COLLEGE STATION -- The 21st-ranked Texas A&M softball team returns home to the Aggie Softball Complex this weekend to host the Texas A&M Invitational, presented by the District on Luther, and a three-game series with No. 10 Arizona.
The Aggies begin play in the Texas A&M Invitational against Monmouth at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, followed by a 6 p.m. game against Arizona. Game times and opponents remain the same on Saturday. On Sunday A&M plays its final game of the series against the Wildcats at 12:15 p.m. The Arizona games are separate from the tournament.
The Aggies (9-7) enter the weekend after going 4-1 at the Houston Marriott Invitational. Seniors Erin Glasco and Holly Ridley led the team hitting .500. Glasco also tallied eight RBIs, while Ridley produced seven hits.
Arizona (13-2) has won 12 straight and travels to College Station batting .353 with 24 long balls. Lauren Schutzler has a team-high .510 batting average followed by Stacie Chambers who is hitting .500. Schutzler adds 25 hits and 18 runs, while Chambers has seven home runs and 30 RBIs. Time in the circle is split by Sarah Akamine (7-0) and Lindsey Sisk (6-2). The Wildcats are led by the two-time U.S. Olympic Coach Mike Candrea.
Sophomore Natalie Villarreal continues to lead the A&M offense with a .400 average, .508 on base percentage, 20 hits, 12 runs and nine walks. Two other Aggies, Glasco (.311) and Ridley (.304), are batting above .300. Glasco has a team-high 12 RBIs and six doubles, while Ridley boasts a team-best .696 slugging percentage and five home runs. Sophomore Rhiannon Kliesing has seen the most time in the circle fanning 66 batters in 76 and two-thirds innings pitched.
The Hawks open their 2009 season this weekend taking on Texas Southern Friday at noon before facing the Aggies at 2:30 p.m. Monmouth returns seven starters and 12 letterwinners from a 2008 squad that finished 19-22-1. A&M has its first meeting against the Hawks on Friday.
Arizona leads the all-time series against the Aggies, 25-9. A&M, however, defeated the then No.1-ranked Wildcats, 3-2, at the Kajikawa Classic last year. Junior Alex Reynolds was a perfect 2-for-2, while Glasco and sophomore Kelsey Spittler each added hits. The Aggies hold the edge (3-2) in the last five meetings.
Live stats will be provided for every game this weekend with live audio and video for A&M games on AggieAthletics.com. Fans can listen live on Sports Radio 1150 The Zone for the Arizona games on Friday and Saturday.
Saturday vs. Arizona, 6 p.m. - Fans can bring their ticket stub from the men’s basketball game vs. Iowa State for a discounted $3 admission into softball.
Sunday vs. Arizona, 12:15 p.m. - Texas A&M Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day - TAMU Faculty and Staff will be able to purchase tickets for the game for only $3 by going to the link http://www.12thmanfoundation.com/tickets/fac-staff.asp The promotion code required to get into the ticket purchase site will be distributed through the “Distribution A” email channel on campus and through the Aggie Hotline.