COLLEGE STATION -- The No. 24 Texas A&M softball team continues its five-game home stand by welcoming Texas Tech to the Aggie Softball Complex for a two-game series this weekend. First pitch on Friday is set for 6:30 p.m., while Saturday’s game begins at 2 p.m.
A&M (24-15, 2-5 Big 12) looks to sweep its first conference series against Texas Tech (13-30, 2-7 Big 12), who ranks just below the Aggies in the Big 12 standings.
A&M took the first game of a twin bill against Oklahoma State on Wednesday to win their second league game and break a four-game losing streak. Unfortunately, the Cowgirls erupted for 15 hits in the second contest to down A&M 13-1 in five innings.
The Red Raiders fell to North Texas, 6-1, on Wednesday and split their last two conference series against Kansas and Iowa State. Tech travels to College Station after playing its last three games at home.
The Aggies hold a 19-11 advantage in the all-time series. A&M took two games from Tech in Lubbock, Texas, last year and won 10 of the last 13 contests between the two teams.
Live stats and free live audio and video are available for both games this weekend on AggieAthletics.com.
General parking is free on days when there is not a baseball game and is available in lots 100g, 100j and 100k.
Friday – Fans are encouraged to wear their 12th Man Rewards Program softball jerseys
Saturday – During the game the National Championship Runner-up trophy will be displayed in the plaza for fan photos. Following the game there will be an Easter egg hunt on the field for all the children in attendance.
Sophomore Kelsey Spittler laced the game-winning, two-run single in the fourth inning of game one against Oklahoma State on Wednesday 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. A&M snapped a four-game losing streak, but fell in the second game, 13-1.
The Aggies tallied four stolen bases in the first game with one each from sophomore Natalie Villarreal, junior Alex Reynolds, sophomore Kelsey Spittler and freshman Kelsea Orsak.
Senior Holly Ridley scored the lone run in game two after leading off the fourth inning with her eighth home run of the season – a solo shot to center field. 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.
WHAT’S UP NEXT
A&M closes out five straight home games with a midweek contest against Baylor on Wednesday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m.
LEADING THE WAY
Sophomore Natalie Villarreal leads the A&M offense with a .349 batting average, 38 hits and nine doubles. Ridley (.304) is also hitting above .300 and has a team-high .635 slugging percentage, eight doubles, three triples and eight home runs. Glasco boasts a team-best .485 on base percentage and is hitting .400 in Big 12 action with a .550 on base percentage. Kliesing (15-10) has recorded 145 strikeouts in 172.0 innings pitched and leads the A&M pitching staff with a 2.24 ERA.
SCOUTING TEXAS TECH
The Red Raiders are in ninth place in the Big 12 right behind the Aggies in eighth. Tech is 4-6 in its last 10 games and 2-7 in conference play with wins against Iowa State and Kansas. The team is under the direction of first-year interim head coach Amy Suiter after former head coach Teresa Wilson left the program to be an assistant coach under Mike Candrea at Arizona.
Elizabeth Eimen leads the team with a .371 average and 46 hits. She is one of five Red Raiders hitting above .300. Alex Watkins (.333) has a team-high 11 hits, six home runs and 25 RBIs, while Leah Legler (.323) has a team-best nine stolen bases. Ashly Jacobs (8-16) and Alex Watkins (3-10) split time in the circle. Jacobs has thrown 134.2 innings and struck out 89, while Watkins was in the circle for 111.2 innings with 98 K’s. The pitching staff of four posts an ERA of 4.87, while Tech is hitting .279 as a team.
VERSUS THE RED RAIDERS
The Aggies hold a 19-11 advantage in the all-time series against Texas Tech. A&M took two games from the Red Raiders in Lubbock, Texas, last year and won 10 of the last 13 contests between the two teams. Two of Tech’s three wins in that span were by one run. In 2008, Reynolds went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, Villarreal added two hits, a double and three RBIs and Spittler contributed two hits and three RBIs. Kliesing threw a four-hit complete game allowing just one run and striking out nine to pick up one of the wins.