Aggies Rally Late, Down Cats in Eight

March 1, 2009

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- No. 21 Texas A&M battled back from a three-run deficit with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to force extras, then literally walked away with a 5-4 victory against the No. 10 Arizona Wildcats on Sunday afternoon.

Lindsey Sisk issued two consecutive walks to the middle of the Aggies (13-8) order - the last, a bases-loaded walk that brought across the winning run.

Leadoff hitter Natalie Villarreal nabbed a one-out infield single off of starter Sarah Akamine in the eighth, followed by a single by Macie Morrow. Sisk came into relieve Akamine to face three-hole hitter Holly Ridley, after Akamine had tossed 180 pitches in the contest. Sisk walked Ridley then walked Glasco, scoring Villarreal to end the game.

Texas A&M tied the game with three unearned runs in their last at-bats. With no one on and two outs, Ridley hit her fifth double of the weekend in the bottom of the seventh, capping a 3-for-3 day for the senior Aggie. Two consecutive walks loaded the bases for Reynolds who shot a pop fly into short centerfield that was mishandled after some miscommunication and fell to the ground, clearing the bases. Another walk put runners on first and second, but an infield grounder to Laine Roth took the game into extras, tied at four apiece.

Akamine (7-2) was credited with the loss for UA. She gave up five runs - though only two of them were earned - on eight hits in 7.1 innings of work. The junior also issued six walks and struck out three. Sisk did not record an out, but issued walks to the final two batters of the game. Rhiannon Kliesing (9-4) picked up her second win of the weekend against Arizona, giving up four runs (two earned) on six hits, while striking out six and walking four.

Kemp drew her 13th walk of the season with one out in the Arizona (14-4) third. Then, Karissa Buchanan struck an 0-2 pitch to short for a base hit, moving Kemp to second. But Kliesing struck out Brittany Lastrapes and Lauren Schutzler looking to end the threat.

Villarreal hit a one-out double to the left center gap to give the Aggies a scoring chance in the bottom half. Holly Ridley - who had hit four doubles coming into the game - was intentionally walked to put two on for Erin Glasco, who drew a walk. But Akamine downed Kelsey Spittler on a swinging strikeout during a 10-pitch at-bat, leaving three on for A&M.

Sometime during the mid-inning chaos, Arizona head coach Mike Candrea was ejected by plate umpire Dustin Douglass, seemingly sparking the Arizona offense to life in the inning. Much like the previous inning for the Cats, Jenae Leles drew her team-leading 16th walk to lead off the fourth. Only this time, Stacie Chambers took the first pitch she saw to dead center for her ninth home run of the year, giving Arizona a 2-0 lead. K'Lee Arredondo followed up with a base hit, but was later doubled up on a line drive with one out to end the half with UA up.

Texas A&M threatened with two on and two out in the fifth, but Arredondo dove to keep a line drive from reaching short left field, keeping the score 2-0 Arizona.

Kelly Spittler hit her first triple of the season to lead off the A&M sixth. She then scored on an infield single by Alex Reynolds that hit the glove of Akamine and bounced to Kemp at second, whose throw home was not in time to nab Spittler. After pinch-runner Andrea Tovar moved to third with two outs, Akamine struck out Orsak in an 11-pitch affair, ending the inning with the deficit cut to one, 2-1 Arizona.

Lastrapes added two more runs in the top of the seventh, in the form of a two-run home run. Buchanan had reached on a two-out error before touching home on the Laguna Niguel, Calif. native's third homer of the year, upping the margin to 4-1 in favor of the Cats.

Up Next: Arizona hosts UTEP for a Wednesday doubleheader. First pitch is at 4 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium.

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