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February 12, 2014

SHSU SOFTBALL — Aggies too much for Bearkats in opener

Texas A&M home runs put softball team in large deficit, Aggies win 8-3

HUNTSVILLE — No. 8-ranked Texas A&M extended its win streak to six games as they defeated Sam Houston State 8-3 in front of a capacity crowd of 681 at the Bearkat Softball Complex.

The Aggies recorded 11 hits and had three home runs in the game.

Catcher Nicole Morgan, who came into the game with three home runs including two grand slams, went 2 for 3 with a home run and four RBIs.

“You can play games and keep them in the ballpark,” Bearkat coach Bob Brock said. “But their expertise is hitting it out of the ballpark.”

Sam Houston (0-1) recorded six hits in the game.

Two of those hits came against starting pitcher Rachel Fox, who went 6 2/3 innings and got the win.

Fox dominated with her change up and fast ball that kept the Bearkats off balance and forced 15 put outs.

With A&M (6-0) leading 8-0 going into the bottom of the seventh, Fox was taken out of the game and was replaced by reliever Abby Donnell.

That was when things got really interesting.

Designated hitter Cecelia Castillo started it off with a single to right field.

Shortstop Sarah Allison followed with a walk.

Catcher Tiffany Castillo hit a single to load the bases.

Then center fielder Tayler Gray hit an RBI single to cut the lead to 8-1.

“Coach (assistant Adrian) Gregory said to just look for your pitch,” Gray said. “I was too eager and swung too much. But, I dialed in and just looked for my pitch.”

With the bases still loaded, first baseman Angelica Gonzales was hit by a pitch that brought in Ashley Kopps, who pinch ran for Allison, to make it 8-2.

After Donnell struck out Alyssa Gregg, Amy Pelton hit an RBI single to right field that scored Tiffany Castillo to cut it to 8-3.

A&M coach Jo Evans brought back Fox into the game with the bases still loaded to try and stop the bleeding.

Fox was able to do just that as she struck out pinch hitter Hannah Marino and got Coggins to line out to second baseman April Ryan to preserve the win.

“I feel like we kept our composure tonight,” said starting pitcher Shelby Lancaster, who went seven innings and suffered the loss. “That only make us better. Our team was really good about keeping the fight.”

The Aggies were able to strike first in the top of the third when Morgan launched a three-run home run that went just inside the foul pole for the 3-0 lead.

A&M scored three more runs in the top of the fifth to increase the lead to 6-0. Garza scored on a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Cali Lanphear.

With two outs in the fifth inning, shortstop Taran Tyler hit a two-run home run over the left center field wall.

Ryan hit a line drive solo home run in the top of the sixth went off the foul pole for a 8-0 lead.

Sam Houston felt that this game will make them better as they prepared for a long road trip starting with the Houston Tournament this weekend.

“You never want to lose, but I thought we got a lot of good positive things out of today's game,” Brock said. “Maybe it will jump start us into the tournament this weekend.”

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As Walker County gears up for the 2014 Relay for Life, a special dinner will be held to honor cancer survivors and caregivers. The dinner will be held at Northside Baptist Church, 1207 FM 980, on Saturday at 6 p.m. The 2014 Walker County Relay for Life will be held on May 2 at 6 p.m. at the Huntsville High School track.

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