SAN DIEGO- Senior Megan Gibson improved to a perfect 16-0 on the season as the fifth-ranked Texas A&M softball team (28-5) handed Cal State Fullerton (14-12-1) a 4-1 loss on Saturday afternoon before dropping a 3-0 decision to tournament host No. 23 San Diego State (22-9) in wet and windy weather conditions at the SDSU Softball Stadium.
The Aggies scored first against the Titans, plating a run in the bottom of the first inning. Macie Morrow drew a walk to lead things off for A&M. Jami Lobpries laid down a sac bunt, advancing Morrow over to second. Two wild pitches by CSF’s starting pitcher Jessica Doucette allowed Morrow to take home standing up.
A&M would add three insurance runs in the third. With two outs Jamie Hinshaw laced a triple down the right field line. She was able to score when Aggie catcher Erin Glasco lined a double into the right-centerfield gap. Following Hinshaw’s lead, junior Holly Ridley lined a triple of her own into centerfield and then stole home for her eighth run scored of the season.
“It was nice to see us score early in the first and then again in the third inning,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “We scored three runs with two outs; our kids were very aggressive at the plate. We’ve got hitters all through our line up and we really believe that we can score in every inning. That is our goal. When you get out there and do it in the first inning, it puts a lot of pressure on their pitcher. It also puts more pressure on their hitters, to do maybe a little more than they need to. It’s a huge advantage to get that first run.”
Fullerton’s only run of the game came in the top of the sixth when Sheila Holguin drew a leadoff walk. Holguin moved into scoring position on a single into right field by Katie Gollhardt. A passed ball and sac fly by Courtney Martinez put the Titans on the board.
The run in the sixth was all Gibson would surrender as she picked up victory No. 16, working her 15th complete game of the season. In seven innings Gibson struckout seven batters allowed just one run on one walk and five hits.
“Again, I thought Gibson was really good on the mound,” Evans said. “She was in control. Fullerton really swings the bat well. They get up there and get their hacks in and they don’t get cheated at all. They made some good adjustments as the game went on. Gibson really showed a lot of poise. She had a couple times where she was in a jam and she just shut it right down.”
Doucette fell to 8-5 on the season after allowing the four earned runs on seven hits. She walked three Aggie batters while striking out five.
A&M’ second game of the day against SDSU was called in the bottom of the sixth inning due to unplayable field conditions.
The Aztecs were up 3-0 when it began to hail. All three of SDSU’s runs came in the first two innings with freshman Rhi Kliesing on the mound. In the first inning Kliesing gave up a leadoff single to right fielder Brittany Knudsen. Knudsen was sacrificed over to second and came home on a single into right field by Lindsey Marquez.
Knudsen would be responsible for the Aztecs’ two runs in the second, as well. With two outs Jen Wisneski lined a hard shot back up the middle that ricocheted off the side of the face of Kliesing and just behind second base. Down in the count 0-1, Knudsen sent a deep shot over the right field fence, putting San Diego State up 3-0.
Gibson was brought in for relief work after Knudsen’s longball and worked the remaining four innings of the ballgame. She allowed just one hit, while striking out one.
A&M had numerous scoring opportunities but could not produce a timely hit to drive in a run. On the night, the Aggies stranded 11 runners, six of which were in scoring position.
Kliesing was charged with the loss surrendering the three runs in 1.2 innings of work.
Christina Ross improved to 8-3 on the season. Ross worked six complete shutout innings, allowing the Aggies to record just five hits. She struck out 10 and gave up four free passes.
Hinshaw finished the day going 4-for-5 at the plate with a triple, a run scored and a walk.
A&M will wrap up tournament play against No. 25 Long Beach State on Sunday at 12 p.m. on the campus of the University of San Diego. Fans can listen to the game live on aggieathletics.com or locally in Bryan/College Station on Sports Radio 1150 the Zone.
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