COLUMBIA, Mo.- Sharonda McDonald went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored, a RBI and a stolen base, and Amanda Scarborough threw her seventh shutout of the season as the 5th-ranked Texas A&M softball (37-7, 10-4 Big 12) beat the Missouri Tigers (33-19, 9-2 Big 12) 7-0 on Sunday afternoon at University Field.
“It was nice to see us step up. Our kids did a nice job of staying focused and confident and taking charge of this game,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “I thought Sharonda was great. She was on all day and scored a couple of runs for us. There was also timely hitting today that we didn’t get yesterday. Our defense looked good and Scarborough of course was right on.”
The Aggies struck early in the second inning with a two-out, solo shot, opposite field by Alex Reynolds, giving A&M a 1-0 lead. It was the third home run of the season by the freshman from Tomball, Texas.
McDonald scored the first of her two runs in the third, reaching on her second infield single, and moving up on a sacrifice by Macie Morrow, who reached on a throwing error. McDonald took home on Morrow’s caught stealing at second.
A five-run fifth inning solidified the win for the Aggies. Jamie Hinshaw started the frame by drawing a walk on four pitches. Jami Lobpries sacrificed Hinshaw to second and Joy Davis reached on a throwing error, allowing Hinshaw to come around to score. Reynolds logged her second hit of the game, a double down the left field line. Lisa Gorzycki brought Davis home on a fielder’s choice. Singles by McDonald and Megan Gibson brought the remaining runners in, giving A&M a 7-0 lead going into the bottom of the inning.
“I was pleased to see our kids looking to drag (bunt) a couple of times up,” Evans continued. “Bruck came up and struggled to throw to first, that’s putting pressure on their defense. Our kids were looking for hits. I’m really pleased with their savvy at the plate, looking for ways to get on base.”
After an Aggie fielding error and a single by Amanda Renth in the seventh, Scarborough dug in and struck out the next three batters to retire the side and earn her 19th win of the season. The junior from Magnolia, Texas worked seven complete giving up just two hits while striking out six Tiger batters. Scarborough has thrown a career high 30.1 consecutive scoreless innings in the circle for the Aggies.
“Amanda looked very good on the mound,” Evans ended. “As everyone knows, Missouri is a good hitting team. To shut them down the way she did, to never have any trouble or feel any pressure, is great for our team.”
Jen Bruck (16-6), yesterday’s winning pitcher, suffered the loss for Missouri, working four innings giving up seven runs on seven hits. Four of the seven runs were earned. The senior, righty struck out two and walked two. Jana Hainey and Megan Dennis combined for the remaining three innings allowing just one hit in relief work.
Reynolds ended the afternoon going 2-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI. McDonald’s four hits were a career high for the senior centerfielder.
The Aggies return home for a Wednesday match up against the 19th-ranked Texas Longhorns in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown. The game is set for 6:30 p.m. and will be televised by CSTV.
Texas A&M........... 011 500 0 - 7 7 2
Missouri............ 000 000 0 - 0 2 5
E - Scarborough; Davis; Bowers; Bruck 2; Dennis; White. DP - A&M 1. LOB - A&M 6; MU 3. 2B - Reynolds. HR - Reynolds. SH -
Morrow 2; Lobpries; Davis. SF - Morrow. SB - McDonald; Gorzycki. CS - Morrow.
Win - Scarborough (19-4). Loss - Bruck (16-6).