OKLAHOMA CITY – Texas A&M manufactured runs in the fourth and seventh inning en route to a 2-1 victory over Louisiana Lafayette on the second day of the Women’s College World Series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in front of a record crowd of 8,230 fans.
The Aggies (56-7) advance to Sunday’s Noon CDT semifinal, where they need to win just one game to advance to Monday’s Championship Series. Louisiana-Lafayette (52-14) falls to the losers bracket where they will face the Alabama-Arizona winner at 8 pm CDT on Saturday.
The pitchers duel between Louisiana’s Ashley Brignac and Texas A&M’s Megan Gibson held both offenses quiet through the first three innings.
In the top of the fourth, the Aggies opened with inning with a leadoff single by Jamie Hinshaw, followed by a single from Holly Ridley, advancing Hinshaw to third. After Brignac struck out Erin Glasco for the first out of the inning, Jami Lobpries connected for a sacrifice fly, scoring Hinshaw and putting Texas A&M up by a 1-0 score.
A&M’s Megan Gibson pitched four and a third no-hit innings before Gabriele Bridges recorded the first hit of the game for the Ragin’ Cajuns in the fifth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Louisiana put together a rally with Vallie Gaspard leading off off with a bunt single, which was followed by a one-out walk to Holly Tankersley and a Melissa Verde single to load the bases. Bridges then put up a sacrifice fly to tie the score at 1-1.
The Aggies answered in the top of the seventh. Lobpries led off with a single, stole second and went to third on that same play when the throw back to the circle from Brooke Brodhead went astray. Lobpries would come in to score on a two-out single by Rhiannon Kliesing to give Texas A&M the lead.
“Our defense was terrific today,” said Texas A&M head coach Jo Evans. “We made ever play that we were supposed to make. We didn’t panic and we understand that we can score. We really kept our poise in that situation to be able to come back and score a run.”
Gibson earned the win for Texas A&M, improving to 40-1 on the season. Gibson struck out six, walked two and allowed one run on four hits. Ashley Brignac took the loss for the Ragin’ Cajuns, falling to 31-7 on the year. She had four strikeouts with one walk and one earned run on five hits.