HOUSTON, Texas – The Texas A&M softball team started the fall exhibition season with an extended game at the University of Houston, playing 12 consecutive innings that ended with a 7-4 Cougar victory.
The Aggies had 11 hits on the night, including a two-run home run by Cali Lanphear. The sophomore had two hits and scored two runs to lead Texas A&M’s offensive effort. Junior Brittany Clopton also had two hits on the night.
Lanphear scored the Aggies’ first run of the game on a single through the left side by senior Taran Tyler in the top of the second. Lanphear reached on a base hit.
Clopton had a base hit in the third, as did freshman Reagan Boenker in the sixth, but neither scored.
The Cougars plated three runs in the fourth and two in the fifth on three home runs and took a 5-1 lead. In the top of the seventh, freshman Abby Donnell hit a laser through the right side to plate freshman April Ryan from third. Ryan had reached on a hit-by-pitch and advanced on a bunt single by senior Emily Albus.
In the bottom of the ninth, Houston added another run to the tally when a ground out sent a runner home from third for the 6-2 lead.
Clopton reached base for the second time of the night in the top of the 11th, and stole second before freshman Celena Massey joined her on the bags with a walk. Both runners were left stranded.
In the bottom of the inning, an RBI double by the Cougars gave the home team a 7-2 lead.
The Aggies plated their final two runs of the day in the top of the 12th when Lanphear hit a bomb over center field. Senior Nicole Morgan, who reached on a single hit up the middle, also scored on the play. The late blast wasn’t enough, however, as UH ended the game with a 7-4 victory.
Sophomore transfer Katie Marks started the game in the circle for the Aggies, throwing four complete innings. Redshirt junior Rachel Fox and junior Lauren Ainsley each threw four innings of relief. The staff combined for 12 strikeouts and gave up 13 hits.
The Aggies continue their fall slate on Friday in the form of a mini tournament with Galveston Junior College and McLennan College at the Aggie Softball Complex. Texas A&M will play Galveston JC at 2 p.m. and McLennan College at 6 p.m. All times are Central and each home game this fall is free and open to the public.
To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.