Tigers Finish Big Upsetting No. 14 Texas A&M 2-0
Cathedral City, Calif. - Returning to the form that won them the 2011 Big West title, the Pacific softball team finished its big weekend at the Cathedral City Classic with an impressive 2-0 shutout of No. 14 Texas A&M on Saturday, February 25. The win improved the Tigers record to 4-1 at the tournament and 6-6 on the year while the Aggies fell to 9-6 on the year.
Putting all three facets of the game together in concert with one another, the Tigers took down their second top-25 opponent of the weekend to complete their stay in the desert. From pitching, with freshman Dani Bonnet and sophomore Tori Shepard, to defense to timely hitting, the Tigers put it all together to take down the Aggies.
In the circle, the Tigers picked up a signature performance out of their freshman hurler as Bonnet shut down the Aggies' potent offense for just over four innings to earn her second win in as many days. Facing an Aggie offense that was coming off of a 14 run performance the night before, Bonnet gave up five hits and stranded a pair of runners at second with the help of her defensive mates behind her. The freshman would give way to Pacific's newest closer, Shepard, in the fifth after finding herself in a bases loaded jam with only one out in the inning.
With the game hanging in the balance, Shepard, who saved the Tigers game against Syracuse the previous night, quickly put down the threat. With the bases full and the Aggies' top hitter at the plate, Shepard induced a line drive to junior Nikki Armagost at first that was quickly turned into an inning ending double play. With the threat averted, Shepard cruised through the final two innings of play to pick up her second straight save and third save of the season.
With their pitchers dealing in the circle and the leather flying in the field, the Tigers put together just enough timely offense to come away with the win. As they had done all weekend the Tigers got out in front of the Aggies with an early run, scoring a single run in the top of the third inning to take the 1-0 lead. Leading off the inning with a double to right center, senior Alexa Rivera would come around to score the first run of the game on a sacrifice and an error by the Aggies.
Up one, the Tigers picked up an important insurance run in the top of the fifth inning as the top of the order rallied with two outs to get Pacific's second run. After singling to second to get the rally going, junior Megan Hom put herself in scoring position with her legs and a heads up read to steal second in front of sophomore Kelsey Rodriguez. With Hom in scoring position, Rodriguez wasted no time driving in her center fielder with a single to center on a 1-2 pitch.
For the day, the Tigers managed five hits against the Aggies' Mel Dumezich who fell to 4-4 on the year in the circle for Texas A&M. Five different Tigers recorded hits in the game while Rodriguez picked up the lone RBI of the day. On the other side, the Aggies managed five hits against Pacific's pitching staff as five different players picked up one hit a piece.
Pacific will be back in action on Wednesday, February 29 when the team travels to Berkeley, Calif. to take on the No. 1 California Golden Bears. The game is scheduled for 2:00 pm.