COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The fourth-ranked Texas A&M softball team completed the two-game sweep of the Kansas Jayhawks with an 8-0 run-ruling in front of 1,056 fans on Senior Day at the Aggie Softball Complex.
Following the Aggies’ victory, head coach Jo Evans honored seniors Megan Gibson, Jamie Hinshaw, Jami Lobpries, Amanda Scarborough and manager Jessica Kaiser for their contributions over the past four seasons to the A&M softball program.
The win kept the Aggies in first place in the Big 12 standings with a 14-1 record. A&M is 42-7 overall. Kansas fell to 30-15 on the season and 4-8 in league play with their fifth straight loss.
“I thought the way we came out this weekend after that performance on Wednesday was critical,” Evans said. “We came out very aggressive and with a lot of confidence. Kansas is not a bad ballclub and we hit their pitchers hard. They came into this series ranked third in the conference in ERA and we didn’t have any trouble with their pitching.”
For the second time in as many days Megan Gibson shutout the Jayhawks, limiting the KU batters to just three hits. Gibson sat down 10 Kansas hitters via the strikeout. The senior All-American did not allow a free pass in six innings of work.
Freshman Natalie Villarreal scored the winning run for the Aggies in the bottom of the first. The lefty second baseman blasted a triple into the right-centerfield gap and strolled home on Gibson’s 12th homerun of the season. The two-run blast served as Gibson’s 177 and 178th career RBIs putting her 37 ahead of former A&M All-American catcher Selena Collins in the Aggie record book.
“I was a little surprised in that first inning when they pitched to Gibson,” Evans noted. “She’s been swinging the bat really well. She’s such a dangerous hitter and she’s been so hot lately.”
A&M tacked on two runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to end the game. In addition to driving in Villarreal in the first, Gibson was also responsible for plating the final run of the game, scoring pinch hitter Mandy Gegen. Gibson laced a 1-0 pitch into rightfield for her fourth RBI of the day.
Gibson ended the afternoon going 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored. Fellow senior Jamie Hinshaw was 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
Valerie George once again suffered the loss for the Jayhawks, dropping to 16-7 in the circle. George lasted five innings on the mound surrendering seven runs on eight hits. She walked three and struckout six. Allie Clark worked one inning of relief and was charged with Gegen’s run that brought the run-rule into effect in the bottom of the sixth.
The Aggies will take a break from Big 12 action with a mid-week game against the Texas State Bobcats on Wednesday at the Aggie Softball Complex. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.