COLLEGE STATION, Texas- The 7th-ranked Texas A&M softball allowed two runs in the third and six in the fourth, all unearned, as it fell to the Houston Cougars 8-1 on Saturday afternoon in the winners' bracket of the NCAA College Station Regional.
With the loss, the Aggies (41-11) will face the winner of the Sam Houston/Louisiana-Lafayette in an elimination game at 5:30 p.m. Houston (44-16) will advance to Sunday’s regional championship game at 1 p.m.
A&M's game will be broadcast locally on SportsRadio 1150 The Zone.
“Well obviously it was a disappointing loss for us,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “We went into the game feeling good about ourselves and it’s disappointing in terms of our defensive miscues because when you give up eight unearned runs it’s pretty hard to win a ballgame. Our defense has been so solid for us pretty much all year so it’s a little surprising for us not to take care of the ball.”
Amanda Scarborough (22-8) started the game for A&M and worked three and two-third innings. All eight of Houston’s runs came with Scarborough on the mound, but none were earned as two Aggie fielding errors kept the Cougar at-bats alive. The junior from Magnolia, Texas struck out five while walking three.
Senior Laura Durham highlighted the scoring for Houston, belting a two-out grand slam over the right field wall in the fourth. After Angel Shamblin flied out to start the inning and Courtney Spittler struck out, an over throw to first by Scarborough opened the door for Houston to draw a walk and record three hits before the Durham home run.
The Aggies only run of the game came in the third as Sharonda McDonald began the inning with a triple into the right-centerfield gap. The speedster came home on a single by Jamie Hinshaw that scooted into left field.
McDonald ended the game going 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored and her 33rd stolen base of the season.
“I thought early on we had some really good at-bats,” Evans said. “We set the table for ourselves. Sharonda stepped up and got the big triple and then Hinshaw gets an RBI. We’re feeling good about ourselves going into that. It was unfortunate that we didn’t take care of business in the top of the fourth inning and then after that I felt like the wind went out of our sails and we didn’t have the same kind of at-bats we’d had the first three innings.”
Megan Gibson finished the game in the circle for the Aggies. She worked three and one-thirds inning allowing just one hit. Gibson walked two and struck out two.
Shamblin (31-7) recorded her first win against the Aggies in four appearances. The junior from Davie, Fla. worked seven complete, surrendering five hits and two walks. She struck out six A&M hitters.
Houston............. 002 600 0 - 8 9 0
Texas A&M........... 001 000 0 - 1 5 2
E - Scarborough(4); Davis(10). DP - HOU 1. LOB - HOU 7; A&M 5. 2B - Morrow(10). 3B - McDonald(1). HR - Durham La.(10). SH -
Grote(12); Raley(13); Wagner(8). SB - Grote(4); H. Valis(4); McDonald(33); Hinshaw(24); Scarborough(2).
Win - Shamblin (31-7). Loss - Scarborough (22-8).