COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas A&M softball team stepped out of conference play on Wednesday for its “Swing for Life” game and picked up a 6-1 win over Sam Houston State in front of a crowd of 1,078 at the Aggie Softball Complex.
A&M (28-17) tallied nine hits from six different players, including a career-best 3-for-3 performance from freshman Kelsea Orsak, and defeated the Bearkats (23-22) for the third time this season.
“It was really just a business-like game, which we wanted,” said head coach Jo Evans. “We needed to hit throughout the order. We’ve been counting on a couple of people and it’s nice to see our players step up. Relative to what we’re trying to do in the postseason, this game meant a lot and I was pleased with the way our team played.”
Roughly 20 breast cancer survivors were honored prior to the first pitch and the pink player jerseys were each auctioned off with the highest going for $350.
“We’ve been talking about this game for months,” Evans said. “I was really excited to see the breast cancer survivors on the field before the start of the game and was happy that they came. Our staff worked hard on this day and I appreciate everything everyone did to make tonight successful.”
The Aggies jumped out quickly against SHSU in the bottom of the first. Sophomore Natalie Villarreal led off with a single through the right side and junior Macie Morrow followed with a walk. Senior Erin Glasco was hit by a pitch for the 18th time this season to load the bases. With one out, junior Bailey Schroeder lined the first pitch of her at bat to left field to plate Morrow. Senior Holly Ridley then scored Glasco on an infield groundout to give A&M an early 2-0 lead.
Sam Houston answered with a run off of an Aggie error in the top of the second. Alex Survant led off with a double and advanced to third on an infield single by Mandy Gegen, but an errant throw to third allowed Survant to cross the plate for a 2-1 score.
A&M added to its lead in the fifth. Glasco laced an RBI single to left and junior Alex Reynolds hit a deep sacrifice fly to center to plate Orsak and Villarreal who started the inning with back-to-back singles.
In the sixth, sophomore Rhi Kliesing launched her seventh home run of the season – a two-run shot to right field – to increase the Aggie lead to 6-1. Ridley led off the inning with a hard-hit single up the middle.
Kliesing picked up her 19th win of the season allowing just one unearned run in a complete game. She gave up six hits, walked three and struck out one. Brandi Crnkovic was saddled with the loss after the Aggies scored five runs off of seven hits. Morgan Mikulin relieved Crnkovic and gave up the other two hits and a run.
The Aggies close out their regular season home schedule this weekend with a two-game series against Iowa State. Seniors Holly Ridley, Erin Glasco and Savana Lloyd will be honored following Sunday’s game.