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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

Aggies’ 2022 campaign ends with 20-0 loss to No. 1 Oklahoma

Senior+OF+Morgan+Smith+%2823%29+jumps+unsuccessfully+to+catch+a+home+run+hit+by+Arkansas+at+Davis+Diamond+on+Saturday%2C+May+7%2C+2022.
Photo by Robert O’Brien

Senior OF Morgan Smith (23) jumps unsuccessfully to catch a home run hit by Arkansas at Davis Diamond on Saturday, May 7, 2022.

The Texas A&M softball team’s matchup with No. 1 Oklahoma on Saturday, May 21 on Day 2 of the Norman, Okla., regional was a tightly contested pitchers’ duel that ended in a 3-2 victory for the Sooners.
Sunday’s regional championship between the two teams was a different story.
Oklahoma scored early and often in the 20-0 A&M loss, whereas the Aggies eked out just two hits while committing four errors defensively at Marita Hynes Field. The loss concludes A&M’s 2022 season, in which the team went 31-28 overall with a 6-18 record in SEC play. The Aggies ended the season second-to-last in conference play.
The Sooners jumped on senior starting pitcher Makinzy Herzog and junior reliever Shaylee Ackerman in the opening frame, belting five hits and taking advantage of two walks, a hit batter, a wild pitch and three errors committed by the A&M defense to take an early 9-0 lead. Six of the inning’s nine runs were unearned.
“We came out in the first inning with jitters and had a hard time getting outs,” coach Jo Evans said. “We’ve been so good at getting outs when opponents have given them to us, and we just didn’t do that. When you get off on a bad note like that, it’s just really hard to recover when you’re playing a good team like Oklahoma.”
Freshman Emiley Kennedy took over pitching duties for the Aggies in the second inning, holding the Oklahoma offense to just one hit and an RBI groundout to up their lead to 10-0.
The Sooners attacked the scoreboard once again in the top of the third inning, tallying four runs off of an RBI single and a three-run blast by sophomore left fielder Alyssa Brito to make it a 14-0 ballgame. The Aggies managed their first hit of the contest in the bottom of the frame on a single by Herzog, with their only other hit being a single by senior right fielder Morgan Smith in the sixth inning. Oklahoma sophomore starting pitcher Nicole May pitched 4.1 scoreless innings with six strikeouts, improving her record to 14-0 this season.
Oklahoma added six runs across the fourth and fifth innings off Kennedy and graduate pitcher Kayla Poynter, led by a three-run blast in the fourth from Oklahoma sophomore second baseman Tiare Jennings. Poynter, in her fifth year with the program, is the only Aggie that has been confirmed to not return next season due to eligibility.
A scoreless bottom of the fifth inning capped off the 20-0 run-rule loss and the 2022 season for A&M.
“It’s a tale of two cities,” Evans said, referring to the Saturday and Sunday games. “Yesterday, I thought we played really well and gave ourselves a chance to win a ballgame. Today, we just never gave ourselves a chance, and [Oklahoma] stepped and did a really nice job.”
Of the three seniors on this season’s team — Herzog, Smith and catcher Haley Lee — Lee and Herzog have announced they will return in 2023, while Smith’s future is currently unknown.
On Monday, May 23, Director of Athletics Ross Bjork announced that Evans’ contract would not be renewed after 26 seasons as head coach of the Aggies.
“Coach Evans has been a tremendous ambassador to our University and softball program for the last 26 years, but we have decided that our softball program needs to go in a new direction,” Bjork said. “We are deeply appreciative of her efforts while building on our softball program’s winning tradition with three Women’s College World Series appearances. Jo is a first-class person, and we wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors.”

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