BOCA RATON, Fla. – A run from Texas A&M's Joy Davis lifted the third-ranked Aggies to a 1-0 win over the Rutgers softball team in eight innings at the FAU Parents Weekend Tournament at the FAU Softball Stadium on Friday afternoon.
Rutgers is just the second team this season to hold the Aggies scoreless during the first seven innings of play. The only other team to do so was then No. 4 Arizona on Feb. 23, when it defeated Texas A&M, 5-0.
Sophomore Chrissy Yard (Hillsborough, N.J.) tallied seven strikeouts in the game, a season-high for the Scarlet Knights, and just one shy of her career mark of eight. The three hits allowed by the Aggies was also a season-best for Rutgers. She pitched her first complete game of the season, walking four and allowing just one run. In the bottom of the seventh, Yard came up with two huge strikeouts and forced Davis to fly out to end the inning.
Senior Kristin Madoch (Glenview, Ill.) had the lone hit for the Scarlet Knights, a single in the third inning. Sophomore Brittany Loisel (Gilbert, Ariz.) recorded her first stolen base of the season.
Playing by the international tiebreaker rule where the previous batter called out is placed on second base, Kim Hodges (Houston, Texas) advanced to third when Ashley Hartley (Chico, Calif.) grounded out to first base. Loisel reached on fielder's choice as Hodges was tagged out at home. Aggie pitcher Megan Gibson tallied her 10th strikeout of the game to end the inning.
A&M had Davis on second and Yard intentionally walked Sharonda McDonald, who was recently drafted by National Pro Fastpitch league member Philadelphia Force, putting two on with nobody out for the Aggies. McDonald and Davis both stole to advance the runners. The game ended when Macie Morrow hit a sacrifice fly ball to right field to score Davis.
After the Scarlet Knights went three-and-out to open the game, Texas A&M put Yard in a tough spot when McDonald singled and advanced to third after stealing a base and advancing on a wild pitch. Yard and the Rutgers defense, however, came up with three-straight outs to end the inning.
Rutgers came up in the top of the second and loaded the bases as Nicole Lindley (Cicero, N.Y.) reached base on an error and Hodges was hit by a pitch. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, but Loisel grounded out to second base to end the inning.
With one out in the third inning, Madoch singled to third base, but was later tagged out at second when Miller reached base on fielder's choice. Miller left base early to end the inning for RU. On the Aggies' next at-bat, Rutgers tallied three-straight outs, including a strikeout from Yard.
In the top of the fifth, A&M retired the first three RU batters for the third-straight inning as pitcher Megan Gibson tallied two strikeouts. Yard came right back and struck out A&M's first two batters to open the fifth inning and then forced Joy Davis to fly out in foul territory to Sarah Kalka (Moreno Valley, Calif.).
Madoch walked with one out in the sixth and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Gibson, however, forced Miller and Kalka into outs to end the inning. The Aggies' Morrow put herself in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, but Shaw ended the inning with a grab in center field off the bat of Amanda Scarborough.
Rutgers will play Quinnipiac tomorrow, March 17, at 9:00 a.m. followed by a 6:00 p.m. match-up with host FAU.