COLLEGE STATION -- The 24th-ranked Texas A&M softball team plays the first of a five-game home stand against Oklahoma State on Wednesday. The first pitch of the doubleheader begins at 5 p.m. at the Aggie Softball Complex.
The Aggies (23-14, 1-4 Big 12) are looking to snap a four-game losing streak on Wednesday. A&M won its Big 12 opener against Nebraska, but has dropped its last four straight, including two at No. 11 Missouri last weekend.
The Cowgirls (27-11, 3-3 Big 12) lost two tight contests at Baylor, falling 3-1 in nine innings on Saturday before being blanked 2-0 on Sunday. One Cowgirl provided all three hits in the shutout and OSU managed just eight hits on the weekend.
A&M leads the all-time series 34-20 against the Cowgirls and split two one-run games in Stillwater, Okla., last season. The Aggies dropped the first game, 6-5, and came back to take game two, 4-3, behind a six-strikeout complete game by Rhi Kliesing in the circle.
Live stats and free live audio and video are available for both games on AggieAthletics.com. In College Station, fans can also tune in to Sports Radio 1150 The Zone for the second game of the doubleheader.
General parking is free on days when there is not a baseball game and is available in lots 100g, 100j and 100k.
No. 11 Missouri hit five home runs in a doubleheader last Saturday and run-ruled the Aggies twice, 8-0 and 9-1. A&M tallied five hits, three of which were doubles. Collecting hits were senior Erin Glasco, sophomores Kara Rau (2B), Natalie Villarreal (2B), and Andrea Tovar and junior Alex Reynolds (2B).
The Aggies plated their lone run in the top of the fifth inning of the second game. Villarreal led off with a double past Rhea Taylor in center fielder. She was moved to third on a groundout on the right side by Kliesing before Glasco hit an RBI groundout to the shortstop.
The A&M pitching staff struggled in the circle giving up 10 walks and hitting two batters in 10 innings. The Tigers struck out 10 and walked two.
WHAT’S UP NEXT
A&M continues its five-game home stand hosting Texas Tech for a two-game series on Friday (6:30 p.m.) and Saturday (2 p.m.) before Baylor travels to College Station for a single midweek game on Wednesday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m.
LEADING THE WAY
Sophomore Natalie Villarreal leads the A&M offense with a .350 batting average, 36 hits and nine doubles. Seniors Ridley (.309) and Glasco (.301) are also hitting above .300. Ridley has a team-high .627 slugging percentage, three triples and seven home runs. Glasco boasts a team-best .496 on base percentage and is hitting.545 in Big 12 action with a .667 on base percentage. Kliesing (14-9) has recorded 141 strikeouts in 164.2 innings pitched and leads the A&M pitching staff with a 2.08 ERA.
SCOUTING OKLAHOMA STATE
The Cowgirls (27-11, 3-3 Big 12) lost two tight contests at Baylor, falling 3-1 in nine innings on Saturday before being blanked 2-0 on Sunday. One Cowgirl provided all three hits in the shutout and OSU managed just eight hits on the weekend. In the Big 12, the team took two games from Kansas and also split with Nebraska.
Mariah Gearhart is hitting .342 and leads Oklahoma State’s offense that posts a .277 batting average. Gearhart is 26-of-27 in stolen bases and has 38 hits on the season. Five other Cowgirls post averages above .300. Alysia Hamilton has a team-high 38 RBIs, while Julie Ward tallies 13 extra-base hits, including seven home runs. Anna Whiddon and Sarah Odom lead a pitching staff of three. Whiddon (13-6) posts a 1.64 ERA with 118 K’s in 127.2 innings pitched. Odom (12-4) has fanned 80 in 93.1 innings pitched.
VERSUS THE COWGIRLS
A&M leads the all-time series 34-20 against the Cowgirls and split two one-run games in Stillwater, Okla., last season. OSU was the only blemish on the Aggies’ 17-1 Big 12 record. In 2008, A&M dropped the first game, 6-5, and came back to take game two, 4-3, behind a six-strikeout complete game by Rhi Kliesing in the circle. The Aggies have won 11 of the last 12 contest between the two teams.
Oklahoma State head coach Rich Wieligman served as the hitting coordinator for the Aggies for four seasons under A&M head coach Jo Evans before being hired at OSU. He helped the Aggies slug a school-record 55 home runs in 2003 and helped guide the A&M to a .336 team batting average, tops in the country in 2005. The Aggies went 47-10 during that season and were eliminated in the Super Regionals.