COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M softball team was a pitch away from a victory, but Nebraska rallied back to hand the 19th-ranked Aggies a 3-2, nine-inning loss on Sunday afternoon at the Aggie Softball Complex.
The Aggies (23-11, 1-1 Big 12) took an early one-run lead into the seventh inning, but a two-out walk on a full-count by Brittany Pascale in the top of the inning proved a costly one as the Huskers (20-6, 1-1 Big 12) followed with two pinch-hit singles to tie the game, 1-1.
Sophomore Rhi Kliesing tallied the Aggies’ second hit of the day in the bottom of the seventh, but NU recorded the final out to force extra innings.
Both teams were retired in order in the eighth before Nebraska struck again in the top of the ninth. Julie Brechtel led off with an infield single and Heidi Foland followed with a double to left to put two runners in scoring position. Pascale’s sacrifice fly to right scored one and a squeeze bunt scored Foland to give the Huskers’ their first lead of the game, 3-1.
Senior Erin Glasco led off the bottom of the ninth with a hard-hit single to left center. Pinch runner Andrea Tovar then advanced to second on a wild pitch and as the ball went into the outfield on the throw, Tovar popped up and took third. The next batter, junior Macie Morrow, then lined an RBI single to center to bring the Aggies within one. Morrow was sacrificed into scoring position by junior Alex Reynolds, but a groundout and a pop fly left the Aggies one run short.
“It’s a tough loss,” said head coach Jo Evans. “Rhi pitched well and gave us a chance to win it. We didn’t do a very good job at the plate, but their pitcher (Molly Hill) gets a lot of credit for that. We had opportunities, but we just didn’t come through. When we’re one pitch away (from winning), we have to finish the game.”
The Aggies retired the Huskers in order the first two innings and took an early lead in the bottom of the second. Morrow reached on a throwing error by the NU third baseman and was sacrificed to second by Reynolds. A deep fly out to left by sophomore Kelsey Spittler allowed Morrow to advance to third before Kliesing lined an RBI single up the middle for a 1-0 lead.
Kliesing (13-4) held Nebraska to just one hit through six and two-thirds innings, but was charged with the loss. From Pearland, Texas, the sophomore fanned eight in nine innings of work. After giving up a walk that proved the game-winner yesterday, Hill (13-4), bounced back to pick up the win. She gave up two runs on four hits, walked two and struck out two.
Kliesing led the Aggies going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Morrow added a hit, a run and an RBI, while Glasco also tallied a hit.
The Aggies continue Big 12 play with a midweek game at Baylor on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.