OKLAHOMA CITY- Jamie Hinshaw was 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs, but the Texas Tech Red Raiders managed a three-run seventh to eliminate the 7th-ranked Texas A&M softball team from the 2007 Big 12 Championships with a 4-3 win in Oklahoma City in Saturday’s semifinal.
With the loss the Aggies fall to 40-10 on the season. While the win sends Tech (24-26) to the championship game against the Oklahoma Sooners.
“It is absolutely inexcusable what happened out there,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “You go into the seventh inning with a two-run lead; there is absolutely no excuse for our play out there. It is very frustrating. We have to find a way to finish a game like that. There is no way to describe the disappointment and frustration when you lose a game you should win.”
Heading into the seventh inning, the Aggies had a 3-1 lead. With one out, Heather Parker, Ashley Parker and Leah Legler all hit singles to load the bases. A fielding error by Hinshaw allowed one run to cross. Amanda Scarborough was brought in for relief of Aggie starter Megan Gibson and walked a batter allowing the game to be tied at three-all. An Aggie passed ball allowed the go-ahead run to score, putting Tech up 4-3 heading into the bottom half of the seventh.
“Tech got a couple of bleeders in there for hits and that’s going to happen,” Evans said. “But I just expect more from our pitching staff, to be able to closeout a game. For us to walk in the tying run and allow the winning run to come in on a passed ball is inexcusable. We just have to better than that.”
The Aggies jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the third inning as Lisa Gorzycki drew a one-out walk. Sharonda McDonald slapped a ball towards Tech shortstop, Heather Parker in an effort to advance Gorzycki. Parker bobbled the ball allowing runners to safely reach first and second, with just one out. Jamie Hinshaw came up big yet again with a two-run double over Legler’s head in left field.
Joy Davis gave A&M a 3-0 lead after the senior second baseman busted a single in the fourth inning to score Jami Lobpries who reached on a lead off walk. The score was nearly 5-0 as Gorzycki looked to have belted to a two-run home run to left field, but a leaping Legler reached over the fence robbing Gorzycki of the hit.
Jennifer Corkin put Tech on the scoreboard in the sixth with a two-out solo home run over the right-centerfield fence, bringing the Red Raiders within two runs of tying the game.
Sarah Losleben earned the start for the Red Raiders and got a no-decision. She worked just three and a third allowing all three runs on three hits. She walked two and struck out one. Ashly Jacobs entered in relief and worked the remaining three and two-thirds innings to earn the victory, her eighth of the season. Jacobs retired the Aggies in order in the seventh.
Gibson (16-4) was charged with the loss for the Aggies. The junior worked six and a third. She was charged with all four Red Raider runs. Gibson allowed 10 hits, she struck out five.
“I thought Megan threw well, she kept the ball down,” Evans ended. “In that last inning she got in some trouble, but for the most part the only mistake she made through the sixth inning was the home run, but that shouldn’t be a big deal because we got out of the inning with just allowing the one run.”
The Aggies will now return to College Station to await the announcement of the NCAA Tournament field. The field of 64 will be announced on Sunday, May 13 on ESPNEWS.
Texas Tech.......... 000 001 3 - 4 10 1
Texas A&M........... 002 100 0 - 3 4 1
E - Parker,H; Hinshaw. LOB - TTU 9; A&M 4. 2B - Hinshaw; Scarborough; Davis. HR - Corkin. HBP - Myers 2. SH - McDonald;
Reynolds. SB - Parker,A; Hinshaw. CS - Myers.
Win - Jacobs (17-14). Loss - Gibson (16-4). Save - None.
WP - Losleben. HBP - by Gibson (Myers); by Scarborough (Myers). PB - Rowan.