FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 17th-ranked Texas A&M softball team (26-9, 7-5) earned its first conference series sweep of the season as the Aggies took an 11-7 victory in the Southeastern Conference series finale at Arkansas (23-14, 2-7), Sunday at Bogle Park. With the win, the Aggies end the weekend with a 3-0 series win, the second of the season for Texas A&M.
Amber Garza had a big day at the plate, picking up six RBI on a double and a home run, and added a base hit and a walk to her tally. The senior’s six RBI were a new season high for her, and tied the most of her career in a single game. Senior Nicole Morgan was 2-for-3 on the day with two base hits, two walks and four runs scored. Senior Cassie Tysarczyk was also a major part of the Aggies’ production, reaching base four times on the day with three base hits and two runs scored.
Senior Emily Albus was 8-for-13 on the weekend, contributing eight hits and two walks to lead the Aggies at the plate against the Razorbacks. The speedster reached eight straight times over three games on the weekend.
“It’s really tough to do – to go anywhere in the SEC on the road and sweep,” Head Coach Jo Evans said. “For us to come here and take care of business like this in some hard-fought games, in every game we were behind at some point, was huge. What we did so well was answer back. Every time they scored, we answered right back. I’m really proud of our kids. I thought our approach was really good, and our mentality – I felt like we were here to win games.”
A bases-clearing double from Garza in the top of the first gave the Aggies a jump on the Razorbacks. Albus led off with a base hit to left field and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. A walk from Morgan and a fielder’s choice from Tysarczyk loaded the bases as an Arkansas error failed to remove a runner on the play. With one out, Garza sent a laser down the line in right field to hoist the Aggies to a 3-0 advantage.
Texas A&M allowed the Razorbacks to put a runner on base in the second at bat of the bottom of the second, but secured two quick outs. Arkansas’ bats came alive, however, and the Razorbacks took a 5-3 lead as they scored all five runs with two outs on the board. The home team had two base hits, a home run, a double, a walk and a triple in the second frame to take the lead.
Garza’s blast over right-centerfield cut the Razorbacks’ celebration short as it gave the Aggies a new, 6-5 lead. The shot was the first home run of the weekend for Texas A&M.
A hit batter, a base hit and a double to left added a run to the board for Arkansas in the bottom of the inning to knot the score at 6-6.
The Aggies broke free from the draw in the top of the fourth inning, plating four runs for the 10-6 lead. Each of the Aggies’ runs in the half-inning were unearned as the Razorbacks committed their third error of the game and the 13th of the weekend.
Morgan and Tysarczyk hit back-to-back singles to reach base and were joined on the bags by Garza, who drew a walk. Freshman Abby Donnell put a ball in play that was bobbled at third base, allowing Morgan to score the 7-6 run.
A fielder’s choice reloaded the bases but sent Tysarczyk back to the dugout before senior Jenna Stark was hit by a pitch to force Garza home. Freshman April Ryan lined a base hit up the middle to plate two runs as the Aggies took a 10-6 advantage over the Razorbacks.
Donnell used an RBI groundout in the fifth to stretch the Texas A&M lead to 11-6. Morgan led off with her second walk of the day and was joined on base by Tysarczyk, who hit a shot to shortstop for her third-straight single of the game. A groundout moved the pair into scoring position before Morgan sped home for her fourth run of the game as Donnell was tossed out at first.
A solo home run in the bottom of the sixth by the Razorbacks narrowed the Aggies lead by a run, but Texas A&M maintained an 11-7 advantage for the win.
Redshirt Junior Rachel Fox (9-5) earned the win in the circle for the Aggies, tossing three strikeouts in four innings of relief and allowing two earned runs on seven hits. Arkansas starter Grace Moll (8-4) suffered the loss, allowing five earned runs on nine hits and four walks through 3 2/3 innings pitched.
Up next, the Aggies travel to Houston on Wednesday to make up a midweek game that was postponed earlier in the season for rain. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. CT. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.