COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Solo home runs from senior Jenna Stark and freshman Reagan Boenker were the Aggies only hits of the night as the No. 24 Texas A&M softball team (34-20) edged Oklahoma State (27-24) 2-1, Friday in game one of a two-game nonconference series at the Aggie Softball Complex.
The Aggies had three fruitless innings, offensively, before Stark’s fourth-inning shot over right field halted the no-hitter and gave Texas A&M a 1-0 lead on the Cowgirls. Boenker’s blast came in the bottom of the fifth inning and pointed to her home town as it topped the fence in left field and sailed north toward Bryan. The long ball was the first of the freshman’s young career.
A sixth-inning solo home run gave the Cowgirls their only run of the day, despite collecting six hits on the night and sending runners into scoring position in the first and second innings.
Only two other Aggies reached base on the night. Senior Emily Albus led off in the bottom of the first with a bunt to the pitcher, who bobbled the ball and allowed the Texas A&M centerfielder to reach on an error. A fielder’s choice in the next at-bat sent Albus back to the dugout as senior Amber Garza reached. Albus also reached in the third inning on the only walk tossed by Oklahoma State.
Sophomore Katie Marks (15-4) threw seven complete innings for the win, giving up one earned run on six hits while striking out four. OSU starter Whitney Whitehorn (4-9) suffered the loss as she allowed one earned run on one hit and added a walk and one strikeout on the four-inning effort.
The Aggies will host OSU in the final game of the regular season Saturday, honoring the eight Texas A&M seniors after the game in a special Senior Day celebration. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.
HEAD COACH JO EVANS
On Katie Marks’ effort in the circle
“She really helped her cause. She made some really great plays. She fielded a couple of drag bunts, the one shot right at her she came up with. I thought she was terrific out there on defense. Pitching-wise, she had all of her good stuff. She hit her spots. She made very few mistakes the entire night. She pitched a gem of a game. I’m really excited for her. She needed that. You could see her feel good the other night when she threw the no-hitter. For her to come out here against a quality opponent – a Big 12 opponent – and look so sharp, I’m really excited for her.”
On the offensive game…
“Talk about making the most of your two hits. I thought Jenna did a great job just to hit the ball hard somewhere. We didn’t have good [at-bats] our first round of at-bats. And then you could see in our second round we were starting to get on the ball and hit the ball hard. We hit it right at a couple of people. And then Jenna going opposite field – she got all of that. Any time our kids go [opposite] and hit it hard like that, of course over the wall is a bonus, but to really hit it on the screws like Jenna did is great. And Reagan Boenker – I couldn’t be happier for that kid. She’s a great kid, she works hard, she’s a great team player, she’s a local product here in Bryan High. When Reagan took that big cut and fouled it straight back here to the press box, I was excited because that was the best swing I’ve seen her have all year long. And then she backed it up with the next swing that went out of the park. What I thought she did a great job with was the strike zone. She really managed the strike zone well. She knew what was a ball and what was a strike, and she dug in there and got rid of some pitches that she couldn’t really get to. That says a lot about her as a hitter and recognizing what she can and can’t hit, and really taking advantage of something that she squared up there.”