NORMAN, Okla. - All-America candidate Haley Lee hit two home runs, including a sixth-inning grand slam, to lead Texas A&M to a 10-3 win over Morgan State Saturday evening in the NCAA Norman Regional at Marita Hynes Field.
Lee's two round trippers gave her 24 on the season, tying the school's single-season record.
The victory snaps an eight-game losing skid and propels the Aggies (32-22) into a rematch with No. 23 Wichita State (40-12-1) in an elimination game at 9:10 p.m. on ESPN3.
A&M jumped on the Bears' starter in the first inning, scoring a pair on a 3-2, two-out, two-run bloop single off the bat of Dani Elder.
The Aggies tacked on three more in the third inning, also with two outs. After an error allowed Rylen Wiggins to reach that also scored Shaylee Ackerman, Ashlynn Walls doubled into the left-centerfield gap to plate both Wiggins and Morgan Smith to extend the lead to 5-0.
Lee hit her first home run of the evening in the fourth, a 1-0 pitch that she blasted over the centerfield fence to make the score 6-0.
After Morgan State plated three off starter Kayla Poynter in the top of the sixth to cut the deficit in half, the Aggies responded with both Walls and Kayla Garcia beginning the bottom of the inning with walks. Another error on a Makinzy Herzog grounder loaded the bases, and Lee then hit the first pitch she saw out to centerfield to make the score 10-3.
All told, A&M pounded out nine hits on the night, five of the extra-base variety. Lee finished 3-for-4 with five RBI, while Ackerman had two hits and Elder and Walls drove in a pair each.
Poynter (10-8) went 5.2 innings pitched to earn the victory, allowing no earned runs and just three hits while not walking a batter and punching out seven. Grace Uribe and Hannah Mayo closed the game with 1.1 innings of perfect relief.
B1| With one down, Haley Lee notched a single to left field and moved up a bag on Shaylee Ackerman's base hit. Morgan Smith was able to use a walk to load the bases before Dani Elder delivered a two-RBI single to centerfield. TAMU 2, MSU 0
B3| Ackerman drove a one-out double to the left centerfield gap and moved over to third on Smith's single over the infield. Rylen Wiggins reached first on a fielding error which resulted in Ackerman crossing home plate. Ashlynn Walls sent a double to the left centerfield wall to plate both Wiggins and Smith. A&M 5, MSU 0
B4| In solo shot fashion, Lee blasted her 23rd home run of the season over the left centerfield wall. A&M 6, MSU 0 T6| After a defensive error, Kyley Fijalkowski reached first successfully and was sent home on Leah Victor's double to centerfield. A hit by pitch to Annissa Dorres put two runners on for Ellen Ebbers to clear the bases with a double to left centerfield. A&M 6, MSU 3
B6| A walk to Walls and Kayla Garcia followed by Herzog's fielder's choice juiced the bases for Lee to hit a grand slam on the first pitch of the at-bat. A&M 10, MSU 3
Top Offensive Players:
Haley Lee| 3-for-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI
Shaylee Ackerman| 2-for-4
Kayla Poynter (10-8) - 5.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 7 SO, 0 BB
Grace Uribe - 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 SO, 0 BB
Hannah Mayo - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 SO, 0 BB