ATHENS, Ga. – The 13th-ranked Texas A&M softball team (35-11, 6-10 SEC) trails Georgia (33-15, 10-7 SEC), 0-2 in the three-game Southeastern Conference series, after a 12-7 loss to the Bulldogs on Saturday at the Jack Turner Softball Complex.
The Aggie bats were alive early, but weren’t enough to stave off an 18-hit effort by UGA.
A five-run top-of-the-first gave A&M an early advantage over Georgia. Junior Amber Garza’s two-out solo home run over right field started the scoring frenzy. Junior Jenna Stark was hit by the first pitch thrown to her, and junior Cassie Tysarczyk also reached on a hit-by-pitch, before Stark was plated on a double down the left-field line.
Freshman Cali Lanphear went yard to cap the two-out scoring session, clearing the wall in right and pushing Tysarczyk and Morgan home for the 5-0 lead.
A&M stranded two runners in scoring position in the top of the second, unable to stretch the lead any further.
Georgia used six base hits in the bottom of the second to narrow the A&M lead to 5-4. Two more runs, including a solo shot over right, by the Bulldogs in the bottom of the third gave UGA its first lead of the day at 6-5.
Sophomore Brittany Clopton reached on an infield single in the top of the fourth and was left stranded at third for the second time on the day as UGA maintained its one-run lead.
The Bulldogs expanded their lead to 9-5 in the bottom of the fourth on a three-run home run by Geri Ann Glasco. The freshman leads the SEC with 18 home runs this season. An RBI triple in the same half-inning pushed the UGA lead to 10-5.
The Aggie middle infield turned two double plays on the day. Junior shortstop Taran Tyler tagged second and threw to first for the first two outs of the bottom of the first, and second baseman Stark did the same in the bottom of the fourth.
UGA pulled to a seven-run lead in the bottom of the fifth as a two-run home run made the score 12-5. With runners on first and second, the Aggie defense collected two quick outs to prevent a five-inning run-rule.
Syndey Shannon’s pinch hit in the top of the sixth was productive as the senior singled to centerfield to get on base before junior Allison Garrett entered to run. Garrett slid into second in the next at-bat for a stolen base and took third on a groundout. With two outs, junior Kaydee Rayburn singled through the left side to score Garrett for the 12-6 run.
On the hunt for a rally, the Aggies entered the top of the seventh with junior Amber Garza at bat. The third baseman reached for the first time of the day, sending a base hit searing through the right side. A fielder’s choice sent Garza back to the dugout, but poised pinch runner Alex Masek at first as Tysarczyk drew a walk.
With two outs and two on, Lanphear picked up her fourth RBI of the day with a single through the right side that plated Masek for the 12-7 run. The late rally wasn’t enough, however, and Georgia took a 2-0 series lead.
Sophomore Sara Mireles (0-1) took the loss for A&M after allowing five earned runs on five hits and one walk, while tossing one strikeout. UGA’s Morgan Montemayor (10-6) earned the win after fanning eight and giving up two earned runs on five hits and three walks.
The Aggies and Bulldogs will face off in the series finale tomorrow at 1 p.m. Central in Athens. To listen to that game live, tune in to Sports Radio 1150 AM or log on to RadioAggieland.com. For more information on Texas A&M softball, go to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.