COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The 10th-ranked Texas A&M softball team (5-0) continued its winning streak with an 8-0 run-rule victory over Sam Houston State (2-4) Wednesday in Huntsville.
Senior Mel Dumezich tied a season-high 10 strikeouts thrown in the effort and allowed just one runner on base in the one-hit outing. The right-hander improves to 4-0 on the season with the win.
The Aggies worked the lineup to score a run in the top of the second. Junior Cassie Tysarczyk drew a walk and was sent to third on a double down the left-field line by junior Amber Garza. A single up the middle by sophomore Brittany Clopton scored Tysarczyk from third for the 1-0 lead.
A solo home run by senior Meagan May in the top of the third stretched the score to 2-0 as her long ball cleared the fence down the left field line and kept going.
Speed was A&M's friend in the top of the fourth as a two-out single to right field by junior Emily Albus scored a pair of runners. Freshman Cali Lanpear, who reached on a single, and Clopton each scored on the play for a 4-0 A&M advantage.
Junior Nicole Morgan continued her hitting streak with a solo home run to lead off in the top of the fifth and added a second long ball in the sixth. The first baseman unleashed her swing on the second bomb, pushing pinch runners Allison Garrett and Alex Masek home at the same time for an 8-0 lead.
Sophomore Lauren Ainsley entered to pitch in the sixth and held onto the shutout for a run-rule win, striking out two batters and giving up one hit. SHSU's Shelby Lancaster (1-1) took the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out two.
The Aggies host their first home games of the season this weekend at the Aggie Classic. For a complete tournament schedule and more information on Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.
Gators Take Down JU on the Road
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The No. 5 Florida softball squad used two homers, including a grand slam from sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.), to power its way to an 11-3 victory over Jacksonville at the JU Softball Complex Wednesday evening.
After falling behind 1-0 in the third, the Gators, now 6-0 on the season, used a sophomore Bailey Castro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) game-tying blast in the top of the fourth to spark their offense, spurring a three-run fourth inning and a six-run scoring splurge in the fifth frame before UF added two in the seventh for extra insurance. Jacksonville moved to 3-2 overall on the season as the Gators maintained their clean slate against the Sunshine State opponent with an 11th straight victory.
Prior to Castro’s bomb, freshmen Kelsey Stewart (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) and Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) had accounted for UF’s lone two hits in the first three frames. The Gators finished with 11 runs on 10 hits, while Jacksonville manufactured three runs on seven hits, two of those solo bombs for the Dolphins.
Florida saw three different Jacksonville hurlers Wednesday evening, while junior righty Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) earned her third victory of the season (3-0) for the Gators after going the distance. Rogers allowed seven hits, three earned runs, walked five and also recorded five Ks on the night.
Freshman pitcher Taylor Rossman (0-2) was tagged with the loss for Jacksonville after allowing the game tying and game-winning runs upon entering in the fourth.
Six different Gators collaborated for hits against the Dolphins and Florida was led by Stewart (3-5), Merritt (2-4) and junior third baseman Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) (2-3). Little’s four RBI lead the squad, while Stewart knocked in two for UF. In front of friends and family, Little shined, as did local Mandarin High School graduate and freshman catcher Cari Broderick (Jacksonville, Fla.), who drew her first career walk donning the Orange and Blue.
Right-handed first-year hurler Victoria Brown started hot for the Dolphins Wednesday, earning the nod in the circle for JU and working the first three innings before also knocking a solo shot just to the right of the left-field foul line for her first career home run. Brown’s blast lifted the Dolphins ahead of the Gators in the bottom of the third, 1-0, before the freshman moved into the outfield for the Dolphins in favor of Rossman in the circle.
After three slow two-hit innings for the Orange and Blue, one swing of the bat for Castro in the top of the fourth knotted the ballgame at one-all with no outs to spark the Gator offense. Little then reached on a hit-by-pitch to set up a one-out RBI double for Tofft to plate Little. Tofft moved to third on the play at the plate and scampered home after an errant thrown from the catcher attempted to threaten her back to the bag, giving the Gators a 3-1 lead after the fourth.
A feisty Jacksonville squad battled back in the home half of the inning, narrowing the Florida lead to just one run after a Codi Kelly RBI base hit dropped in shallow center field to give JU its second run of the contest, 3-2.
Florida poured it on in the in the fourth with a four-hit, six-run stanza, started by a leadoff bouncer up the middle for Stewart’s second hit of the game, followed by a Merritt bunt single and a senior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) sac bunt that moved both Stewart and Merritt into scoring position. A Castro walk juiced the bags to set up Little’s first career grand slam – UF’s third of the season – that took the Gators ahead, 7-2.
After another Jacksonville pitching change from Rossman to Dale Tillman following Little’s second career blast, Florida tacked on two more runs with a Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach, Fla.) fielder’s choice, as another Dolphin defensive miscue allowed two runners to cross the dish for the 9-2 Gator advantage after the top of the fifth.
