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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies defeat A&M-Corpus Christi, UT Arlington in softball season opener

Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Coming off of a successful freshman year, sophomore outfielder Bre Warren has taken on a newfound sense of confidence as she preps for the 2022 spring season. 

To a lot of pitchers, the mound can feel like an island: all alone in the center of the field, the sun beating down, one missed pitch and they’re lost in an ocean of pressure. Until relief comes in the form of the eight surrounding life rafts, the strongest teams make their way home together.
In the opening doubleheader of its 2022 season, the Texas A&M softball team rolled past A&M-Corpus Christi and UT Arlington on Feb. 11 at Davis Diamond in a pair of 9-run wins.
The first hit of the game against the Islanders, and the season, came from senior catcher Haley Lee. The hit continued her 16-game hitting streak from the previous season. In the third inning, senior right fielder Morgan Smith took a hit by pitch to send sophomore second baseman Rylen Wiggins home for the match’s first run. Freshman designated hitter Katie Deck knocked her first career home run in the fourth inning. A&M Corpus Christi countered with a run of its own on board in a reach for a comeback during the 5th inning, but the Aggies shut it down with a three-run streak. Ultimately, A&M held its lead to close out 9-1.
For the second match of the night, the maroon and white faced UT Arlington. The game quickly became a battle of the pitchers as both only gave up three hits total over 3.5 innings. Junior designated player Shaylee Ackerman cracked open the deadlock in the bottom of the fourth inning leading to the Aggies taking the lead 4-0. In the fifth inning, junior pinch hitter Hailey Gallegos came in to get the first hit of her career. A&M kept the momentum and steamrolled to a 9-0 shutout.
Both matches ended early with home runs from sophomore third baseman Trinity Cannon. Cannon had an overall impressive night on offense, batting 2-for-2 against the Islanders and 2-for-3 against the Mavericks.
Cannon said her batting improved in the offseason once she slowed her swing, a concept she applied to the rest of her game plan.
“With [slowing my pace] comes patience and looking for what I want,” Cannon said. “With this team, I just felt like it’s been so much more fun, and when it’s so much more fun, I just get a lot more confident.”
Sophomore second baseman Rylen Wiggins also had an impressive match against A&M-Corpus Christi with hits in both at-bats including a two-run homer against the Mavericks. Senior pitcher Makinzy Herzog dominated with seven strikeouts and only one hit given up in five innings.
A&M coach Jo Evans, who jumps to 26-0 at home following the double-header, said the progress among the team is expected.
“With [Trinity] Cannon, I felt like at the end of last season, there was a lot on the table,” Evans said. “This kid has a lot more in her and she’s made just the slight little adjustment in her swing, and it’s made all the difference in the world. And Rylen Wiggins, people are wondering where she got that power, but she’s in practice and we’ve seen that all fall. I’ve been really pleased with that and that she can take that in the game and get that done. I’m happy to see the production from everyone, and we need that.”
Now that the first games of the season are out of the way and the jitters are gone, it’s all focus for the rest of the season, Ackerman said.
“I think the first game, I kind of got a little ahead of myself,” Ackerman said. “I kind of got a little excited. You know, the first day out and it’s an exciting day. This year, I’m really focused on my process and taking it one at-bat at a time and game-by-game, and just keeping it simple.”
The Aggies return to the field Saturday, Feb. 12 for the second day of the Aggie Classic for a second double headset against UT Arlington and Western Kentucky.

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