COLLEGE STATION, Texas- The Texas A&M softball team (36-6, 8-0 Big 12) is packing up its No. 6 ranking and its flawless conference record and heading to Austin for the first round of the State Farm Lone Star Showdown against the Texas Longhorns (19-14-2, 5-3 Big 12). First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at McCombs Field.
“In this game, stats, rankings, none of it matters, all bets are off,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “You have to go there and you have to play great. We don’t forget that last year we went there and played one of our worst games of the season. We know that we need to go there and stay focused and really be on our game. There is always a great atmosphere in Austin. It’s fun and I love the rivalry. I’m just excited, I love the way our kids look forward to this big series.”
Fans can listen to Wednesday’s game on 1150 AM The Zone with play-by-play from Louie Belina and color commentary from Clint Netherland.
Texas is coming off a split series with Oklahoma State at home over the weekend. The Cowgirls took the first game, 8-1, on Friday but the Horns rallied on Saturday scoring nine runs on 11 hits to defeat OSU, 9-2, and avoid the sweep.
College Station product Kacie Gaskin went 5-for-7 (.714) in the series, scoring three runs and driving in one.
Sophomore Tallie Thrasher leads the Longhorns at the plate, hitting a .382 clip that ranks seventh in the Big 12. The two-time conference Player of the Week has scored 20 runs and driven in 22 RBIs off 34 hits, including five doubles, a triple and seven homeruns.
In the circle for Texas, Meagan Denny carries an 1.82 ERA. En route to a 13-5 record, the senior has tossed six complete game shutouts, striking out a league-best 184 hitters through 119.1 innings of work. Heading into last weekend’s games Denny ranked sixth nationally in strikeouts; averaging 11.2 per game.
A&M remained perfect in Big 12 play after sweeping Iowa State over the weekend in Ames. The Aggies outscored ISU 20-2 on the afternoon, run-ruling the Cyclones 11-1 and 9-1 to sweep their fourth-consecutive conference series.
Senior centerfielder Jami Lobpries batted 1.000 on the day, going 2-for-2 with two runs scored, a triple, three RBIs, a walk, and two hit-by-pitches.
Alex Reynolds is hitting a league second-best .550 in conference play this season. Through eight games, the sophomore designated player has scored four runs and driven in seven RBIs off 11 hits, including two doubles.
For the 15th-straight game senior Megan Gibson has posted a sub-one ERA, currently sitting at 0.93. The two-time All-American has registered six of the Aggies’ eight Big 12 wins, breaking her career-high from 2007 and helping A&M to its best start in league play. The Spring, Texas-native leads the conference in wins (22), walks (36), doubles (11), shutouts (10), innings pitched (150), and complete games (21).
Wednesday’s game marks the 29th meeting between the two schools with Texas holding a slight 15-13 advantage in the all-time series lead.
The two teams met twice in 2007, with Texas winning the first game 5-0 in Austin and A&M taking the second, 3-0 in College Station.
Limited seating is still available for those wanting to reserve a spot on the Maroon Club’s fan bus to Austin. For more information or to sign up, please contact Marty Walton at 846-3024 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost of the trip is $20 for Maroon Club members and students and $25 for all other Aggie Fans.