COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M softball team tallied 26 hits and split a doubleheader with Blinn College to wrap up its eight-game fall season on Thursday at the Aggie Softball Complex. The Aggies defeated the Buccaneers 7-1 after dropping the first game 6-5 in nine innings.
After four-and-a-half scoreless innings in the nightcap, A&M erupted for eight hits, including seven straight, in the bottom of the fifth. The inning was highlighted by a three-run home run by junior Macie Morrow. Sophomore Kelsey Spittler ripped a doubled off the left center wall to score a run and sophomore Rhiannon Kliesing smacked a single through the right side two plate two more. The Aggies’ final run of the inning was brought home on a sacrifice fly by senior Erin Glasco.
“The only thing you can do when you play poorly in the first game is to come out and turn yourself around in the second game,” said head coach Jo Evans. “We got back on rhythm in game two and I was pleased with the way we bounced back.”
Freshman Rebecca Arbino picked up the win in the circle striking out six. The Clovis, Calif., native gave up one run on six hits and walked none.
“Rebecca really got on a role and started gaining a lot of confidence this fall,” Evans said. “She did a good job controlling her game.”
It was a back and forth battle in the first game and Kliesing got A&M out to a 1-0 lead after she launched a solo home run to left field with two outs in the first inning.
Blinn evened the score in the third frame when Allison Hinton reached on a fielder’s choice and crossed the plate on an error in the infield. The Buccaneers added two runs on five hits in the top of the fourth to take a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth frame, Glasco led off with a double into the left-field corner and was plated by sophomore Natalie Villarreal on a single to center field to come within one run, 3-2.
The Aggies tied it up with two outs in the fifth frame. Kelsea Orsak laced a triple to right center before Spittler dropped a single over second base to score the freshman.
After a scoreless sixth inning, the Buccaneers regained the lead in the seventh as Meagan Mudge reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch.
The Aggies’ one- and two-hole hitters came through again with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Orsak ripped her third hit of the game and Spittler followed with a double a bounce away from the right-center wall to make it 4-4 and force extra innings.
A two-run home run by Allison Hinton put Blinn back up, 6-4, in the top of the ninth. In the bottom of the frame, sophomore Andrea Tovar singled through the right side and with two outs, back-to-back hits from Spittler and Kliesing plated Tovar from second and brought A&M within one run, 6-5, but a relentless Buccaneer defense held strong for the final out of the game.
“We are a young team and have a lot of room to grow,” Evans said. “This fall I saw some real positive things from our young players and the upperclassmen really did a good job of stepping up and leading on the field.”
Orsak led the offense going 6-for-7 with three runs scored from the lead-off spot. Villareal went 5-for-7, while Kliesing hit .500 with four RBI and Spittler was 4-for-7 with three RBI.
The Aggies keep it competitive this fall holding the Maroon and White series on Monday, Oct. 13, Wednesday, Oct. 15 and if necessary on Friday, Oct. 17. The games are slated for 4 p.m. each day and admission is free of charge.