COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Megan Gibson struck out a career-high 12 batters and Sharonda McDonald was 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored as the 5th-ranked Texas A&M softball team (39-7, 12-4 Big 12) shutout the Texas Tech Red Raiders (18-26, 1-12 Big 12) 5-0 in front of 1,131 fans on Saturday afternoon at the Aggie Softball Complex.
“I love the way we set the table all day,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “We didn’t always get timely hits; I don’t know how many runners we left in scoring position, but our kids really looked good at the plate. I can’t say enough good things about Gibson and (Amanda) Scarborough, getting up there and getting huge RBIs in clutch situations and really making things happen for our team.”
Modeling games of late, the Aggies plated two runs in the first inning. Sharonda McDonald led-off with an infield single and moved over to second on a sac bunt by Macie Morrow. Gibson drew her 45th walk of the season and scored off Scarborough’s double to the right-centerfield wall, giving A&M a 2-0 lead.
The Aggies added another run in the second, pushing their lead 3-0. Mandy Gegen earned a walk to start the inning. A&M loaded the bases with back-to-back singles by Joy Davis and McDonald. Morrow recorded her second sac of the day, a fly ball to centerfield that brought Gegen home.
Tech’s biggest chance to score came in the top of third with bases loaded and just one out. Gibson dug in and was able to coax two strikeouts to end any threat.
“To me, the key for us, besides scoring early was Gibson getting out of the third inning,” Evans continued. “That could have made a huge difference in the game if they got up there and got a big hit and scored some runs. I was really excited for Gibson to get out of that inning.”
A&M added an insurance run in the third and another in the sixth to put the game out of reach for Tech.
Gibson (16-3) allowed just three hits and three runners to reach scoring position. She walked one in seven innings of work, earning her seventh shutout of the season.
“Gibson threw a lot of pitches today,” Evans noted. “I know she had to be tired, but I thought she got better as the day went on. She threw her change up really well to keep their hitters off balance, with that comes the strikeouts.”
Sarah Losleben (5-11) was charged with the loss for the Red Raiders. She worked three innings, giving up four runs on four hits and four walks. She struck out five Aggie batters. Ashly Jacobs finished the game in relief for Tech, working three innings, as well, giving up one run on four hits. She struck out one.
Gibson helped her cause at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, a run scored and a RBI.
Jami Lobpries was 1-for-1 with a run scored, drawing two walks on the day. Scarborough finished 1-for-3, logging her team-leading 40th and 41st RBIs of the season.
Sunday’s series finale between the Aggies and Red Raiders will serve as Senior Day at the Aggie Softball Complex. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. Immediately following the game will be an on field presentation of the 2007 softball seniors.
“It’s so much fun to play at home, the crowd was great today and I hope to see an even bigger one for tomorrow’s Senior Day,” Evans ended. “I think it is going to be a whole lot of fun. We’re very fond of our senior class and I’m excited that we get to recognize and honor them after the game.”