Five-win weekend pushes A&M softball to best start in five years
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 17:02
When Emily Albus stepped to the plate to lead off on Sunday, Texas A&M softball was coming off its 4th win in two days and 8th win in eight days. Fatigue was a concern. Eleven pitches later, Albus drew a walk and the Aggies’ blistering start rolled on.
Albus took tournament MVP honors and the No. 10 Texas A&M softball team won all five of its games at the Aggie Classic over the weekend, beating No. 23 North Carolina and Pittsburgh twice each and Stephen F. Austin once.
The 10-0 A&M start is the program’s best since 2007, when it started 12-0.
A&M put the run rule in effect at least once for the second weekend in a row as it beat SFA in just five innings on Sunday, 9-0.
Over the weekend the Aggies out-scored their opponents 29-9. However, A&M had to fight from behind for the first time this year and overcame three early deficits.
Head coach Jo Evans said they struggled on defense but this is a good team after coming back twice on Saturday.
"Coming back twice today shows we have a lot of fight in our team," Evans said. "We need to do a better job defensively. I always feel like it's the sign of a good team that you can not play your best and still win."
Last weekend, junior first baseman Nicole Morgan led the way with four home runs in four games and a grand slam on Sunday. This week, however, Albus — lead-off hitter and outfielder — led the way with two doubles, three RBIs and four runs along with a perfect 5-5 mark on stolen base attempts.
Senior management major Ryan Lenamon said the way that different players have stepped up at different times is part of the reason for the hot start.
"There's just not a way to stop them," Lenamon said. "Their bats all the way through the lineup can hurt you at any given time. It's fun to watch."
Texas A&M took seven of the 11 spots on the All-Tournament team and hit .356 as a team with 15 extra base hits.
Evans said Sunday’s game against SFA was their best game of the weekend against a good team.
“We came out today and really separated ourselves from the pack, and that’s something we had talked about needing to happen,” Evans said. “Putting pressure on their pitchers and pressure on their defense all day, I love to see that. We’re hitting throughout the order and putting a lot of runs on the board. It’s getting our pitchers comfortable and our defense comfortable and it’s fun to play the game that way.”
The Aggies will face SFA again twice this week, looking to tie their best season since 2007.
Freshman mathematics major Alec Thrower said he doesn't know much about softball, but the team’s recent success gets him excited about the season.
"I've never really been into softball," Thrower said. "But, this is exciting. I feel like it will have the same effect as the football season did. We started winning more and more people came out."