Softball Opens 2008 Season At The Cathedral City Kickoff

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COLLEGE STATION -- The 2nd-ranked Texas A&M softball team will begin its quest for a second-consecutive trip to the NCAA Women’s College World Series when it opens the 2008 season this weekend in Cathedral City, Calif. at the Cathedral City Kickoff.

“We’re excited to get the 2008 season under way,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “Our team has been working very hard in the off-season to be ready for the tough competition we will face throughout the coming months.”

A&M is slated to play five games in three days, with doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday and a single game on Sunday.

The Aggies open tournament play against New Mexico State on Friday at 3 p.m. (CST), marking the ninth meeting between the two teams. A&M holds the all-time series lead at 6-2. New Mexico State posted a 6-0 win over the Ags when the teams last met in 2002.

NMSU finished the ‘07 season at 37-15 overall and an even 9-9 in Western Atlantic Conference play.

A&M rounds out first day action against Cal Poly Friday at 5:30 p.m. (CST). The Aggies own a 4-0 all-time series record entering their fifth meeting with the Mustangs. The two teams last met in 2001 at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational in Santa Barbara, Calif., with A&M winning 5-3.

Cal Poly posted a 39-17, 14-4 record last season en route to its first ever Big West Conference title and Division 1 postseason appearance. The Mustangs best season in program history came to a close after losses to BYU (5-0) and Southern Utah (9-4) in the Provo Regional.

The Aggies return to the diamond at 12:30 p.m. (CST) against Cal State Northridge on Saturday for their sixth meeting with the Matadors. A&M is the all-time series leader at 3-2 after shutting out Northridge, 5-0, in 2006 during the opening game of the Judy Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif.

CSUN ended its 2007 season at 23-23-1 overall (9-9 in league play) after falling to the 16th-ranked Cardinal at the Stanford Regional in Stanford, Calif.

A&M will face No. 18 Oregon State at 3 p.m. (CST) to conclude play on Saturday. The Aggies are 4-2 all-time against OSU after dropping a tough 2-0 decision to the then No. 12 Beavers in 2006 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.

Oregon State made its ninth straight postseason appearance in 2007 advancing to the NCAA Regional Tournament, ending the season 41-23 overall, 10-11 in Pac-10 play. The Beavers finished the season ranked 15th in the nation and were ranked as high as 13th during the season.

The Ags will close out tournament action against Utah State on Sunday at 11 a.m. (CST).

The two teams have faced off 16 times prior to Sunday’s game with A&M holding a 10-6 all-time series record. The last meeting between the two schools was in 2005 at the Aggie Classic in College Station. Texas A&M outscored USU 26-2 on the weekend, posting 15-1 and 11-1 wins.

Utah State concluded the ’07 season at 17-36 overall and 5-13 in WAC action. The Aggies made their WAC Tournament debut, their first conference tournament appearance since 1990, in only their second season in the league.

A&M finished last season with a 46-14 overall record and made its sixth-straight NCAA postseason appearance and sixth appearance in the NCAA Women’s College World Series.

“Our team is committed to making a return trip to the College World Series and to making a run at the national title,” Evans ended.

Following tournament play, the Aggies will open the home portion of their 2008 season against Sam Houston State at 4 p.m. at the Aggie Softball Complex.