Sarah Simon earned a run back for the Dolphins in the bottom of the fifth with a solo shot, JU’s second homer of the night, to make it a 9-3 ballgame heading to the sixth.
Stewart struck again in the top of the seventh for her third hit of the tilt, this time a two-RBI triple to plate Florida’s final two runs in the game. For Stewart, the triple was her team-leading second of the season and gave sophomores Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) and Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) the go ahead to cross home, Haeger having reached with a base hit of her own and Medina after a fielder’s choice.
Rogers sat down the side in the bottom of the seventh with three consecutive fly outs, solidifying the Gators’ second come-from-behind victory of the year.
Florida will open its home schedule Feb. 15-17 with the 2013 Lipton Invitational. The Gators will host UNC Wilmington, Savannah State, Western Carolina and Charleston Southern in the first of two home tourneys for UF this season at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
The Gators will first square off with UNC Wilmington at 4 p.m. Friday, followed by Savannah State at 6:15 p.m. The first 500 fans will receive a free ‘Fan Since Game One’ t-shirt. The Orange and Blue will be back at it Saturday with games against Western Carolina (12 p.m.) and Savannah State (2:15 p.m.) before wrapping up weekend play with UNC Wilmington (1 p.m.) and Charleston Southern (3:30 p.m.) Sunday.
For a complete schedule of UF’s 2013 Lipton Invitational, visit the Florida softball schedule page on GatorZone.com.
Fans planning to attend UF’s Sunday Lipton Invitational games at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium should plan to arrive early, as parking will be impacted by Gainesville’s Five Points of Life Marathon. The 9 a.m. Sunday contest between Western Carolina and Savannah State will be played at Santa Fe College in Gainesville.
Be sure to follow the Gators on Twitter and visit the team on Facebook for all the latest on Gator softball.
Mississippi State Falls to No. 15 Lousiana-Lafayette
LAFAYETTE, La. - With a packed crowd of 837 cold Cajuns going crazy, the Mississippi State softball team fell victim to the Louisiana long ball, falling by a 9-1 margin to the University of Louisiana Wednesday night at Lamson Park. The Maroon and White dropped to 3-2 on the young season in the six-inning loss, while the No. 15 Ragin' Cajuns improved to 3-1.
"The Ragin' Cajuns are a great team with a really good pitcher in Jordan Wallace." Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. "We look forward to going back to work in Starkville and hosting the Bulldog Battle this weekend."
Senior left-hander Stephanie Becker started for MSU and surrendered six runs in 5.1 innings to go along with eight strikeouts and one walk. Fellow senior southpaw Kylie Vry took the loss by giving up three runs (one earned) in zero official innings. Wallace picked up the win for UL, improving to 3-0 after striking out 12 Bulldog batters in 6.0 frames of labor.
At the plate, the Bulldogs tallied six hits, including sophomore Julia Echols (2-for-3) and junior Logan Foulks' (2-for-3) first multiple-hit games in MSU uniforms. Sophomore Ashley Phillips (1-for-3) and junior Jessica Offutt (1-for-2) also tallied base knocks for the Bulldogs.
It was Offut who put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard first with a solo home run in the top of the third. The solo round-tripper for the junior was her first in 97 career games and in 193 at bats.
The Ragin' Cajuns responded in the bottom of the third frame by plating four runs of their own to take the lead. State's defense made two errors at third base, with the first miscue scoring UL's first run of the game. After a second MSU miscue put a second runner on the bags, UL cleanup hitter Matte Haack hit a three-run home run that bounced off the top of the wooden wall in left field.
State loaded the bases in the top of the fourth with a chance to go ahead, but failed to capitalize on the one-out opportunity.
The home team tacked on two more in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run home run by Shellie Landry. Louisiana finished the scoring with a two-run double to right center by Haack and a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the sixth.
Starkville's Team returns back to the Dawg Diamond in Mississippi's College Town to host the 2013 Bulldog Battle this weekend. The tournament begins Friday with three games starting at 12 p.m. at the MSU Softball Stadium. The Bulldogs however do not play until a noon doubleheader on Saturday followed by a noon doubleheader on Sunday. For more information on MSU Softball, follow the program on Twitter at @MStateSB and like them on Facebook.com/MStateSB.
Arkansas Sweeps Jackson State in Doubleheader
JACKSON, Miss. - The University of Arkansas softball team (7-0) defeated Jackson State (1-5) in a doubleheader by scores of 8-2 and 8-0 in five innings, Wednesday in Jackson, Miss.
Leading the charge for the Razorbacks was Madison, Mississippi native, freshman, Kelly Young. She threw five scoreless innings, allowing two hits, while striking out five. This brings her strikeout total to 14 through ten innings. Head coach Mike Larabee was happy for the hometown freshman.
