(Photo Courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics)
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Sophomore Katie Marks threw a complete-game, three-hit effort as the 12th-ranked Texas A&M softball team (10-3) downed San Diego State (9-3), 2-1 Thursday on the first day of the Mary Nutter Classic.
Marks (4-0) gave up just one run on three hits and three walks while fanning six batters through seven innings of work in the circle. Senior Nicole Morgan was 2-for-3 on the game with an RBI to total 5-for-6 on the day in two games.
The Aggies put runners in scoring position in the second and third innings, but stranded two runners both times. Seniors Taran Tyler and Morgan, and freshman April Ryan each contributed base hits for Texas A&M.
Katie Marks threw three perfect innings to start the game before allowing the first runners on in the top of the fourth. The Aggie defense helped end the inning when a throw from home by Morgan picked a runner off at second for the third out.
Texas A&M got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when sophomore Breanna Dozier hit an RBI single up the middle. Tyler scored on the play after reaching on a base hit and taking second on a wild pitch.
An RBI double by Morgan in the bottom of the fifth extended the Texas A&M lead to 2-0. Morgan’s shot landed just an inch fair in deep left field. Senior Emily Albus scored on the play after reaching on a leadoff single through the left side.
The Aztecs answered with an RBI double of their own in the top of the sixth. The shot to centerfield narrowed the score to 2-1 and put runners in scoring position at second and third. Marks didn’t hesitate, however, as she threw two straight outs to the Aztec’s top hitters in the lineup to end the half-inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, sophomore Cali Lanphear reached on a fielding error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Jenna Stark. Lanphear was unable to score and the game moved to the seventh inning with just a one-run scoring gap.
The Aztecs came out swinging and put runners on second and third with just one out, but for the second time of the game, Marks refused to yield and threw two outs to end the inning and give the Aggies a 2-1 victory.
SDSU’s Danielle O’Toole (7-1) suffered her first loss of the year, allowing two earned runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out seven in the full-game outing.
The Aggies continue tournament action Friday with a 2:30 p.m. CT/12:30 p.m. PT game vs. California, followed by a 5 p.m. CT/3 p.m. PT contest with No. 11 Nebraska. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.