COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Sophomore Rhi Kliesing threw a one-hitter to lead the No. 19 Texas A&M softball team to a Big 12 opener win, 2-1, over Nebraska on Saturday afternoon at the Aggie Softball Complex.
From Pearland, Texas, Kliesing allowed one run on one hit, walked four and struck out six to shut down the Husker offense and snap their six-game winning streak.
The Aggies (23-10, 1-0 Big 12) came from behind to score the game-winning run on a two-out, bases-loaded walk by freshman Kelsea Orsak in the sixth inning. A&M was down 1-0 after the fourth frame, but senior Holly Ridley’s RBI single in the fifth tied the game at one apiece.
A&M put runners in scoring position in three of the first four innings, but were unable to push a run across. Ridley and senior Erin Glasco hit back-to-back singles in the first, Orsak doubled to left center in the third, and Glasco walked before pinch runner Andrea Tovar advanced to second on a groundout in the fourth.
Nebraska had scoring opportunities in those innings as well and got on the scoreboard first in the top of the fourth. Amanda Duran was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and was sacrificed to second by Julie Brechtel. Brittany Pascale then dropped a bloop single into right center to score pinch runner Nikki Haget from second.
The Aggies retired the Huskers in order in the top of the fifth.
In her first game back from injury, junior Macie Morrow hit a one-out single to center in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Orsak reached on a fielder’s choice and Morrow was safe at second on an NU error. Ridley then lined a single through the right side on a full count to plate Morrow. The Aggies proceeded to load the bases, but would not push anymore runs across, leaving the game knotted, 1-1.
NU pitcher Molly Hill struggled to find the strike zone in the sixth and A&M loaded the bases again with walks by Kliesing, Morrow and sophomore Natalie Villarreal. On a 3-2 count, Orsak then took her fourth ball and pinch runner Bailey Schroeder walked across the plate for the game-winning run.
A&M retired Nebraska in order in the top of the seventh to seal the victory.
The Big 12 opening series wraps up at the Aggie Softball Complex on Sunday at noon.