No. 24 Aggies Snap Losing Streak, Split with Cowgirls

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COLLEGE STATION -- The No. 24 Texas A&M softball team snapped its four-game losing streak Wednesday with a 2-1 win over Oklahoma State at the Aggie Softball Complex. The Aggies (24-15, 2-5 Big 12) split the doubleheader with the Cowgirls (28-12, 4-4 Big 12) after falling 13-1 in game two.

Sophomore Kelsey Spittler laced the game-winning, two-run single in the fourth inning of game one to give the Aggies their second Big 12 victory. Sophomore Rhi Kliesing picked up the win in the circle scattering five hits and allowing one run and two walks while fanning four batters.

“It was great to see Rhi get us back out on the right track and set the tone for us,” said head coach Jo Evans. “She threw the first game so well, especially coming off of a rough couple of outings at Missouri. She handled herself well. We really needed that win and Kelsey’s big hit in the gap was a timely one.”

Down 1-0 in the first game of the doubleheader, A&M put runners in scoring position in two of the first three frames and finally pushed two across in the fourth. OSU pitcher Anna Whiddon hit senior Erin Glasco with the first pitch of the inning. Pinch runner Andrea Tovar was sacrificed to third by senior Holly Ridley and junior Alex Reynolds drew a walk and stole second before sophomore Kelsey Spittler scored two on a line-drive up the middle to give the Aggies the advantage, 2-1.

Oklahoma State’s Mariah Gearhart scored in the top of the first inning. Gearhart led off the game with an infield single and stole second. Katelyn Bright then walked before Julie Ward hit a fielder’s choice that went off Kliesing’s glove to sophomore Natalie Villarreal. The Aggie second baseman tagged Bright for the second out, but Gearhart never stopped running on the play and scored from second to get the Cowgirls out to a 1-0 lead.

A&M tallied four stolen bases in the game with one each from Villarreal, Reynolds, Spittler and freshman Kelsea Orsak.

In game two, OSU put up a nine-spot in the top of the first inning. Ward’s three-run home run and a bases-clearing double by Bright provided the bulk of the runs.

The Cowgirls added to their lead with a three-run shot from Chelsea Garcia in the second and a solo home run from Alysia Hamilton in the third.

“We had a game plan that we really used well in the first game and then we let that go by the wayside,” said Evans. “We threw too many balls over the plate and threw the ball up.”

Ridley led off the fourth inning with her eighth home run of the season – a solo shot to center field – to make the score 13-1.

Senior Savana Lloyd threw three and two-thirds innings in relief and held the Cowgirls to one run and five hits while fanning a season-high five batters. Whiddon avenged her loss in game one with a four-hit win in the circle.

“The bright spot in the second game was Savana Lloyd,” said Evans. “She gave up one home run, but it was a line-drive shot that got over the fence. She did a tremendous job tonight.”

The Aggies continue their five-game home stand this weekend hosting Texas Tech for a two-game series on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.

“It’s really important for us to be able to take this one on the chin and then get back out there against Texas Tech this weekend,” Evans said. “We just have to keep getting better.”

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