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

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

The Battalion

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Aggies blast No. 2 Alabama 9-1 en route to series win

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Senior infielder Haley Lee (25) celebrates after scoring a run at Davis Diamond on Friday, April 22, 2022.

Just when the college softball world counted Texas A&M out, the Aggies reminded everyone that they can be a force in the SEC.
A day after a magical win over No. 2 Alabama, the maroon and white returned to a sold-out Davis Diamond with a dominant 9-1 run-rule victory over the Crimson Tide on Saturday, April 23. The win, which comes a week after the team was swept at Tennessee, marks the Aggies’ first conference series win of the season.
An explosive seven-run second inning featuring a three-run homer by senior right fielder Morgan Smith keyed A&M’s dominant performance, which also served as the Crimson Tide’s first SEC run-rule loss since 2016. The win improves the Aggies’ record to 5-12 in conference play and 26-17 overall.
Senior Makinzy Herzog shined on the mound and at the plate for A&M, pitching 4.1 innings while allowing just one run on one hit and a walk while fanning four batters. Freshman Emiley Kennedy entered the game with one out in the fifth inning, where she allowed just one hit before closing out the frame.
“This win is huge for us,” Herzog said. “We just kind of let loose this weekend instead of being so tight and so angry about not finishing games. We decided to have fun and relax, and it helped a lot.”
Herzog kicked off the second inning with a single and a stolen base before freshman designated player Katie Dack and sophomore catcher Mayce Allen both worked walks off junior pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl, who entered the game with a 9-2 record and an ERA of 1.78.
Sophomore left fielder Grace Uribe then smacked a 1-2 offering to right field for a single, scoring two. Freshman shortstop Koko Wooley followed up with a single of her own, a line drive to left-center field to score Allen from third.
Senior first baseman Haley Lee, a .480 hitter, continued the Aggies’ hit parade with a grounder to the shortstop, scoring Uribe. Initially ruled a groundout, the play was determined to be a single after a replay review showed Lee reached first base safely. Stepping to the plate with runners on the corners and her team up 4-0, Smith put the icing on the cake of the inning with a three-run shot off the scoreboard in left field, bolstering the A&M lead to 7-0 and chasing Kilfoyl from the game.
“The rally in the second inning really took the wind out of Alabama’s sails,” A&M coach Jo Evans said. “When you look at what our hitters have done against two All-Americans and how they managed themselves, I’m really proud of them.”
With Herzog keeping the Alabama bats silent, Dack added a run for the Aggies in the fourth inning, clobbering a double to score sophomore pinch runner Mariana Torres from second. A walk to Allen would load the bases with one out, but sophomore pitcher Jaala Torrence induced a foulout and groundout to end the threat.
The Crimson Tide tacked on a run in the top of the fifth inning after a walk and a wild pitch by Herzog saw Kennedy take over in the circle. With a runner on third, freshman right fielder Jenna Lord snuck a single past sophomore second baseman Rylen Wiggins for Alabama’s lone run.
In the bottom of the frame, a two-out walk worked by sophomore third baseman Trinity Cannon set the stage as Herzog entered the batter’s box. With a full count, Herzog laced a single to left field, which, after being misplayed by the left fielder, allowed Cannon to race home for the series-clinching, run-rule sealing score.
“I went up to that at-bat like, ‘I know I’m going to get it done,’” Herzog said. “We really didn’t want to have to go another inning, so we said, ‘Someone’s going to have to score this inning,’ and it just happened to be me. Everyone did so good today, and it all strung together.”
Unable to contain their excitement, the team flooded out of the dugout to mob Herzog in the infield before a proud performance of the Aggie War Hymn in front of a record crowd of 2,455 fans. To top it off, Herzog received an ice bath from the team during her postgame interview following her 2-for-4 showing at the plate.
“I couldn’t hear the team because they were being so loud,” Herzog said with a laugh. “I was like, ‘They’ve already done this to me before, so I don’t think it’s going to happen again.’ It came out of nowhere, so it kind of freaked me out.”
In what seemed like a dream a week ago, the Aggies will look to complete the sweep of the Crimson Tide on Sunday at Davis Diamond, with first pitch set for noon.

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