COLLEGE STATION -- Freshman Rhiannon Kliesing tossed her first career no-hitter and helped her cause at the plate by hitting her first homerun as a Texas A&M softball player as the fifth-ranked Aggies (43-7) run-ruled Texas State (30-16) 11-0 on Wednesday evening.
“I felt like we would take care of business tonight,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “I was very comfortable going into this game and I knew our kids were very focused. We focused on what they do well as a team. We really didn’t talk about anything else. We were very professional in our approach tonight. I thought we stayed loose and did a nice job.”
In just four innings at the plate, A&M managed to pound-out nine hits, four of which were multi-run homeruns.
In the first inning senior third baseman Jamie Hinshaw crushed a 2-1 pitch that landed on Olsen Blvd. and scored Natalie Villarreal who reached on an error and Megan Gibson who drew her 43rd walk of the season.
A&M exploded in the second inning, plating five runs on four hits including two two-run homeruns by Macie Morrow and Holly Ridley. Both blasts served as the third longball of the season for Morrow and Ridley.
Kliesing capped off her 12th victory of 2008 by lifting a three-run shot over the leftfield wall, scoring pinch runner Andrea Tovar and Hinshaw. It was the third run of the game scored by Hinshaw, who posted a 3-for-3 day at the plate with three RBIs.
In five innings on the mound, Kliesing allowed just three runners to reach base and only one to move into scoring position. She struckout five Bobcat batters en route to her sixth shutout and 15th complete game of the year.
“I’m really excited for Rhi,” Evans ended. “We felt good about giving her the ball tonight. We knew Texas State was a good team and they struggled a little bit tonight, but Rhi was in total control on the mound. We needed to get her some innings to get sharp and stay focused. I’m just really excited that she went out and had the kind of composure she did.”
The A&M hitters chased Texas State starter Ragan Blake (15-10) after just an 1.1 innings of work. Blake was responsible for seven of the Aggies’ runs. Elizabeth Dennis finished the remaining 2.2 innings in the circle surrendering four more runs on five hits.
The Aggies will pack their bags and take their Big 12 Conference lead into Lincoln, Neb. for a two-game series against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The first game is slated for Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Bowlin Stadium