COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – In the first-ever meeting between the two teams, the 18th-ranked Texas A&M softball team (26-10, 7-5 SEC) finishes off a seven-game road swing with a three-game Southeastern Conference series at No. 12 Kentucky (29-7, 5-4 SEC) this weekend. Game one between the Aggies and the Wildcats is slated for a 5 p.m. CT/6 ET first pitch on Friday at John Cropp Stadium, followed by game two Saturday at 5 p.m. CT/6 ET and the series finale at noon CT/1 ET Sunday.
The Aggies and Wildcats will face off twice on television this weekend, with Saturday and Sunday’s contests being aired live by FSN South. Saturday’s broadcast will be a local production in the Lexington region with open areas picking up the game. Sunday’s game is a national broadcast. Check your local listings for more information. Sunday’s game will also be available on ESPN3 and at ESPN.go.com.
Fans can listen to the live audio broadcast of all three games this weekend on Sports Radio 1150 AM The Zone in the Bryan-College Station area, online at AggieAthletics.com or RadioAggieland.com, and on mobile via the Radio Aggieland app.
Instantaneous live mobile stats can be seen from any mobile device, as well as any computer at TAMUstats.com. Live stats will also be available for every game of the 2014 season through AggieAthletics.com. Click on the live stats link on the Aggie softball schedule page any time after first pitch to follow the action.
LAST TIME OUT
The Aggies dropped a one-run game at the University of Houston on Wednesday. Senior Nicole Morgan picked up Texas A&M’s lone RBI in the 1-2 loss with a double to left field in the third inning. Senior Emily Albus was 3-for-4 at the plate with three infield hits, and scored the team’s only run. Texas A&M’s only other hit of the night was a second-inning single to centerfield by senior Jenna Stark. Sophomore Katie Marks (12-2) suffered just her second loss of the year with a complete-game effort, allowing two earned run on two hits and four walks while striking out three.
The Wildcats enter this weekend’s series with a 29-7 overall record, and a 5-4 mark in conference play. Kentucky is hosting its second-straight SEC opponent of the season, after dropping a 2-1 series to Auburn at home last weekend. The Wildcats had a solid start to the season, going 12-0 against worthy opponents that include reigning national champion Oklahoma. In SEC play, the team has won series on the road against Mississippi State (2-1) and Missouri (2-1) and dropped the series vs. Auburn. Emily Gaines leads a powerful Kentucky offense with a .421 average and a .667 slugging percentage at the plate. Griffin Joiner’s eight home runs, 25 RBI and 28 walks are team bests, and she adds seven doubles and 16 runs to the tally. In the circle Lauren Cumbess leads the way with a perfect 8-0 record in 14 appearances and 12 starts, tossing 62 Ks on her way to a 1.60 ERA. Cumbess is also a threat at the plate, leading the team with eight doubles and adding five home runs for 19 RBI. Kelsey Nunley (13-3) is right behind Cumbess with a 1.82 ERA, while leading the UK pitching staff with 95 strikeouts in 115 2/3 innings of work.
VS. THE WILDCATS
The Aggies and Wildcats will meet for the first time ever on Friday night. Texas A&M is no stranger to UK’s year-old John Cropp Stadium, however, as the Aggies played Alabama in the first game of the 2013 SEC Tournament hosted by Kentucky just after the stadium’s completion last May.
MORGAN DRAFTED BY REBELLION
Senior Nicole Morgan was chosen as the No. 17 overall pick in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Draft by the Pennsylvania Rebellion Monday night. Morgan was the first selection of the fifth round of the draft, and the fifth pick by the Rebellion. The Rebellion are in their first season in the NPF after coming together in November of 2013, inheriting the roster of the NY/NJ Comets. Based in Washington, Penn., the team will play at CONSOL Energy Park as they compete for the first time in 2014.
EVANS NEARING 700 WINS AT A&M
Texas A&M Head Coach Jo Evans is closing in on her 700th win at Texas A&M. In her 18th season with the Aggies, Evans is just two wins away from the milestone heading into Friday night’s game against Kentucky. Also closing in on her 700th win at Texas A&M is Associate Head Coach Joy Jackson, who has been with Evans since day one with the Aggies. Evans reached the 1,000th win of her career on March 1 when the Aggies beat Wisconsin, 6-2. The milestone makes Evans the only active Southeastern Conference coach with 1,000 Division I wins, and one of just eight DI coaches nationwide with 1,000 victories as a DI head coach. The Aggie skipper began her head coaching career at Colorado State, posting a 91-67 record from 1986-89. Taking a job at her alma mater next, Evans led Utah to the Women’s College World Series (WCWS) in 1991 and recording a 222-143 mark from 1990-96.
