COLLEGE STATION, Texas- The fifth-ranked Texas A&M softball team (43-7, 14-1 Big 12) continues its quest for a second Big 12 conference title as it heads to Lincoln, Neb. for a two-game series with the Nebraska Cornhuskers (19-23, 1-10 Big 12). First pitch of game one is set for Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Bowlin Stadium.
“This is a huge weekend for us,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “It’s really important for us to go on the road and stay loose. We’re going to have to be really focused and just be ready to play our game. I think if we maintain the same approach we’ve had day-in and day-out in this conference season then we should have a lot of success.”
Saturday’s game will be carried live in the state of Nebraska on NET-HD and NET-1 and live nationally on CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV).
Live video (courtesy of UNL) and stats of both this weekend’s games will available on aggieathletics.com. Fans can also listen to the games on 1150 AM The Zone with play-by-play from Louie Belina and color commentary from Stephen Grove.
Nebraska ended a three-game losing streak after sweeping its doubleheader, 7-0 and 1-0, against North Dakota State on Wednesday.
Junior right-hander Molly Hill improved her season record to 9-12 after tossing 14 scoreless innings, allowing just eight hits and striking out 13 Bison hitters.
Hill carries a 2.73 ERA in the circle for the Huskers. The Wayne, Neb.-native has tossed five complete game shutouts and struck out 129 hitters in 130.2 innings of work.
Darcy Rutherford leads Nebraska at the plate, hitting .346 on the season. The junior has scored 18 runs and driven in eight RBIs off 44 hits, including two doubles and a triple.
Crystal Carwile’s nine homeruns on the year is a team lead. The junior hit two in the doubleheader with NDSU and has four in the last five games.
The Aggies improved to 29-6 in non-conference play after run-ruling Southland Conference leader Texas State, 11-0, in five innings on Wednesday.
Freshman Rhi Kliesing (12-4) recorded her first career no-hitter and blasted her first career homerun, one of four the Aggies hit on the evening. The Pearland, Texas-native struckout five Bobcat hitters en route to her sixth shutout and 15th complete game of the year.
Senior Jamie Hinshaw hit a three-run shot in the bottom of the first and sophomore Macie Morrow and junior Holly Ridley both added two-run homeruns in the second to lead the Aggies at the plate.
Heading into Wednesday’s game, the Aggies led the league in batting average for Big 12 games (.337) and were ranked first in the national standings for fielding percentage (983).
Saturday’s game marks the 50th meeting between the two schools. A&M holds the all-time series lead at 28-21.
The Aggies and Huskers faced off three times in 2007 with A&M winning all three meetings. The Ags posted a pair of 1-0 wins over NU in College Station during the regular season and sent Nebraska packing with a 3-1 victory at the Big 12 Championship in Oklahoma City, Okla.
A&M and Nebraska will close out the two-game series on Sunday at noon.