LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The No. 17 Texas A&M softball team (2-0) pounded CSU Bakersfield (0-2), 7-1, Saturday in the Aggies’ second day of UCLA’s Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament.
Junior Nicole Morgan had five RBI on a pair of home runs, including a seventh-inning grand slam, to lead the Aggies to a 7-1 victory over CSUB in A&M’s first game of the day.
Sophomore Lauren Ainsley got her first start of the season in the circle against the Roadrunners and took control of the defense early, ending the day with a career game-high 10 strikeouts. The right-hander tossed six strikeouts through the first three innings for the Aggies.
Junior Jenna Stark started the scoring in her home state with a single through the left side that scored junior Cassie Tysarczyk from third in the top of the second against CSU Bakersfield. Tysarczyk reached on a hit by pitch and stole second before an Amber Garza base hit pounded through the right side sent her to scoring position at third base.
Despite having five hits on the board, the Aggies were unable to reach above their 1-0 lead through five innings. Sophomore Kaydee Rayburn hit a first-pitch bunt single while pinch hitting in the top of the fifth and moved to second on a groundout but was left stranded in scoring position.
In the bottom of the half-inning, Ainsley caught a batter swinging for her eighth strikeout of the game, tying the sophomore’s career single-game high.
The Aggies broke the one-run lead in the top of the sixth when junior Nicole Morgan found her perfect pitch and sent it searing down the left field line and over the fence for a solo home run, her second bomb and fifth RBI of the season.
With A&M leading 2-0, junior Amber Garza hit an infield flare to reach first before running to second on a passed ball and third on a wild pitch. The third baseman was left on her bag, however, and the Aggies maintained their two-run lead.
Ainsley’s strikeouts became a career-high nine in the bottom of the sixth before the Roadrunners scored an unearned run on a single through the right side with two outs. Facing CSUB power-hitter Jessica Castaneda, Ainsley got ahead in the count, 0-2, before throwing a pair of balls to even the count. A changeup strike caught Castaneda looking, and the Roadrunners left the half-inning trailing by one with two on base.
The top of the seventh inning gave the Aggies run security when senior Meagan May reached on an RBI error and Morgan cleared the fence again for a grand slam. Morgan has nine RBI through her first two games of the season.
The Roadrunners had no response to the Aggies’ late surge, and A&M improved to 2-0 on the season with the victory.
Ainsley (1-0) tossed a career-best 10 strikeouts and gave up no earned runs on two hits and no walks to lead the Aggies to the win. CSUB’s Kelsie Monroe (0-2) threw six innings, giving up six earned runs on nine hits and two walks while fanning two.
Up next, the Aggies will take on Wright State (0-2) in the team’s third game of UCLA’s Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.
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