COLLEGE STATION -- The fourth-ranked Texas A&M softball team (40-7, 12-1 Big 12) returns home to the friendly confines of the Aggie Softball Complex for its last Big 12 home series against the Kansas Jayhawks (30-13, 4-6 Big 12). First pitch of game one of the two-game series is set for Saturday at 2 p.m.
“Kansas is a good ballclub,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “But we’re going to feel good being at home. We have played good here, the 12th Man shows up, the community shows up. Our fans are really going to help us get fired up and play a great two games.”
Fans can listen to the game live and free of charge on aggieathletics.com through the new Aggies All-Access. Free, live video of the game will also be available through Aggies All-Access.
Kansas dropped to sixth in the league-standings after being swept by the Missouri Tigers in a Wednesday doubleheader. The Jayhawks were unable to overcome a four-run deficit tacked on by the Tigers in the bottom of the first inning as Missouri went on to win the first game, 7-2.
KU used a two-run sixth to force the second game into extra innings, but the Tigers scratched a run across in the eighth to win the nightcap 6-5.
Dougie McCaulley was 3-for-5 on the day with a run scored and a RBI, while sophomore Amanda Jobe was 2-for-2 with two homeruns, three runs scored, and three RBIs in game two.
McCaulley’s team-leading .409 batting average ranks second in the Big 12. The junior also sits third in the league in hits with 54.
Valerie George carries a 1.45 ERA in the circle for the Jayhawks. The junior
The Aggies remained atop the conference standings despite splitting their doubleheader with Oklahoma State on Wednesday in Stillwater, Okla. The Cowgirls posted two runs in three different innings to take the 6-5 win in game one. A&M scored three runs in the second inning and another in the third to capture the 4-3 victory in the second game.
Jamie Hinshaw is hitting .333 at the plate on the year for the Aggies. In conference games this season, the senior leads the league in runs scored (11) and ranks second in hits (15).
Megan Gibson (25-1) owns a league second-best 1.15 ERA in the circle for the Aggies. The two-time All-American ranks first in the conference in walks (39), doubles (12), wins (25), innings pitched (176), shutouts (11) and complete games (24). Gibson sits second in strikeouts (198) and opponents’ batting average (.171).
Rhi Kliesing (11-4) turned in a solid performance for A&M in game two of the doubleheader on Wednesday. The freshman ranks third, behind the veteran Gibson, in the league with a 1.37 ERA on the year. The Pearland, Texas-native has struckout 93 hitters through 102 innings of work.
Saturday’s game marks the 55th meeting between the two schools. A&M holds the all-time series lead at 40-14. A&M’s 7-0 and 13-0 wins in Lawrence last season marked its fifth-consecutive series sweep of the Jayhawks.
The teams last split in 2002 when Kansas won the first game of the two-game series, 6-4. The Aggies avoided the sweep by winning the second game 3-0.
Saturday’s game will pay tribute to former and current Texas A&M All-Americans while Sunday will serve as Senior Day. Being recognized following Sunday’s game will be Gibson, Hinshaw, Jami Lobpries, Amanda Scarborough and manager Jessica Kaiser.
“It’s going to be a great weekend,” Evans ended. “We’re really excited about All-American Saturday. We’ve had some fantastic players that have played at Texas A&M and we are very proud of them and excited that they are coming back. Senior Day, of course, is one of my favorite days. I’m excited for our kids and the careers they’ve had and we’ll get to honor them after the game.”
The Aggies and Jayhawks will close out the series on Sunday. The game will be televised on Cox Sports Television and is set to begin at noon.