COLLEGE STATION, Texas- The Texas A&M softball team reported back to College Station on Sunday for its first practice session of the 2008 season as it looks to build upon the success of the ’07 squad and make another run at the Women’s College World Series.
Beginning Monday sessions will be held at their normal 3:15 start times. All practices are open to the public.
“We were very excited to get back on the Aggie Softball Field this afternoon,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “It has been a few weeks since we’ve all had the opportunity to practice together and I was very pleased to have everyone back. We will be working hard over the next couple of weeks to prepare for our season opener in California.”
Evans, entering her 12th season as the head coach of the Aggies, returns eight starters and 10 letterwinners from last year’s squad that finished with a 46-14 overall record and made its sixth-straight NCAA postseason appearance, 18th in program history.
Atop the list of returnees are two-time NCAA All-Americans Amanda Scarborough and Megan Gibson. The duo combined for 39 complete games and held opponents to two runs or less 37 times. Collectively, the two seniors averaged roughly nine strikeouts per game, holding their opponents to a stifling .204 batting average.
“Megan is one of the best hitters to ever come through Texas A&M. She has great versatility and has been unselfish in her willingness to play the outfield this fall,” Evans noted. “And Amanda continues to push herself to improve, whether it be on the mound or at the plate. We have great leadership this season with those two as team captains.”
Joining Scarborough and Gibson are seniors Jami Lobpries and Jamie Hinshaw. Lobpries appeared in 46 games for the Aggies last season, making a start in each. The Wharton, Texas native batted .207 on the year and drove in 15 runs off seven doubles and a homerun after she missed 10 games due to a back injury. Hinshaw started all 60 games for the Aggies at third base. The Missouri City, Texas native hit .318 and drove in 44 runs of nine doubles, a triple, and three homers. The All-Big 12 performer was also a perfect 27-for-27 in stolen bases.
Rounding out the list of returnees are juniors Holly Ridley and Ronda Smith and sophomores Macie Morrow, Alex Reynolds, Mandy Gegen and Bailey Schroeder.
The Aggies will open the 2008 season at the Cathedral City Kickoff (Feb. 8-10) in Cathedral City, Calif. A&M will play a pair of doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday and a single game on Sunday.
A&M will kick off the home portion of its schedule Wednesday, Feb. 13 against Sam Houston State.
“We assembled another challenging non-conference schedule this season,” Evans ended. “I expect our players to be ready to compete and win against some of the best opponents the nation has to offer.”
Fans interested in purchasing season and individual game tickets can do so through the 12th Man Foundation or by calling 1-888-99-AGGIE.