“It was nice for Kelly to come to Jackson and get that shutout,” Larabee said. “She is averaging more than a strikeout per inning. She had another great performance tonight.”
Claire Clark had the hit of the day in the top of the fifth inning in game two when she belted a ball deep into the left field sky. It soared over the fence for a grand slam, giving the Hogs an 8-0 lead. This was the first grand slam hit by a Razorback since April 7 of last season. Jayme Gee hit the previous slam against Mississippi State. Clark finished the day going 3-for-6 with five RBI. Larabee was excited to see his freshman hitter succeed.
“Break out the rye bread grandma, she hit the first grand salami of the year,” Larabee said. “She is a great athlete. It is great to see a kid from Wynne, Arkansas come in as a freshman and contribute. She has got lightning in her bat, if she barrels it up, she can hit it a long way.”
Game one saw the Lady Tigers get on the board first when Canessa Swanson singled home Tayler Nave. McLemore was able to work out of a runner on third and one out jam when Chloe Oprzedek threw out Swanson at home.
Arkansas started its scoring in the top of the second as Jayme Gee singled home Amanda Geile. The second inning scoring continued when Clark hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Sierra Bronkey and giving the Razorbacks a 2-1 lead.
Game one starter Hope McLemore ran into some trouble in the fourth, allowing a leadoff triple to Jasmine Warren. The senior captain then got Sabeana Romero and Ariel Siegel to fly out. McLemore then got Tahlisa Blosser to chase a pitch and ground out.
The fifth inning was not as kind to McLemore. Nave reached on a throwing error when Clarisa Navarro charged a ball and made a tough throw, but it pulled Wallace off the bag at first. That brought runners to second and third with two outs in the inning. After McLemore hit Swanson in the leg, the Lady Tigers had bases loaded with two outs. Warren hit a dribbler to third and Oprzedek could not tag the bag in time. JSU tied the game at two apiece.
Clark led off the seventh with a two-strike double to right-centerfield. Oprzedek followed the double and reached on an error in centerfield. However, the centerfielder was able to pick up the ball and throw out Clark at third. Wallace singled and that left runners on first and second with one out for freshman Stephanie Canfield. She made the most of her opportunity and drilled a single off of the shortstop. Oprzedek scored and the Hogs took the lead, 3-2. Navarro then reached on an error that scored Wallace. Nicole Schroeder followed the run with an RBI of her own, a single to score Canfield. Arkansas led the game 5-2. Geile continued the hit parade with another RBI single, scoring Navarro. Gee then reached on an error, scoring Martindale and making the score 8-2 Hogs.
McLemore was able to retire the side, striking out two in the bottom half of the seventh and Arkansas took game one by a score of 8-to-2. The Razorbacks scored six runs on six hits and three errors in the seventh inning. McLemore finished game one allowing only one earned run on six hits while striking out six.
Game two’s scoring began when the Razorbacks scored their first run in the top of the second as Geile started off the inning with a single down the left field line. Geile then noticed that nobody was covering second and advanced herself. She reached third when Clark grounded out to the shortstop and then scored on a groundout from Gee, giving the Hogs a 1-0 lead.
Young ran into trouble in the bottom half of the second when Vasquez shot a double into left field to start the inning. However she was called out for leaving the bag early. Romero then hit a single into right but was doubled up on the next pitch when Canfield made a great play in right, making the catch and then gunning down Romero.
Wallace notched a one-out single up the middle in the third and eventually scored on a Navarro single up the middle. Canfield also scored on the play after singling to right. That made the score 3-0, Arkansas, after the top of the third.
Young continued to work wonders in the circle, retiring nine of the next ten batters, including four strikeouts, to end the game.
The Razorbacks added another in the top of the fourth when Ashley Martindale scored on a Sierra Bronkey single down the rightfield line. Martindale pinch ran for Gee earlier in the inning after she hit a single.
The runs continued to pile on in the fifth as Canfield started the inning on first base after an error from the second baseman. She then stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. After two walks, Clark approached the plate with the bases loaded. She took two strikes and then hit a bomb into the left field sky, a grand slam, making the score 8-0 Arkansas.
The road trip continues for the Razorbacks when they head to Tallahassee, Fla. for the Unconquered Invitational. Game one of the tournament will feature Arkansas vs. Hofstra on Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. CT.
Auburn Rallies to Top Samford
Auburn, Ala. - Caitlin Jordan capped a sixth-inning, two-run rally with an RBI single that drove in the game-winning run as the Auburn softball team rallied for a 2-1 win over Samford Wednesday night at Jane B. Moore Field.
Auburn improved to 6-0 while Samford moved to 2-3. Auburn hosts Indiana State Thursday at 6 p.m.
