#22 Texas A&M Softball 2014 Preview

Texas A&M Aggies

Overall Rank: #22
Conference Rank: #8 SEC
#22 Texas A&M Softball 2014 Preview
Texas A&M Team Page


The Aggies enjoyed a fine year in 2013, reaching the Super Regional before bowing to eventual National Champion Oklahoma. A&M posted a respectable 42-18 overall record with a so-so 10-13 record in their SEC conference schedule. They finished the year ranked #13, a fine accomplishment for a team with an RPI rating of 17. Scoring 366 runs and swatting 103 home runs didn’t hurt. Playing at home in College Station didn’t hurt either, but A&M navigated through one of the tougher Regionals, dispatching #20 Baylor and #32 Arizona. They also drew the toughest Super Regional foe possible, or they may have appeared in Oklahoma City.

2013: 42-18, 10-13
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jo Evans, 18th year

Field Players:
Texas A&M has a luxury most teams nationally do not…they return their top seven offensive players, all of whom hit at least .297. Leftfielder Cali Lanphear, named to the SEC All-Freshman team, led the way with 58 RBIs, 21 home runs and a top batting average of .362. Not far behind were centerfielder Emily Albus (.333, 60 hits), first baseman Nicole Morgan (.315, 16 HR, 55 RBI), third baseman Amber Garza (.313, 12 HR) and second baseman Jenna Stark (.302, 10 HR). In fact, the top seven hitters other than Lanphear are upperclassmen, an indication that the Aggie offense will be as good, or better, than last year.  

The A&M pitching staff is absolutely loaded. Mel Dumezich carried the 2013 load (225.2 innings), and those innings will need to be replaced. Junior Lauren Ainsley will bring the most Aggie experience, posting a 2.57 ERA (lowest on the team) and a 14-7 record in 122.1 innings.  Ainsley will have to earn her keep, however, with fellow returners Kristin Davenport (Sophomore) who logged just 18.2 innings pitched, and Sara Mirelis, a junior. In addition, Katie Marks transferred in from South Carolina, having gone 8-8 in 96 innings pitched with the Gamecocks. If that weren’t enough, look for Rachel Fox, a redshirt junior transfer from the University of Texas to battle for innings. Fox is a former two-time Prep Gatorade Player of the Year who went 14-2 as a sophomore at UT. Freshman Abby Donnell is also listed as a Pitcher on the Aggies 2014 roster.

Who to Watch:
With six pitchers on the roster, it will be interesting to see who gets innings. The stable is full, so how the chemistry works and who is most effective getting outs will determine who earns the “Ace” responsibility. With a host of experienced starters returning, look for the offense to duplicate or exceed last year’s 6.1 runs per contest. Cali Lanphear needs to avoid the sophomore jinx and the Aggies will need to be ready for another grueling conference schedule, but 2014 looks bright indeed.

Final Projection:
Winning the SEC bid would be a tall order, but Coach Evans’ squad has the offense and the pitching potential to be an extremely strong all-around team. The question is not whether they will be invited to the tournament, but only how high a seed they will receive.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Emily Albus, CF, 180
Hits: Emily Albus, CF, 60
Home Runs: Cali Lanphear, LF, 21
RBIs: Runs: Cali Lanphear, LF, 58
Stolen Bases: Emily Albus, CF, 17

Wins: Lauren Ainsley, P, 14
Innings Pitched: Lauren Ainsley, P, 122.1
Strikeouts: Lauren Ainsley, P, 101


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