The No. 6 Texas A&M softball team rallied to defeat No. 5 Oregon, 3-1, before defeating No. 19 California, 5-1, Friday on day two of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
Against the Ducks, Lexi Smith stifled the Oregon (10-2) offense, which entered the tournament ranked third in the nation in scoring. The Temple, Texas, native allowed just one run on five hits and struck out seven.
In the third, the Ducks quickly loaded the bases with a single, walk and bunt single and later scored on a bases-loaded walk by Shannon Rhodes. Smith got out of the jam with two popups and a three-pitch strikeout, and retired the next 11 batters she faced.
The Aggies (12-1) mounted their comeback in the sixth as Keeli Milligan, who pinch hit for Erica Russell, drew a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kelbi Fortenberry. After Tori Vidales was intentionally walked, Ashley Walters hit a RBI single to center, and an error by the center fielder allowed Vidales and Walters to come around and score.
The win marked the sixth time the Aggies have won when trailing or tied in the fifth inning or later this season.
In game two, Kaitlyn Alderink gave Texas A&M a 1-0 lead in the third with a RBI single to center, scoring Milligan. The next inning, Kristen Cuyos launched her first homer of the year over the left field wall giving the Aggies a 3-0 advantage.
Walters extended the lead in the fifth, singling home Alderink with a shot to right center.
After Cal (12-1) scored a run in the sixth to cut the lead to 4-1, the Aggies got the run back in the bottom half of the frame as Russell dropped a single into shallow right, which allowed Fortenberry to touch home.
Maddie MacGrandle earned the win to move to 3-0 on the year as the freshman struck out six in six innings of work.