OKLAHOMA CITY-- The fifth-seeded Texas A&M softball team (57-9) dropped a 3-0 decision in game one of a best-of-three series against the sixth-seeded Arizona State Sun Devils (65-5) in the 2008 Women’s College World Series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Arizona State plated its first of three runs in the first inning when Krista Donnenwirth laced a single into right field to score Jackie Vasquez who’d reached on a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch.
Donnenwirth continued her big day at the plate hitting a solo shot in the third before driving in her third RBI of the day in the fifth. After driving the longball over the leftfield fence, Donnenwirth went back opposite field for another RBI single, driving in Kaitlin Cochran who’d singled up the middle.
Jami Lobpries and Megan Gibson registered A&M’s only two hits of the evening, both doubles in the second and fourth innings, respectively.
Katie Burkhart (40-5) picked up the win in the circle, allowing just two hits while striking out 11 and walking none through seven complete.
“I thought (Arizona State pitcher Katie) Burkhart obviously did a nice job against us,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “We’ve really got to cut down on strikeouts. I felt like we weren’t aggressive enough. Obviously we need to make some adjustments offensively. I feel like we can do that. I definitely feel like we can come out tomorrow and learn from our at bats today. I don’t think there is any reason we can’t put runs on the board.”
Gibson (41-3) shouldered the loss for the Aggies surrendering three runs on seven hits.
The senior struckout one while allowing three walks through six innings of work.
“I thought Megan threw well,” said Evans. “Aside from the solo shot, Gibson did a great job. She gave up some singles. We have to offensively be better so we feel like we are in that ball game and so that she feels like we are in the ball game. I felt like we got a little discouraged at the plate and it got the best of us. I think we need to be really hungry when we come out tomorrow and understand we have a national title on the line.”
It was just the second time this season that A&M has been shutout and the first time since March 15 when the Aggies suffered a 0-3 loss to San Diego State at the San Diego Classic II.
It was also just the second time this season that the Aggies have been held to only two hits, the other time was in the 1-0 victory over Virginia Tech in the opening game of the 2008 WCWS.
“We are a confident team,” Lobpries noted. “It was like the Florida game (yesterday afternoon); it was a wake-up call. Last year we had some wake-up calls. I don’t know if we were just satisfied with last night or what happened. I don’t think we were ourselves. We know if we are ourselves we can come out and beat that team. It was frustrating that we didn’t look like the Texas A&M softball team that we think we are.”
Game two of the best-of-three series is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday. First pitch between the Aggies and Sun Devils can be seen on ESPN2 and heard locally in Bryan/College Station on Sports Radio 1150 the Zone. Live stats will be available on aggieathletics.com.
“I don’t doubt my team at all,” Gibson ended. “I think we have a lot left in us. I think we are ready to fight for a national championship. I think you are going to see a completely different team come out to the field tomorrow.”