COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Megan Gibson and Amanda Scarborough both went 2-for-2 at the plate and both recorded an RBI as the 3rd-ranked Texas A&M softball team (27-3, 1-0) handed the Iowa State Cyclones (17-23, 0-1) a 4-1 loss in the Big 12 Conference opener at the Aggie Softball Complex.
“It was good to get that first conference win under our belt,” commented A&M head coach Jo Evans. “Defensively, we’re doing what we need to do. Offensively, I really thought we looked good in the middle of our line up, the three, four, five spots of Hinshaw, Gibson and Scarborough all looked good at the plate today and set the table for us. It’s nice to see them have the confidence that they can get out there and score with two outs and put pressure on defenses.”
Pinch-hitter Holly Ridley would give the Aggies a little insurance in the fourth as she fouled off several pitches before dropping in a shallow two-run single just behind second base to score Gibson and Scarborough who’d reached on back-to-back two-out hits. A&M held onto the 4-1 lead for the win.
“I’m really excited for Holly,” Evans continued. “I know she wants to be in the lineup and is working hard everyday. In that situation, I wanted to put a hitter up there that was going to be aggressive. I knew Holly would be and look for strikes early in the count. She did a nice job. It was a huge timely hit for us. I’m excited that she could come off the bench prepared and get the job done.”
The Aggies took an early lead plating two runs in the first inning. With two outs, Jamie Hinshaw hit a single into centerfield and quickly stole second. Gibson then recorded her 21st RBI of the season, driving a double down the right field line. Gibson then made the score 2-0, coming home on a sharply hit single to center by Scarborough.
Scarborough wasn’t only stout at the plate, but on the mound as well. The junior pitcher logged her 13th win of the season, working seven complete, allowing just four hits, no walks, and no earned runs as she fanned 12 Cyclone batters.
“I thought that Amanda was fantastic on the mound,” Evans concluded. “She controlled every at bat of the game. The hits that she gave up were not hard hits; they sort of had eyes on them and found a hole. There isn’t one hitter that I thought she should have thrown differently, and that’s hard to do. Occasionally you’re going to make a mistake and she just didn’t. She was in total control. I am very excited about her outing.”
Iowa State’s only run of the game came in the second inning off an Aggie throwing error by Macie Morrow.
Sharonda McDonald extended her hitting streak to 16 games as she lined a single up the middle in her last at bat of the game.
A&M will conclude the two-game series against Iowa State on Sunday with a Cox Sports Televised game set to begin at 12 p.m.
Iowa State.......... 010 000 0 - 1 4 0
Texas A&M........... 200 020 X - 4 8 1
Win - Scarborough (13-2). Loss - Ransom (6-8). Save - None.
PB - Killeen.