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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M preps for tough LSU series

 
 

The Texas A&M softball team will face its eighth ranked opponent of the season in a Friday-through-Sunday three-game series with No. 13 LSU at the Aggie Softball Complex.
The No. 10 Aggies (33-7, 5-6) have a 6-7 record against ranked opponents this season, having most recently lost two of three games at home against No. 4 Alabama two weeks ago.
“We’re expecting a really great series,” senior catcher Meagan May said. “They’re a really tough team. LSU is going to help us a lot if we can put up three wins, or even just a series win. It would be really great in terms of our SEC standings. They’ve got a lot of speed in their lineup and our defense is going to have to be on their toes.”
While the matchup may not be the season’s most important in terms of rankings, it could be the most watched. Saturday’s game will be aired on ESPN and Sunday’s will be broadcasted on Fox Sports Southwest.
LSU (33-8, 9-3) is a year removed from attending the Women’s College World Series. Shortstop Bianka Bell leads the team with nine home runs and 36 RBIs. Bell earned her second straight SEC Freshman of the Week honor Monday.
The Aggies will be keeping a close eye on outfielder AJ Andrews on the base paths. The sophomore has a perfect stolen base record this season with 16 steals in as many attempts.
“Their team has come off the world series appearance last year and is having a really good year,” A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “Their team is scoring runs. They steal a lot of bases. They’re mostly speed and their pitching holds down the opponents.”
The team’s ace, Rachele Fico (20-6), was recently selected as the top pick in the National Pro Fastpitch draft and boasts a 1.80 ERA.
A&M will counter with Mel Dumezich (22-5) on the mound, who was selected 15th overall in the NPF. Her 22 victories are the most in the SEC.
“They have a great pitcher in Rachele Fico, an All-American, and she throws a majority of their innings,” Evans said. “She doesn’t give up home runs very often. We need to make sure to have discipline at the plate, but we’re going to try and be aggressive early.”
The Aggies are led on offense by junior Nicole Morgan, who leads the team with a .394 batting average and 44 RBIs.
Currently on a five game winning streak, A&M hosted Lamar in a doubleheader Tuesday, sweeping both games in five-inning run-rule victories.
While this will be the first conference series between A&M and LSU, the two teams met previously in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 NCAA Regionals. A&M leads the all-time series 5-4, having lost two games to the Tigers in the NCAA College Station Regional last season.
“We’re looking to go out, play our game and have fun on the field,” junior third baseman Amber Garza said. “We’re looking out for their pitchers. We’re going to do everything we can to win the series.”
Game one is slated for a 7 p.m. first pitch Friday. Saturday’s contest will start at 4:05 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale is set for a 12:37 p.m. start time.

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