COLLEGE STATION -- After back-to-back weekends on the road the third-ranked Aggie softball team returns home to the friendly confines of the Aggie Softball Complex for a doubleheader Wednesday against Stephen F. Austin. First pitch of game one is slated for 3 p.m.
“It will be nice to play at home again this week, A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “We had a good crowd last week and I'm hoping the fans have been following us on the road. SFA is undefeated so far and I'm sure they will be fired up to play us. It will be nice to welcome back Gay McNutt to our campus. She was a key player for the Aggies during the early 80's when Texas A&M was winning national championships, and she continues to be an advocate for our program.
We are coming off a successful weekend against some very good teams. I expect our team to pick up where we left off and continue to gel as a team and improve upon our good start.”
The Ladyjacks enter Wednesday’s match-up at 4-0 on the season after opening their 2008 schedule with 3-2 and 12-8 wins over UTEP in Nacogdoches on Feb 8. SFA then posted a pair of road wins over Prairie View A&M on Feb. 12, shutting out the Panthers 8-0 and 12-0.
Kendal Harper is leading the Ladyjacks at the plate, hitting .727 on the season. The sophomore has scored seven runs off eight hits including a double and a triple. In the circle for SFA, freshman Monika Covington boasts a 0.53 ERA striking out 12 in 13.1 innings of work. The Huffman, Texas-native has allowed just one earned run in her three appearances, holding opponents to a .167 batting average.
The Aggies improved to 9-2 after going 4-1 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. over the weekend. A&M opened play Friday with a 5-0 win over Nevada before seeing their second game of the day against No. 6 Northwestern suspended in the 5th inning due to inclement weather.
On Saturday, the Ags used stellar pitching performances from All-Americans Megan Gibson and Amanda Scarborough to post wins over No. 1 Arizona, 3-2, and Notre Dame, 4-1.
A&M resumed play Sunday morning against Northwestern with the scoreboard reading 8-4, and bases loaded with no outs for the Aggies in the bottom of the fifth. Back-to-back walks allowed A&M to scratch two runs and Gibson’s double in the sixth plated Kelsey Spittler but the Aggies’ rally fell short as they dropped a tough 8-7 loss to the Wildcats. The Ags came out swinging in their tournament finale against No. 15 Washington scoring seven runs in the bottom of the first, two in the second, and one in the fourth to secure a 10-4 victory over the Huskies.
Scarborough currently leads the team in batting average, hitting .438 at the plate while driving in 11 runs of 14 hits including a two doubles and two homeruns. On the mound for the Aggies, Gibson owns a 6-0 record. The Spring, Texas-native boasts 1.29 ERA, fanning 31 hitters in 38 innings of work.
Following Wednesday’s doubleheader A&M will host the Texas A&M Invitational, which features North Texas, Sam Houston State, and Temple. The tournament kicks off Friday at 10 a.m. at the Aggie Softball Complex. A&M’s first game is set for Friday at 3 p.m.
Live stats of this week’s games will be available on aggieathletics.com. Fans can also listen to all games live and free of charge on aggieathletics.com through the new Aggies All-Access.
Fans interested in purchasing season and individual game tickets can do so through the 12th Man Foundation or by calling 1-888-99-AGGIE. Parking for the game will be available in lots designated 100 J & K.