"I'm proud of the way we came back and stayed calm tonight," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "Their pitcher had good stuff tonight and her pitches were really working. Our kids didn't panic, they stayed focused and fought back."
Marcy Harper improved to 3-0 with the complete-game win. Harper allowed one run, earned, on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
Mollie Hanson fell to 2-2 with the complete-game effort. Hanson allowed two runs, both earned, on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Through the first three innings of play, the Tigers and Bulldogs combined for just one batter reaching base. Morgan Estell was hit in the back in the bottom of the first inning, but was quickly erased on a line-out double play. From there, the Tigers were put down in order until the sixth inning.
Harper put the Bulldogs down in order, allowing just four balls hit out of the infield through the first four innings of play.
Estell again reached base, drawing a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fourth inning. A sac bunt by Branndi Melero pushed Estell to second with one out. Hanson, however, was able to work out of the jam by forcing a pair of infield ground outs to leave Estell stranded at second.
Callie Brister opened the top of the fifth with a clean single up the middle and took second base on a sac bunt. Casey Clark then delivered a double past a diving Brooke Lathan that plated pinch-runner Abby Adams to give Samford a 1-0 lead. With pinch-runner Madeline Baker at second, Harper fanned Caroline Wilder for the second out and forced a ground out to end the Samford rally.
The Tigers put the tying run aboard in the bottom of the fifth when Emily Carosone drew a one-out walk. A ground out to third moved Carosone to second, but Hanson again worked out of the jam by striking out Kelsey Bogaards to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Megan Dowdy singled up the middle with one out and advanced to third on a double to right by Madison Dickey. After Arica Dykes was put in to run for Dickey, Harper hit Alex Adams to load the bases. Brister followed with a ground ball to Carosone at third, who threw home for the force out. With two outs and the bases loaded, Harper worked out of the inning with a fly out to center.
The Tigers rallied in the bottom of the sixth. Tiffany Howard broke-up the no-hit bid with a clean leadoff double to left. Estell followed with a four-pitch walk to put runners at second and first. Melero then popped up to third base on a sac bunt attempt for the first out of the inning. Hanson picked up the second out of the inning on a called third strike with Lathan at the plate.
On a 2-2 pitch with two outs, McKenzie Kilpatrick laced a single to left that plated Howard to tie the game. Estell took third while Kilpatrick took second on the throw. Caitlin Jordan gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead with a single through the left side, plating Estell. Hanson ended the Auburn rally by forcing Carosone to fly out to left.
In the top of the seventh, Harper forced Clark into a ground out to third for the first out of the inning but put the tying run on board when she hit Wilder. The Tigers picked up the second out when Caroline Seay lined out to center on the first pitch of the at-bat. Harper closed out the Bulldogs when she forced Kayla Shaffer to pop up to Bogaards at shortstop to end the game.
No. 10 LSU Defeats Ole Miss
OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss softball team (2-5) got a strong opening five innings of work from junior pitcher Shelby Jo Fenter on Wednesday, but a six-run sixth allowed No. 10 LSU to notch a 9-1 win at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
The game – which was played as a non-conference matchup because the two teams don’t meet in the Southeastern Conference regular season and wanted to continue the rivalry – was a two-run affair until the sixth inning. Leading 3-1, LSU (5-1) used three- and two-run home runs in the top of the sixth to break the game open and get the win.
“It was a frustrating game for us because we played really well early on, all the way to the fifth,” Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees said. “We have to keep the ball in the ball park. We missed on a couple pitches, and with a top-10 ranked team if you miss on a pitch they’re going to make you pay. That’s the story of the game; we gave up four long balls.”
Fenter finished with 5.2 innings of work, striking out five batters and allowing six runs on five hits. At the plate, freshman shortstop Haley Culley had one hit and one run, and junior centerfielder RT Cantillo finished with an RBI double. Junior catcher Marina Parra also had a hit for Ole Miss.
The Rebels created chances, but couldn’t always drive home their runs, leaving a pair of runners on base in the each of the fourth and fifth innings. Despite the loss, Thees sees the benefits of playing a top-10 ranked opponent, the fourth opponent for Ole Miss inside the top 25 in the opening seven games, and another All-America caliber pitcher.
“This is what we need to do,” Thees said. “They’re a World Series team, they return their pitcher and a couple kids from that team who are just solid and helped them get there. That’s where we’re going. This is where we want to go to. We want to be that team. Our kids need to play the best competition.”
The Rebels play again Friday in Mobile, Ala., at the Mardi Gras Invitational against Lamar and Central Arkansas at 11 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. CT, respectively. Ole Miss will face the tournament host, South Alabama, on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., and will close out the tournament Sunday against Jackson State at 10 a.m.
For all Ole Miss softball news and information, please go to OleMissSports.com, and follow the Rebels on Twitter @OleMissSoftball and on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball.