OKLAHOMA CITY- The No. 4 Texas A&M softball team ended the season with a 7-4 loss to the No. 8 Baylor Lady Bears in an elimination game of the 2007 Women’s College World Series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
The loss moved A&M’s overall record to 46-14 while Baylor improved to 51-15 with the win. Baylor will face Northwestern in an elimination game later this evening.
“I thought our team came out and really fought hard,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “These games are hard to lose when your season has ended. Baylor came out and was aggressive. It was one of those games where I felt like we ran out of time. Our kids were really fired up and playing as hard as we could play. This game was a tough one to swallow. Congratulations to Baylor on a fantastic season. They did a nice job.”
A three-run home run by College Station-native Courtney Oberg, gave Baylor a 6-1 lead during the third inning. The lead held for the win.
Megan Gibson hit a solo shot in the first inning, her 13th homerun of the season, 43rd career, to give the Aggies a 1-0 advantage in the top of the first inning.
“Megan did a great job getting up in the first inning for us and hitting a long ball,” Evans noted. “I thought she really saw the ball well today.”
Baylor quickly countered with two runs in the bottom half of the frame. Ashley Monceaux led-off with a single into right field. Monceaux was thrown out on a fielder’s choice hit by freshman Kirsten Shortridge. Brette Reagan reached on a single. Catcher Chelsi Lake drove in both Monceaux and Reagan with a double off the left-centerfield wall.
Monceaux dropped a double just behind third base to start the third frame. Reagan bunted back to Scarborough who over threw first base allowing Monceaux to come home. Lake drew a walk before Oberg sent a first-pitch three-run blast over the leftfield fence, giving Baylor a 6-1 lead.
The Lady Bears used a three-hit sixth to add an insurance run. Scoring on the play was pinch hitter Jordan Daniels who entered the game for shortstop Maritza Martinez.
The Aggies mounted a rally in the fifth scoring two runs with the bases loaded. With one out, Macie Morrow, Joy Davis and pinch hitter Holly Ridley loaded the bases with three consecutive singles. Sharonda McDonald flied out for the second out of the inning before Jamie Hinshaw lined the first pitch she saw up the middle scoring Morrow and Davis. Hinshaw logged her 12th multi-RBI game of the season. The inning ended with Hinshaw being retired 6-to-4 on Gibson’s fielder’s choice.
A&M trailed 7-3 heading into the sixth and managed to scratch across another run on a throwing error by Baylor third baseman Reagan. Scarborough reached third and designated player Alex Reynolds moved to second when Reagan muffed a throw to Monceaux at first. Morrow hit a deep fly to centerfield allowing Scarborough to tag up for the Aggies’ fourth and final run of the game.
Scarborough suffered her 10th loss of the season, allowing six runs, five earned, on six hits, a walk and a hit batsman in just 2.2 innings of work. Gibson entered in relief and worked the remaining 3.1 innings, surrendering a run on three hits.
“The thing I thought (Baylor) did really well early on was staying off Amanda’s drop ball,” Evans said. “They had really good discipline at the plate early on. They made Amanda come up in the strike zone to them. I thought their hitters really set the tone with their discipline.”
Lisa Ferguson (26-8) earned the win in the circle for Baylor. The senior worked all seven innings giving up four runs on seven hits. She did not allow a walk as she struck out five.
The 46 wins by the ’07 squad was the fourth most by the Aggie softball team since joining the NCAA in 1983.
Texas A&M........... 100 021 0 - 4 7 1
Baylor.............. 204 001 X - 7 9 1
E - Scarborough; Reagan. LOB - A&M 4; BU 4. 2B - Monceaux; Lake. 3B - Colyer. HR - Gibson; Oberg. HBP - Wesley, T.. SH -
Reagan. SF - Morrow.
Win - Ferguson (26-8). Loss - Scarborough (26-10). Save - None.
HBP - by Scarborough (Wesley, T.).