STILLWATER, Okla. - The fourth-ranked Texas A&M softball team (40-7, 12-1 Big 12) split its Wednesday doubleheader against the Oklahoma State Cowgirls (22-20, 5-5 Big 12) 5-6 and 4-3 in front of 216 fans at the Cowgirl Stadium in Stillwater, Okla.
“That first game was really disappointing,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “I think our kids played really tight. When you score five runs, you ought to win. (Megan) Gibson struggled today. That was the bottom line. I thought she pitched tight and just didn’t look comfortable. Give Oklahoma State a lot of credit, they came out and were very aggressive and really swung the bat looking to hit every time up.
“I told out kids in game two you have to go out there with confidence. You have to believe in the last 11 games you’ve played and understand why you won those games. You’ve got to get out there and be aggressive and most of all you’ve got to get out there and play loose. I liked the way we got out there in the second inning and scored those three runs. I also thought Rhi did a nice job in the circle for us.”
A three-run second inning propelled the Aggies to a 4-3 victory in the second game. With one out Holly Ridley singled to centerfield. Designated player Alex Reynolds followed up with a single into leftfield, putting Ridley in scoring position. Another A&M single, this one by catcher Erin Glasco scored Ridley from second and moved Reynolds up. A double by Jami Lobpries, and the senior picked up her 11th RBI in Big 12 play, scoring Reynolds. Freshman Kelsey Spittler drove a ball deep into rightfield for a sacrifice fly, scoring Glasco from third.
A&M plated another run in Natalie Villarreal in the third. The freshman started things off with a triple down the rightfield line. Gibson then poked a single through the gap between first and second to bring home her team-leading 36th RBI of the season.
Oklahoma State scratched a run across in the bottom of the frame with Breana Casaus scored off a single by Alysia Hamilton. The Cowgirls added two more runs in the fourth off back-to-back shots that bounced half-way up the left-centerfield wall.
The one-run lead held for the Aggies over the next three innings, giving A&M its 40th victory of the season.
Gibson went 3-for-4 at the plate in game two and plated the game-winning RBI in Villarreal in the third inning.
Rhiannon Kliesing got the nod for A&M in game two. The freshman worked seven complete innings to pick up her 11th victory of the season. Kliesing allowed just three runs, two earned on seven hits. She struckout six OSU batters while allowing just one free pass.
Cowgirl starting pitcher Anna Whiddon shouldered the loss for OSU working just two innings and surrendering all four of the Aggies’ runs. Amanda Crabtree worked five scoreless innings in relief.
Gibson saw her 26-game winning streak in the circle brought to an end in the first game of the doubleheader. The senior worked five complete innings and was charged with six runs on seven hits. She walked four batters for the first time since March 8, 2008 when she walked seven Illini hitters.
OSU posted two runs in three different innings to take the 6-5 win. It was the Cowgirls’ first victory over the Aggies since 2002. Sarah Odom moved to 7-4 on the season with the victory for OSU.
Glasco was 3-for-3 at the plate for A&M in the first game, scoring a run and driving in two RBIs. Ridley scored twice as she went 1-for-3 with a walk.
A&M returns to the Aggie Softball Complex for a weekend series against the Kansas Jayhawks. First pitch for Saturday’s game is slated for 2 p.m. Sunday’s game will be televised on Cox Sports Television and is set to begin at noon.