In the latest statistical updates, the Aggies continue to lead the league in runners picked off with eight. Individually, senior Morgan’s seven pickoffs as the Aggies’ starting catcher are a Southeastern Conference best, and she ranks among the top ten in the SEC in slugging percentage (6th), on base percentage (8th), RBI (t-3rd), home runs (t-3rd) and walks (2nd). Senior Emily Albus is first among league hitters with 59 hits, sits at third with a .461 batting average and ranks sixth with 14 stolen bases. Donnell has finished more games than any other hurler in the league (17), while ranking first among SEC pitchers with five saves.
VS. THE NATION
Texas A&M is No. 11 in the latest RPI rankings, and Kentucky sits at No. 18. In the latest updates, through last weekend’s games, the Aggies sit at 13th in the nation in scoring, 24th in win-loss percentage and 21st in fielding percentage. Individually, Albus ranks 21st in batting average, and Morgan is listed at 3rd in walks, 24th in on base percentage, and tied with senior Cassie Tysarczyk in sacrifice flies. Donnell’s five saves are a national best.
RANKING THE AGGIES
Texas A&M started the 2014 season with a No. 11 preseason ranking in both national polls and are currently ranked No. 18 in the NFCA/USA Today Top 25 Poll and No. 21 the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll. The Aggies’ remaining 2014 opponents in the top 25 are No. 2/2 Tennessee, No. 6/7 Florida, No. 12/12 Kentucky and No. 19/19 Auburn.
FOLLOW THE AGGIES
Get the latest news, updates and action from Aggie Softball by following the team’s official Twitter account @AggieSoftball. Fans on Facebook can also stay connected by liking the Aggie Softball page (facebook.com/TAMUSoftball).
Aggie Softball fans worldwide can listen to each game of the 2014 season live on AggieAthletics.com. All contests are provided by The Zone and can be heard on smartphones and HD radios via 95.1-3 The Zone HD on the Radio Aggieland app. Select games are also available in the Bryan-College Station area on Sports Radio 1150 AM. Every game will be live online at RadioAggieland.com and AggieAthletics.com.
MOBILE LIVE STATS
Fans who wish to follow the action of each game this season can also receive free, instantaneous live stats on any computer or smartphone by visiting TAMUstats.com. Users can access current live stats and stats from past games.
WATCH THE AGGIES ONLINE
For the 11th straight season, 12th Man TV will bring Aggies around the globe live video of Texas A&M softball. Fans will be able to watch all non-televised Aggie home games, along with select road games, through the all-new 12th Man TV. Subscription packages start at $11.95/month and include exclusive live and on-demand content not found anywhere else. For more information log on to AggieAthletics.com.
AGGIE SOFTBALL ON TV
The Aggies will play at least five games on national TV this season, beginning with a pair of SEC games vs. Kentucky on Saturday, April 5 at 5 p.m. CT and Sunday, April 6 game noon CT. Both A&M-UK matchups will be broadcast live on Fox Sports South. Of the Aggies’ five televised contests, four will be played at the Aggie Softball Complex. The Aggies will host 2013 national runner-up and top-ranked Tennessee on ESPNU on Friday, April 11 at 7 p.m. CT and Sunday, April 13 at noon CT. A week later the Aggies and No. 3 Florida will face off on ESPNU – Friday, April 18 at 7 p.m. CT and Saturday, April 19 at 5 p.m. CT.
In addition to the five regular-season games, the entire SEC tournament, including both play-in games, will be broadcast on ESPN networks. The SEC Tournament is set for May 7-10 in Columbia, S.C.
All tickets may be purchased over the phone at 1-888-99-AGGIE OR 979-845-2311, online at tickets.12thManFoundation.com, or in person at The Zone at Kyle Field ticket office. Season tickets are currently available for just $125. Individual game tickets for softball will go on sale in January and are $10 for reserved (sections 4-8) and $8 for Adult General Admission (sections 1-3). Youth GA tickets are available for $5 each. Group rates are also available to groups of at least 20, and cost $8 for reserved seats and $3 for GA. Texas A&M students with no all-sports option may purchase a student walkup ticket for $5. Junior Aggie Club members are admitted free of charge to all Aggie softball games. Membership to the JAC is just $25, and information is available at www.JuniorAggieClub.com.
Each game at the Aggie Softball Complex features special promotions and incentives for fans in attendance. To check out updates to the team’s full 2014 promotional calendar, go to www.AggieAthletics.com/promotions.
Parking for all Aggie softball games is available in Lot 100 at both Reed Arena and Olsen Field. For games that do not conflict with baseball, the entry gate on the Reed Arena side of the stadium will not be opened; fans are encouraged to park at Olsen Field for those games to allow easy access to the stadium entrance. Visitors may park for free when there is not a conflict with an A&M men’s basketball or baseball game. This does not include 24-hour numbered, 12th Man or timed spaces. Visit transportation.tamu.edu for more information.
Texas A&M will return home for a nine-game home stand, beginning with an SEC series against No. 2 Tennessee next weekend. Friday and Sunday’s games against the Lady Vols will be aired on ESPNU. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.