Aggies Sweep Ladyjacks

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin pushed No. 23 Texas A&M hard late in the opener of Wednesday's doubleheader, but faded in Game 2 for a run-rule loss that sealed a two-game sweep for the Aggies in the home opener at SFA Field. Texas A&M took a 4-3 win in the first game and finished off the sweep with a 9-0 verdict in six innings in Game 2.

SFA falls to 0-6 on the season, while the Aggies climb above .500 to 4-3.

The Aggies' win in Game 1 came on the strength of a four-run third inning.

Kelsea Orsak doubled to lead off the inning. Natalie Villarreal singled her in, advancing to second on the throw. Cassie Tysarczyk then moved Villarreal to third with a sacrifice bunt, and she scored on a Meagan May single to left. The next batter, Rhiannon Kliesing hit a towering home run to right-center to give A&M a 4-0 lead.

SFA took advantage of an Aggie miscue to strike back in the bottom half of the inning. Lauren Luetge drew a two-out walk then moved to second when Elizabeth Arana was hit by a pitch. May, the Aggie catcher, threw behind Luetge at second in the next at-bat, but Luetge broke for third, and the ball bounced out of second baseman Villarreal's glove on the tag. Arana moved up to second behind the play. The next batter, Cadie Weaver doubled down the right-field line, scoring both runners to make it a 4-2 game.

SFA starter Monika Covington knuckled down after the third. She allowed just one more hit and three more base-runners down the stretch and held the Aggies scoreless over the final four innings.

The Ladyjacks closed the gap to one run in the sixth inning when Bethany Brown led off with a home run to left field. It was her first of the season.

Covington retired the Aggies in order in the top of the seventh - with a pair of nice plays by Weaver at third - bringing the top of the SFA order to the plate in the bottom half. Amber Price doubled off the wall in left field to lead things off. One at-bat later, Arana doubled down the line in right, but Price had to hold at third. Weaver was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases with one out. But Aggie starter Lindsey Sisk got a pair of strikeouts to escape with the win.

Covington (0-3) finished with four earned runs on six hits and four walks.

She recorded a season-high six strikeouts.

SFA catcher Charlotte Singleton went 2-for-3 to lead the Ladyjacks at the plate. SFA recorded six hits as a team, matching the total put up by A&M.

In the second game, the Aggies scored a run in each of the first two innings, then used two hits, an error, three walks and a passed ball to put up a five spot in the fifth inning and take control. An Amber Garza two-run double was the highlight of the inning that saw the Aggies score twice on bases-loaded walks.

A&M banged out four hits for a couple more runs in the sixth, forcing the run-rule after SFA came up empty in the bottom half.

Weaver went 1-for-3, and designated player Nicole Wooten was 1-for-2 in the second game. SFA left runners on base in each of the first three innings, including a bases-loaded situation in the first. The Ladyjacks stranded seven in all.

Ladyjack starter Carlie Thomas (0-3) went 5.1 innings, giving up eight earned runs on nine hits and six walks. She struck out eight.

SFA will be back in action this weekend, when the Ladyjacks play in the Ragin' Cajun Invitational in Lafayette, La. SFA opens the tournament with an

11 a.m. contest against Tennessee State.