Aggies drop heartbreaker 2-1, season to LSU
Published: Monday, May 21, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 20:07
Sunday brought the end of the season for the No. 13 Texas A&M softball team as the Aggies lost a heartbreaker, 2-1 to the winner of the College Station Regional LSU Tigers.
“We are really disappointed about our loss to LSU,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said after the defeat. “They have a deep pitching staff with [Brittany Mack and Rachele Fico]. Those are the kinds of pitchers that you know you have a shot to win every game you play. They did a good job of taking advantage of what we showed them, and gave their team a chance to win this.”
The game in which the Aggies needed to win to keep their season alive for just one more afternoon, started out as the pitcher’s duel as many had expected. LSU turned to Brittany Mack while the Aggies countered with Mel Dumezich.
It wasn’t until the fourth inning where LSU’s Allison Falcon was able to get on base when A&M third baseman Amber Garza allowed the ball to get through her. After a walked issued and a single, Dumezich faced Kailey McCasland with the bases loaded and one out. McCasland flied out to center field, but the ball traveled far enough for Falcon to score putting the Tigers up 1-0. The Tigers would add another run when LSU’s Dylan Supak got an infield hit and Ashley Applegate scored on a throwing error by A&M’s shortstop Brittany Walker, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Both runs went as unearned to Dumezich after the defensive mishaps.
The Aggie offense however just could figure out Mack as the LSU pitcher was going through the lineup on a changeup that threw the hitters off balance.
“She made us chase bad pitches,” A&M second baseman Natalie Villarreal said. “We weren’t attacking early. Her offspeed pitches had us fooled.”
It all came down in the top of the seventh inning where the Aggies would make their last stand to keep their season alive.
Evans said, “We can do this. This is absolutely within our grasp. This game is not away from us in any way. We are always in a part of our lineup, where we can set the table and generate runs. I thought how exciting is this going to be when we come out in the seventh inning and either tie this one up or take a lead, and make a statement. I always feel like that, but especially today. Our crowd was unbelievable.”
The inning started with hope as Garza drew a leadoff walk sending the tying run to the plate. Aggie first baseman Nicole Morgan struck out while pinch-hitter Lindsey Sisk grounded out to third base allowing Garza to advance to second in the process and then advanced to third on a wild pitch by Mack. Villarreal was able to draw the Aggies closer as her single up the middle drove in Garza, making the score 2-1. Aggie center fielder Kelsea Orsak then made contact with the ball, but unfortunately it was to second base for the game ending ground out.
With the groundout, a season, and the chance to extend the season by just one more game, had ended.
“It’s hard to say any words that are going to be any consolation or consoling in any way, because we really believed in our talent, and in our team,” Evans said. “None of us had any plans in the next three weeks except to be in Oklahoma City, so it’s hard to be able to say anything to my kids. I talked to them about what we can learn from this, all the little details that we can pay attention to in the offseason. I talked about the legacy that our seniors leave, and what they want their legacy to be, junior class especially. I’m not sad that we aren’t playing in the World Series. I’m frustrated, but I’m sad for our seniors. I’m sad to be saying goodbye to them. It is always sad when you watch your kids put their cleats on home plate.”
The seniors include Kelsea Orsak, Lindsey Sisk and Natalie Villarreal.
As the season draws to a close and farewells bid to players who laid it out on the line for their team, the Aggies return 17 letterwinners and will have the opportunity to avenge the loss to LSU as the Tigers and Aggies will meet as A&M moves to the SEC.
Evans said she believes next year the Aggies will continue their run of success.
“We have all the talent. We can get better in the small leadership roles that people will play to elevate their teammates. We don’t have a glaring weakness. There are going to be days where you don’t make adjustments and somebody beats you, but I think we have all the pieces in place. I would like to see some leaders rise out of this.”