#40 Texas A&M Softball 2015 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies

Overall Rank: #40
Conference Rank: #9 SEC
#40 Texas A&M Softball 2015 Preview
Texas A&M Team Page


Texas A&M showed great resilient and rode the wave of a pretty rock solid offensive attack and grinded their way to another NCAA Tournament regional appearance, where they lost to Oklahoma in the Norman Regional. The Aggies will have some work to do in regard to retooling their offensive attack after several key losses to graduation for veteran head coach Jo Evans. This retooling of the offense may take some time in the early part of the season, but if Texas A&M can be clicking on all cylinders by conference play then they should have a shot again at being in the NCAA Tournament.

2014: 37-22, 9-15
2014 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jo Evans

Field Players:
Infielder April Ryan is the top returning all-around player for the Aggies in 2015. Ryan did an excellent job last season of getting on base and provides a nice speed element to the Texas A&M, as she did steal five bases in 2014. If Ryan can get into double-figures with her stolen base total, that will help the Aggies in their quest to manufacture runs until they generate a primary power source in their lineup. Outfielder Cali Lanphear provides experience and some power, as she hit five homeruns and drove in 23 in 2014. Lanphear will be counted on heavily to elevate those numbers this season to keep the offense in games. Abby Donnell is another player to keep an eye as she hit .283 in the 22 games that she appeared in during her freshman season.

The pitching has to better, especially early on in the season. It will have to lead the way until offense finds its right mix of chemistry and rhythm. Texas A&M has plenty of experience returning in the circle, as they have two returning starting pitchers who won at least 15 games last season. Rachel Fox should be the workhorse in 2015. She threw just over 158 innings in 2014 and had a team-high 11 complete games last season as well. Katie Marks also returns in the circle and she will be looking to build off of her 15-6 record from last season and a 3.31 earned run average. It will be important for Marks and Fox to cut down on the homeruns allowed. They gave up 52 homeruns between the two of them last season.

Who to Watch:
Can Breanna Dozier step up and take the reins as the top homerun hitter in the Aggies lineup? The graduation of Nicole Morgan and Cassie Tysarczyk, who combined for 28 homeruns and drove in 106 runs during the 2014 season, is a huge loss. Dozier hit just .210 a year ago, but hit five homeruns and drove in 14. If she can elevated her batting average to around .250 at least and double the offensive production, that will make the Texas A&M lineup just that much better as the season goes along.

Final Projection:
The Aggies will be tested right out of the gate with a trip to the SoCal Collegiate Classic that will feature two matchups with perennial power UCLA. On February 18th, national title contender Oregon visits College Station in what will be a huge test for Texas A&M to see where they truly stand on a national scale in the early stages of the 2015 season. At the end of March a trip to Alabama awaits in SEC play and, if by that time, the offense can be clicking that would be a huge plus for the Aggies. The last huge challenge in conference play will be road trips on consecutive weekends to LSU and Florida of which if Texas A&M can go 2-4 or 3-3 in that stretch it will help them greatly with their NCAA Tournament resume. Bottom line, if Texas A&M can win at least nine or more SEC games in conjunction with being solid in non-conference play, they will win about 35 games and once again be back in the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: April Ryan, IF, 176
Hits: April Ryan, IF, 52
Home Runs: Breanna Dozier, IF, 5; Cali Lanphear, OF, 5
RBIs: Cali Lanphear, OF, 23
Runs: April Ryan, IF, 43
Stolen Bases: April Ryan, IF, 5

Wins: Rachel Fox, P, 15; Katie Marks, P, 15
Innings Pitched: Rachel Fox, P, 158.1
Strikeouts: Rachel Fox, P, 123
Complete Games: Rachel Fox, P, 11


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