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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&Ms attendance for the Alabama game was at 108,101 fans ranking it at the third largest game in Kyle Field history.(Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
‘The Mexican 12th Man’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • May 30, 2024

Growing up in the hills of Monterrey, Mexico, Pedro and Carlos Luna were surrounded by soccer.  Clad in the gold and blue of Tigres UANL,...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

It’s the bomb

Texas A&M sophomore Natalie Villarreal pulled everything she could in A&M’s 5-4 victory against Baylor Wednesday at the Aggie Softball Complex.
Villarreal, A&M’s starting second baseman from Frisco, Texas, led the Aggies at the plate against the Lady Bears, going 2-for-4 with four RBIs, and topped the night with the defensive play of the game.
In the top of the seventh inning, with the Aggies leading Baylor 5-4, Villarreal turned a game-ending double play on a weak pop fly, throwing out a Lady Bear runner at second base and ending Baylor’s chance at a late-inning rally.
A&M struck first in the second inning after a passed ball scored junior Alex Reynolds from third base. Villarreal, who leads the team statistically in doubles, batting average and hits, scored the first of her four RBIs later in the inning with a single up the middle to plate two Aggies and give A&M a 3-0 lead.
Baylor answered in the top of the third inning with three runs on four hits. Senior first baseman Alex Colyer recorded a pair of RBIs with a single to right field to tie the game at 3-3.
Both teams remained at three runs until the top of the sixth inning, when sophomore A&M pitcher Rhi Kliesing hit Baylor second baseman Meagan Weldon with the bases loaded to score a Lady Bear runner from third base, giving the Waco squad a one-run lead.
A&M recovered with clutch hitting in the bottom of the inning to take the final lead. Villarreal exploded on an inside pitch that sailed over the right field fence for her second home run of the season. Villarreal sealed the win for the Aggies in the next inning with the double play.
Villarreal said Baylor pitcher freshman Whitney Canion was jamming her inside at the plate, so when her last at-bat came around, she was prepared.
“She kept pitching me inside, which is one of my favorite pitches, but I kept getting jammed,” Villarreal said. “So I talked with [A&M catcher] Erin [Glasco], and before my last at-bat, I was ready. The home run felt really good.”
Canion, who was ranked third in the nation in strikeouts with 303 going into the game, struggled to find the strike zone after the second inning as she allowed seven walks and hit three A&M batters. Canion had ten strikeouts in six innings of work.
Canion walked a batter in every inning after allowing A&M’s first three runs including three in the third inning, which ironically she had three strikeouts in as well.
A&M Head Coach Jo Evans said that Canion’s mistakes were key in the Aggies’ victory.
“The walks and hit-by-pitches she threw were free passes we’ll take any time,” Evans said. “Canion is a pitcher that will get her strikeouts, but we did a good job to stay disciplined at the plate.”
Sophomore A&M pitcher Rhi Kliesing pitched all seven innings for the Aggies, earning her 18th win of the season. She held the Lady Bears to four runs, allowed eight hits, walked two and struck out four.
A&M will play on the road for the first time in five games when it travels to Norman, Okla., to meet the 11th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners this weekend.
Evans said the win against Baylor will help to keep momentum on the road.
“We needed a big game here,” Evans said. “Oklahoma is a tough team, they were picked to win it all in the Big 12, but they’re beatable and this game will help us going into the weekend.”

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