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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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Aggies fall 1-0 to Kentucky in defensive showdown

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Texas A&M softball played six scoreless innings and held Kentucky to just one hit until the seventh inning, but all it took was a seventh-inning solo home run from Kentucky sophomore C Karissa Hamilton to break the stalemate as the Wildcats avoided the series sweep with a 1-0 win over the Aggies at Davis Diamond.

“Obviously it was a hard-fought battle on day three,” A&M coach Trisha Ford said. “I thought both pitchers pitched great games. They got a long ball and we didn’t get a timely hit and that’s the difference.”

Senior RHP Stephanie Schoonover got the start in the circle for the Wildcats, and she recorded seven strikeouts in seven innings — three of which came in the bottom of the seventh — to send the Aggies packing.

But don’t let Schoonover’s day distract from A&M junior LHP Emily Kennedy, who also recorded seven strikeouts in seven innings pitched while only giving up three hits to Schoonover’s two — but the difference was Hamilton’s homer that proved to be the decider.

“You give up one run in the SEC and you feel like you’re obviously going to win that game,” Ford said. “Sometimes, it happens. We just didn’t execute.”

The difference was one of mere inches: Hamilton’s single-run shot to left field grazed the glove of A&M junior LF Kramer Eschete — who’s leap nearly robbed Hamilton of her home-run — before landing just beyond the outfield wall.

The homer was only the third combined hit of the game, but the low-scoring stalemate didn’t affect the drive of the Aggies, Ford said.

“We’ve been in so many games where we’ve been behind and came back and scored,” Ford said. “[A&M] was talking about ‘hey, let’s go, let’s go, let’s get better as this game goes.’ I thought the energy was fine.”

A&M’s bats first came alive in the bottom of the third inning thanks to sophomore 3B Kennedy Powell’s single up the left side. Powell then stole second on the next at-bat, but was called out as Kentucky challenged that Powell left early.

That stood as the game’s sole hit until the top of the fifth inning, when Kentucky junior 2B Margaret Tobias sent a full-count pitch into the dirt near third base, and was able to reach first in plenty of time for Powell to hold off on the throw to first.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, that single was sandwiched in between a pair of Kennedy strikeouts, fitting for a pitcher’s duel. Kentucky was able to land another runner on base after junior DP Taylor Ebbs was hit by a pitch, but a groundout ended the scoring threat and put the Aggies up to bat with things still locked in a scoreless stalemate.

A&M’s final hit came at a much-needed point in the bottom of the seventh inning. After Schoonover walked senior CF Jazmine Hill in four pitches and sophomore PH Aiyana Coleman struck out swinging, the Aggies found their last burst of offense thanks to a single from Eschete, who’s swing sailed just over a leaping senior 3B Grace Lorsing to move the tying run to second base and the winning run to first.

But a walk-off was not to be, as Schoonerover struck out the two remaining Aggie batters to secure a road win for the Wildcats.

“She’s just savvy,” Ford said. “We kept swinging at balls over our heads and she just kept living up there. I think that was the difference.”

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About the Contributor
Ian Curtis
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter
Ian Curtis is a journalism freshman from College Station, Texas. Ian has written about football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, hockey, gymnastics, volleyball and more for The Battalion. Ian's work has also appeared in The Bryan-College Station Eagle and over the airwaves on WTAW and BCSball.com. 
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