Aggies Rally from Five Run Deficit to Win Regional Opener Against Sam Houston

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COLLEGE STATION -- Amanda Scarborough pitched six shutout innings in relief and Alex Reynolds was 2-for-2 at the plate with two runs scored and three RBIs as the 7th-ranked Texas A&M softball team overcame a five-run first inning deficit to beat the Sam Houston State Bearkats 9-5 in Friday’s second game of the College Station Regional.

The win gives the Aggies a 41-10 season record while the loss drops Sam Houston to 37-25 on the year.

“I thought Sam Houston, obviously came out prepared and did a great job in the first inning,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “They were very aggressive at the plate and swung at a lot of first pitch strikes. They won the first inning and fortunately for us we won the innings afterwards. I thought our hitters looked great today at the plate. I liked the fire in our bellies that we came out with. I thought our kids showed a lot of maturity and a lot of poise not to get tight when we were down five runs.”

Megan Gibson earned the start for A&M in the circle and allowed five runs in the first frame off five hits and a walk.

Amy Brown led off in the first with a double in the left-centerfield gap. A Mandy Collier double down the leftfield line and three singles by Tanya Hooser, Janaye Richardson and Sara Parich allowed the Bearkats to take a 5-0 lead into the home-half of the inning.

The Aggies slowly mounted a comeback, posting three runs in the second when Alex Reynolds led off with a single to right field. Joy Davis laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Reynolds to second. Freshman shortstop Macie Morrow bounced a triple off the top of the right field wall back into fair territory to score Reynolds. Sharonda McDonald reached on a single and moved to second, allowing Morrow to score on a muffed throw by Sam Houston catcher Casey Everitt. McDonald would plate A&M’s third run off a sharply hit single down the right field line by Jamie Hinshaw.

A five-run A&M fourth was capped by Reynolds’ three-run home run to bring A&M’s go-ahead run home. It was the freshman’s fourth home run of the season, giving her 16 RBIs.

The Aggies added an insurance run in the fifth, making the score 9-5. McDonald, who reached on a single up the middle, scored from third base as Gibson was caught trying to steal second.

Scarborough was brought in for Gibson in the second allowing just one hit the rest of the way through, striking out five Bearkat batters earning her 22nd win of the season.

“Scarborough was terrific,” Evans said. “I thought she showed great poise and was in control. When she was behind, she made pitches to come back. That was vintage Scarborough out there today. That’s what we’ve seen out of her when she’s been at her best. I think Sam Houston saw her at her best.”

Brandi Crnkovic (19-12) was charged with the loss for the Bearkats. She worked three and two-thirds innings, giving up eight runs on eight hits. She surrendered four free passes. Morgan Mikulkin finished the remaining two and one-thirds innings. Mikulkin gave up a run on two hits and two walks.

McDonald finished the afternoon going 2-for-3 at the plate with three runs scored. Along with the single and home run, Reynolds drew a walk and laid down a sacrifice bunt.

The Houston Cougars won the first game of the day 3-1 against the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and will face A&M on Saturday at 12 p.m. The Aggies will be the home team. Live audio and video of the game will be available on AggieAthletics.com.

Sam Houston......... 500 000 0 - 5 6 3
Texas A&M........... 030 510 X - 9 10 1

E - Brown(3); Everitt(7); Richardson(6); Hinshaw(11). DP - A&M 1. LOB - SHSU 5; A&M 7. 2B - Brown(8); Collier(13). 3B -

Morrow(1). HR - Reynolds(4). SH - Everitt(5); McDonald(5); Reynolds(8); Davis(6). SB - Hinshaw(23). CS - Gibson(1).

Win - Scarborough (22-7). Loss - Crnkovic (19-12). Save - None.

WP - Crnkovic(9); Gibson(9).