The Norman Transcript

Sports

May 22, 2013

Aggies offer quite a story on small diamond

NORMAN — If ever a softball team figured itself destined to land a colossal upset, Texas A&M may be that team.

The Aggies are at Marita Hynes Field for NCAA super regional play beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, where they’ll meet Oklahoma, a clear favorite to not only return to the Women’s College World Series, but also to win it.

The Sooners have dropped four games all season and are coming off a regional victory in which they outscored their opponents 41-6. Meanwhile, the Aggies might consider themselves a team of destiny.

On the second day of the College Station Regional, A&M trailed Baylor 5-0 before coming back to win 6-5, doing so with a flourish with back-to-back seventh inning home runs from Cali Lanphear and Nicole Morgan.

That victory afforded the Aggies two chances to win one game the following day, a luxury they needed after giving up a 5-2 edge only to lose 9-5 in their second regional meeting against the Bears.

In the winner-take-all finale that followed, A&M run-ruled Baylor 8-0, getting a five-inning two-hitter from No. 2 pitcher Lauren Ainsley and two home runs and five RBIs from shortstop Amber Garza.

Not many teams come back from 5-0 down in the sixth inning. Also, not many teams give back their game in hand and still go on to win their regional.

“I say it all the time,” said A&M coach Jo Evans, who will be guiding the Aggies into the program’s fifth super regional. “I really love our fight, we never quit.”

The Aggies (42-16) are among the last 16 teams standing despite compiling a sub-.500 10-13 mark in the Southeastern Conference. Nonetheless, they still earned a No. 16 RPI ranking before entering regional play.

That’s a testament to the SEC, which also counts Florida (No. 2), Alabama (No. 5), LSU (No. 6), Missouri (No. 7), Tennessee (No. 9) and Kentucky (No. 10), as well as A&M, as having top-20 RPI numbers.

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