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Pitt Softball Drops a Pair of Games on Opening Day

Tori Nirschl hit a solo homer in the fifth inning against Texas A&M

Tori Nirschl hit a solo homer in the fifth inning against Texas A&M

Feb. 15, 2013

Game One Box | Game Two Box | Season Statistics

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The University of Pittsburgh softball team (0-2) suffered a pair of losses to Stephen F. Austin and No. 11/10 Texas A&M on opening day at the Aggie Classic.

The Panthers were blanked by Stephen F. Austin 8-0 (six innings) in game one, and then stood toe-to-toe with A&M, but ultimately gave up some late runs and lost 7-3.

“We made a lot of uncharacteristic errors that put a lot of pressure on our team,” head coach Holly Aprile said. “Those errors aside, we need to hit ourselves out of a hole, and I fully believe we are capable of doing that, we just didn’t execute today.”

Game One: Stephen F. Austin 8, Pitt 0 (Six Innings)

Five errors doomed the Panthers as Pitt dropped its opening game of the season to Stephen F. Austin (3-5) by a score of 8-0 (six innings) on Friday afternoon at the Aggie Softball Complex.

After SFA left the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, and Pitt left the bases loaded in the top of the second, SFA struck in the bottom of the third inning with an RBI single by Elizabeth Arana.

The Ladyjacks broke the game open in the bottom half of the fourth inning with three runs. Charlotte Singleton led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, and was then pinch ran for by Kaneisha Gray. Gray eventually scored on a throwing error. With SFA still threatening, Arena provided a two out – two RBI single to give the Ladyjacks its 4-0 advantage.

SFA would tack on one in the fifth inning, and eventually ended the game in the sixth inning with three more runs. Singleton provided the game-ending RBI with a single to left.

SFA pitcher Carlie Thomas went six strong innings, allowing just two hits and striking out eight Panthers. Savannah King threw four innings, allowing three hits, four runs (none of which were earned) and four walks. Lauren Vinson finished the game, going one and a third inning, allowing three hits and four runs (zero earned).

Game Two: Texas A&M 7, Pitt 3

Pitt gave up one run in the fifth inning and three runs in the sixth inning as 11/10 Texas A&M (6-0) defeated the Panthers 7-3 in Pitt’s second game of the Aggie Classic.

After Carly Thea reached base on a fielding error by A&M's shortstop Alex Masek in the top of the first inning, Maggie Sevilla roped a two out double to left center field which scored Thea and gave Pitt an early 1-0 advantage.

The Aggies answered in the bottom half of the first inning to even the game at 1-1. Emily Albus led off with a bunt single. She then advanced to third when Meagan May reached safely on a throwing error. One batter later, Nicole Morgan recorded an RBI single to right field which scored Albus.

After two scoreless innings, the Panthers regained the lead as Sevilla reached base with a leadoff walk. Carissa Throckmorton then reached on a fielder’s choice and Sevilla was called safe on a close play at second. After a wild pitch, Kaila Balatgek registered her first career RBI as a Panther with a sac fly, giving Pitt a 2-1 lead.

Once again, the Aggies answered back in the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back one out singles and a walk to load the bases. The next  batter was Morgan, and she was two inches short of a grand slam as her ball ricocheted off the top of the wall and drove in two runs, giving A&M a 3-2 advantage.

The A&M lead would not last long as Tori Nirschl hit her first career home run to right center field in the top of the fifth. It was a solo shot with one out that knotted the game at 3-3. A&M responded by taking a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the inning when leadoff batter Cassie Tysarczyk reached on a single and was eventually singled home by Jenna Stark.

Pitt threatened in the top of the sixth by loading the bases with two outs, but could not capitalize and allowed A&M to tack on three runs in the bottom half, including a two RBI triple from Amber Garza. The Panthers were retired 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh as A&M went on for the 7-3 victory.

Lauren Ainsley registered the win for A&M by going five innings and allowing three runs on four hits. Alexa Larkin suffered the loss as she pitched six innings while giving up 10 hits and seven runs.

The Panthers are back in action tomorrow against the same two teams, starting with Stephen F. Austin at 11 a.m. EST. The rematch with Texas A&M is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EST. Fans can follow live stats and watch/listen by clicking here.