TEMPE, Ariz. - The third-ranked Texas A&M softball team wrapped up an easy 5-0 win over the Nevada Wolf Pack before having the nightcap against Northwestern suspended due to inclement weather.
It took the Aggies until the third inning against Nevada to plate a run. Freshman second baseman Natalie Villarreal logged her first homerun as an Aggie blasting a 3-1 pitch over the left-centerfield fence to give A&M a 1-0 lead.
Amanda Scarborough followed up Villarreal’s homer with a two-run shot of her own just three batters later, scoring Megan Gibson who’d reached base with a walk that broke the Big 12 career record (125).
The Aggies would extend their lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning when sophomore shortstop Macie Morrow managed a rare two-RBI sac fly to centerfield that scored Kelsey Spittler and Holly Ridley.
The Wolf Pack had two runners in scoring position in the fifth with just one out. Gibson struck out Tyler Schafer before walking Noel Micka to load the bases. Gibson escaped the inning unscathed as she enticed a 6-3 ground out to end the fifth.
The Aggies chased starting pitcher Katie Holverson (2-2) from the game in the fourth inning. Holverson was charged with the loss for Nevada after surrendering all five runs to A&M. Jordan McPherson finished the remaining three and two-thirds innings, not allowing anymore runs to cross for the Aggies.
Gibson (4-0) earned her fourth win of the season working seven complete. She gave up five hits and two walks as she struck out four Nevada batters. The shutout drops Gibson’s ERA to a minuscule 0.54 on the season.
Scarborough was given the start in the circle against the No. 6 Northwestern Wildcats.
Northwestern started its 2008 season by plating two runs in the first inning. With one out, Tammy Williams, Nicole Pauly and Michelle Batts spread singles across the field.
A&M quickly counted with two runs of its own in the bottom of the first. Villarreal drew a seven pitch walk to start the inning. With one out, Gibson stroked on 0-1 ball to dead centerfield for the 44th homerun of her career to even the score two-all.
The two teams wavered back and forth with NU platting another run in the second and two more in the third off three hits and a hit batsman. The hit in the second inning was a solo shot by the left-handed hitting Kelly Dyer to rightfield.
In the third inning, Morrow brought the Aggies back within one as she launched her second homerun of the young season; a two-run shot that more than cleared the right-centerfield fence. Scoring on the play was Spittler, who like Villarreal, reached on a walk to start the inning.
The Wildcats tacked on three more runs over the fourth and fifth innings. With two outs in the fourth Darcy Sengewald doubled to right field and came home on a Williams singled to nearly the same spot, to score Sengewald from second.
After giving up a homerun to Batts to start the fifth, Rhiannon Kliesing was brought in to relieve Scarborough. With the bases empty Kliesing coaxed a pop up before surrendering a walk E Dyer. Quinn was brought in to pinch hit and singled up the middle to push the Wildcats’ lead to 8-4.
Villarreal and Morrow patiently drew walks to start the bottom of the fifth before Gibson was nailed in the arm with an 0-1 pitch to load the bases for Scarborough. With the bases loaded and no outs, the umpires called for a rain delay.
After nearly an hour of delay, the game was called for the day and will be finished Sunday morning at 9 a.m.