COLLEGE STATION -- The fourth-ranked Texas A&M softball team (52-7) is set to face off against eighth-ranked Stanford (49-13) in the NCAA College Station Super Regional May 24-25 at the Aggie Softball Complex.
“I think it’s going to be a great series,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “It’s fun to be back at super regionals. Our kids, I thought, played really well last weekend. Stanford is certainly a formidable opponent. They are having a great year and they play in a great conference, just like we do. So I think it’s going to be a really good match-up.”
The best-of-three series set to air on ESPN with the first game scheduled for Saturday at 8 p.m. (Central). The second game is slated for Sunday at 2:30 p.m. with the third game beginning at 4:30 p.m. if necessary.
Live stats will be available on aggieathletics.com. Fans can listen to the games on KZNE 1150 the Zone with play-by-play from Gabe Bock and color commentary by Clint Netherland.
Stanford played four games en route to its fifth regional title and third super regional appearance since the NCAA adopted the format in 2005. Stanford defeated UMass on Friday (3-0) and Lehigh on Saturday (4-0). In the first game on Sunday, UMass posted a 2-0 victory before the Cardinal pounded out six runs on 11 hits and Missy Penna quieted the Minutewomen’s bats for the 6-0 shutout.
The Cardinal earned its 11th consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, dating back to 1998 when the team made its first postseason appearance. Stanford has made two trips to the NCAA Women’s College World Series in 2001 and 2004.
Alissa Haber is hitting a Pac-10 third-best .378 clip at the plate this season for the Cardinal. The sophomore also ranks second in the league in hits (76.) and leads the team in runs scored (48) and doubles (16).
In the circle for Stanford, Missy Penna boasts a league third-best 1.00 ERA. The junior ranks first in the Pac-10 in wins (37), innings pitched (327.2) and complete games (40). Penna also sits second in strikeouts (411) and shutouts (15).
A&M played the minimum three games in the College Station Regional defeating SFA (2-0) and La Tech (4-0, 6-0). The Aggies have now advanced to the super regional in three of the last four seasons, hosting all three.
Jamie Hinshaw is hitting a team-best .367 at the plate for the Aggies on the season. The senior also leads the team in runs scored (46) and hits (66). She ranks second in doubles (12), homeruns (5) and RBIs (33).
Megan Gibson recorded all three wins in the circle for the Aggies over the weekend. The Spring, Texas-native improved to 36-1 on the season lowering her ERA to 0.92. Gibson has registered four consecutive shutouts dating back to May 12 against Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game. The two-time All-American has not allowed an earned run in her last 28 innings of work. Gibson has posted double-digit strikeouts in five of her last six games, totaling 13 on the year.
The Aggies’ 52 wins ties for the second highest in school history set in 1981 and marks just the fifth time in program history a team has recorded 50+ wins. A&M posted 56-win seasons in 1987 and 1994 and a 51-win season in 1984.
Stanford’s Penna and A&M’s Gibson both recorded no-hitters on Sunday to lead their respective teams to a NCAA Super Regional berth.
Saturday’s match-up marks just the third meeting between the two schools with A&M holding the all-time series lead at 2-0. The teams first met in 1985 when the Aggies handed Stanford a 6-1 loss in College Station at the Aggie Invitational. Eighteen years later A&M would meet the Cardinal again at the Stanford Classic in Palo Alto, Calif. in 2003. The Aggies posted a 7-3 win over then 11th-ranked Stanford.
Stanford is 3-1 this season against Big 12 schools while the Aggies are 3-0 against Pac-10 opponents.
Fans wishing to purchase tickets for the weekend series can do so by logging on to aggieathletics.com or through the Athletic Ticket Office at 1-888-99-AGGIE.
The first 100 students showing a valid Texas A&M ID will received free admission courtesy of the Texas A&M Softball Double Play Club and the Aggie Softball team.
Parking will be available in lots accessible off Tom Chandler Ave. and Olsen Blvd.