bunt single.
The Aggies stranded runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and fifth innings as Georgia held on to its 3-2 lead.
Junior Jenna Stark reached on a single down the right-field line in the third and was stranded at third in the end of the half-inning, while freshman Cali Lanphear sat at second after a fielder’s choice put her on base.
A&M loaded the bases in the top of the fourth on a bunt single by Albus, a Clopton infield base hit and a walk by Garza. The trio was left on base as a strikeout ended the half-inning.
Lanphear reached base for the second time in as many at-bats in the fifth, sending a single into left field and moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler.
The Bulldogs took advantage of A&M’s missed chances and scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 6-2 lead on a home run and an RBI single.
Working for a rally, Garza led off in the top of the seventh with a solo home run over left field to narrow the Bulldogs’ advantage to 6-3. With one out, Lanphear singled through the left side and moved to second when pinch hitter Sydney Shannon was struck by a pitch. Junior Allison Garrett entered to run at first, but the duo became the 10th and 11th Aggie runners left on base as UGA took its third win of the weekend.
Sophomore Lauren Ainsley (11-5) threw five innings and gave up five earned runs on seven hits and three walks to draw the loss. Morgan Montemayor (11-6) took the win after allowing one earned run on six hits and a walk while striking out two in five frames.
The Aggies continue the SEC road swing next weekend as they travel to Ole Miss for three games in Oxford, Miss. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.