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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

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggie softball eyes Lehigh in opening game of Norman regional

The Texas A&M softball team will begin the NCAA tournament in the Norman regional hosted by the No. 11 seed Oklahoma on Friday against Lehigh.

The winner will move to face the winner of the Oklahoma-Central Arkansas game for the chance at a Super Regional berth. Head coach Jo Evans is no stranger to the Patriot League Champions, as she spoke about the previous encounters with the Mountain Hawks over her tenure with the Aggies.

“I’m excited,” Evans said. “It was a huge possibility and it’s a familiar place for us. We’re used to playing OU and most of our players have played on that field. Lehigh is a great program. A lot of people don’t know about Lehigh but they’re the team that ended our season in 2006, sending the likes of Megan Gibson and Amanda Scarborough home early. They’re a team we respect and we saw them again in 2011. They do a great job and they’ll be a formidable opponent for sure.”

The Aggies (38-18, 12-12 SEC) are coming off of an early 1st round exit at the SEC Tournament at the hands of South Carolina on May 6. The Aggies will need the hot hitting of Tori Vidales to continue if the Aggies will look to make a deep run in the tournament.

Vidales, who was just recently selected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-South Region second team, leads the club in home runs and RBIs with 18 and 52, respectively. Senior Rachel Fox has been the leader of the Aggie pitching staff the entire season, pacing the club in wins with 22 and 214 innings pitched.

Lehigh (39-7, 16-2 Patriot) previously defeated Bucknell in the Patriot League tournament to secure the Patriot League Title. The Mountain Hawks are not a powerful team, only hitting 17 home runs on the season as a team, one less than Vidales hit this season for the Aggies.

Seven Lehigh players hold a batting average above .300 on the season with Alexis Watanabe hitting a whopping .469 this season. Without power, the Mountain Hawks would have needed to depend on quality pitchers this season, which is what they have in Emily Bausher and Christine Campbell. Bausher leads the team with a 21-5 record, and Campbell isn’t too far behind with a 16-2 record of her own. With both pitchers holding ERAs below two, the Aggies will have their work cut out for them.
First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

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