COLLEGE STATION -- Megan Gibson was 2-for-3 at the plate with two doubles and two runs scored and Amanda Scarborough threw her seventh shutout of the season as the 5th-ranked Texas A&M softball team (38-7, 11-4 Big 12) handed the 18th-ranked Texas Longhorns (29-16, 4-9 Big 12) a 3-0 loss in front of 1,809 fans in Wednesday night’s State Farm Lone Star Showdown at the Aggie Softball Complex.
“I thought we were right on our game tonight,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “We came out and played very aggressively. It’s always nice to get that early run. I’m excited to see our kids really confident at the plate. I thought we played with great intensity and great enthusiasm. It’s so fun to play here in front of a crowd and the atmosphere here tonight was amazing.”
Aggie centerfielder Sharonda McDonald led-off the first with a slap single down the left field line. Macie Morrow drew a walk to put runners on first and second. McDonald was thrown out on a fielder’s choice hit by Gibson. A single by Scarborough, the first of her two on the night, loaded the bases. Jami Lobpries earned a RBI by drawing a two-out walk with a 3-1 count. Morrow scored on the play, giving A&M an early 1-0 lead.
Scarborough gave up back-to-back singles in the second, but Kacie Gaskin was thrown out trying to steal second, killing any scoring threat by the Longhorns.
Gibson recorded her first double of the night in the third inning, driving a hard shot at the base of the right field wall. Scarborough came up with a big single, up the middle, for her team-leading 39th RBI of the season, giving the Aggies a 2-0 lead.
The fifth inning started out in the same manner as the third, with Gibson hitting a one-out double, this time to the right-centerfield wall. Texas relief pitcher Erin Tresselt intentionally walked Scarborough and Lobpries was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Freshman first baseman Alex Reynolds lined a single into left, giving the Aggies an insurance run, scoring Gibson from third.
“I was excited to see Alex step-up there after getting a couple of strikeouts,” Evans said. “Getting a big third RBI, I think that was the big difference in the game. You feel a whole lot better going into that last inning up three than you would up two.”
Meagan Denny (18-13) suffered the loss for Texas. She worked just three innings, allowing two runs on four hits. She walked two and struck out two. Tresselt, who was brought in at the top of the fourth, pitched three innings in relief. She was charged with the Aggies’ third run. She allowed one free pass and struck out one.
Scarborough (20-4) gave up just three hits in seven innings of work, earning her the victory. With the seven scoreless innings, Scarborough moves to 37.1 innings without surrendering a run. She walked three and struck out seven Longhorn hitters.
“I didn’t think Scarborough had her best stuff tonight,” Evans ended. “That’s the sign of a great pitcher, that she can work through that and find ways to get outs. I’m really proud of her, because she could have easily felt bad and said I can’t get this done, but she didn’t.”
Only one Texas batter, Loryn Johnson, reached scoring position. Johnson was retired heading to third, on a double play, five-unassisted to Reynolds at first to end the game.
Scarborough finished the evening going 2-for-2 at the plate with a RBI.
The Aggies will host Texas Tech in the final home series of the regular season on Saturday and Sunday. Game time on Saturday is set for 1 p.m.
Texas............... 000 000 0 - 0 3 0
Texas A&M........... 101 010 X - 3 6 1
E - Reynolds. LOB - TEXAS 5; A&M 8. 2B - Gibson 2. HBP - Lobpries 2. CS - Gaskin.
Win - Scarborough (20-4). Loss - Denny (18-13).