No. 23 Texas A&M wins ten-inning marathon against South Carolina
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- No. 23 Texas A&M sealed its second walk-off victory of 2015 to take the first game of the series against South Carolina, 3-2. With the win, the Aggies moved to 22-7 overall and 4-3 in conference play.
South Carolina got on the board first with a solo shot homer on the first pitch thrown by A&M’s starter Rachel Fox. Fox recovered to end the inning with three straight strikeouts.
"We’ll take a win, put it in our back pocket," said Aggies head coach Jo Evans. "It was an ugly way to end up winning the game but we had so many opportunities."
The Gamecocks held a 1-0 victory until the bottom of the second, when Breanna Dozier paid South Carolina back with a first pitch bomb of her own.
The game remained tied at one all until the top of the fifth inning when the Gamecocks put two runners on base before a single to center field sent home the go-ahead run. With runners in scoring position on first and second, the Aggies defense stopped the attack with a ground out and a pick off at third base.
A&M evened the score in the bottom of the sixth on the second solo home run of the day for the Maroon & White, this one coming off the bat of Tori Vidales, her seventh of the year. The Aggies loaded the bases after Kristen Cuyos walked, a fielder’s choice from Dozier and Ashley Walters first hit of the day. The ball club was unable to capitalize but exited the inning with the score tied.
The seventh inning came and went with no score and the Aggies headed into extra innings for the third time this season.
Fox and the Aggies sent the Gamecocks down in order in the top of the eighth, with Walters getting under to sky-high pop ups behind home plate to end the inning. Cuyos led off with a walk and the Aggies put two runners in scoring position after a double to the left field wall from Walters but the Aggies were unable to scratch any runs across.
The ninth inning went by scoreless from both teams and the Aggies neutralized a threat from South Carolina after a single and stolen base landed a runner on second base.
With two gone in the bottom of the tenth, Cali Lanphear recorded her first hit of the game, a double that hugged the right field line. Abby Donnell sent one to left field, putting runners in the corners for the Aggies. Erica Russell stepped up to the plate and reached first on an error by the Gamecocks first baseman, giving Lanphear enough time to speed home for the game-winning run.