COLUMBIA, Mo. – Freshman Cali Lanphear hit two home runs and junior Nicole Morgan had a grand slam as the fifth-ranked Texas A&M softball team (23-2, 1-1 SEC) run-ruled No. 5 Missouri (10-2, 1-1 SEC), 11-3 in the second game of the three-game, Southeastern Conference opening series between the two schools Saturday at University Field.
The Aggie bats came alive in the top of the sixth inning when A&M scored eight runs on seven hits, including three home runs. One of the long balls in the sixth was Morgan’s third grand slam of the season.
Lanphear picked up three RBI on the game as she sent two pitches over the fence. Before today, Mizzou starter Chelsea Thomas had not given up a home run this season.
With two outs in the top of the second inning, Lanphear hammered a home run well over the wall in right field for the 1-0 lead. The bomb was the first of the season against Thomas. In the next at-bat, the Tiger hurler tossed a four-pitch walk to junior Amber Garza who then took second on a single to centerfield by junior Cassie Tysarczyk. Junior Taran Tyler lined a pitch down the first-base line, but a big catch by the MU right fielder ended the half-inning.
Missouri answered the Aggies’ offensive effort in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff home run by Mackenzie Sykes that evened the score at 1-1.
A&M stretched out to its second lead of the game in the top of the third. Junior Emily Albus slapped an infield single to lead off and was joined on the bags by Morgan, who sent a laser down the left-field line with one out. Junior Allison Garrett entered to run for Morgan and stole second before a throw meant to stop the double steal gave Albus time to score on the error.
The muffed throw sent Garrett to third before a wild pitch by Thomas allowed the pinch runner to fly home for the 3-1 lead.
Missouri put two on in the bottom of the third, using a single and a walk to put runners on first and second, before a pop-out ended the inning with the Aggies holding a 3-1 advantage.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Missouri’s Kelsea Roth hit a solo long ball over right to narrow the deficit to 3-2 in the Aggies’ favor. Roth hit the game-winning, walk-off home run in game one against A&M.
A two-out error, a single and a walk loaded the bases for Missouri before senior pitcher Mel Dumezich threw a full-count strikeout to end the inning with A&M in the lead.
Sophomore Brittany Clopton reached on an infield single over the head of the third baseman in the fifth. The speedy left fielder was caught stealing before Morgan took first on a two-out walk. The junior was left on base in the end of the half-inning.
Lanphear’s second home run of the game came in the top of the sixth. Junior Jenna Stark led off in the frame with a standup double and was replaced at second by junior Kaydee Rayburn. With no outs, Lanphear sailed a ball over the fence in right-center field to score the pair for the 5-2 lead.
The offensive action didn’t stop there, as the Aggies plated eight runs in the half-inning. A fielder’s choice by Tysarczyk, a single through the left side by Tyler and a walk by Albus loaded the bags before senior Sydney Shannon reached on an error that sent Tysarczyk home for the 6-2 lead.
With the bases again loaded, Morgan pounded a grand slam out of the park and picked up four RBI as the Aggies soared to a 10-2 lead. A solo home run by Dumezich added insult to injury and was just what A&M needed for the eight-after-five run-rule, as Missouri scored one unearned run in the bottom of the sixth.
The lone sixth-inning run by the Tigers wasn’t enough and the game ended early with A&M picking up an eight-run victory in game two of the series between the two teams.
Dumezich improved to 16-1 on the season with the win, giving up two earned runs and striking out three while allowing seven hits and four walks. Thomas (4-1) took the loss, allowing five earned runs on seven hits and three walks while fanning five. Missouri closer Nicole Hudson pitched just one inning and allowed six earned runs on five hits and a walk.
Missouri took the first game of the series, 2-0, on a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh. That loss was just the second of the season for A&M.
The Aggies and Tigers will play the final game of the three-contest series tomorrow at noon Central. The game will feature live audio on Sports Radio 1150 AM in Bryan-College Station and worldwide on AggieAthletics.com. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.