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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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Aggies head to No. 6 Auburn, look toward postseason play

Freshman+third+baseman+Riley+Sartain%26%23160%3Bwatches+vigilantly+as+the+Gators+step+up+to+bat.
Photo by Photo by: Brian Okosun

Freshman third baseman Riley Sartain watches vigilantly as the Gators step up to bat.

No. 17 Texas A&M softball (35-16, 7-14 SEC) will hit the road to take on No. 6 Auburn (45-7, 15-5 SEC) for its final regular season series of the season this weekend.

The last time the Aggies were on the field, they hosted No. 1 Florida where they defeated the Gators 6-4 in the final game of the series. A&M was able to take the lead over the No. 1 team in the nation after an offensive explosion in the bottom half of the fourth inning.

After the Gators tied the game in the previous inning, the A&M offense scored four runs on three hits extending the A&M lead to 6-2. Despite the efforts and two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, the A&M defense was able to hold off the Gators’ comeback for a final score of 6-4.

Texas A&M head coach Jo Evans said that she hopes to continue to feed of the energy and confidence which the team gained from their victory over the top team in the nation.

“I expect us to take some momentum from our game on Sunday,” Evans said. “Beating Florida, I think our kids really did play well, hard and got after it. We need to take that momentum into Auburn. We know they are going to be a great team too. It’s going to be a big weekend for them, it’s senior weekend and I’m sure they want to make a run at the conference title. For us it’s to get momentum and be a spoiler.”

The final series of the season signals a stressful time for the student-athletes on the Texas A&M roster. Evans said that this period of time makes for a difficult time for the athletes to balance their academics as well as preparation for their match-up against Auburn.

“That’s the challenging part,” Evans said. “Our kids are stressed out about finals, they’re sleep deprived, they’ve been working hard to do well in their classes and it’s all culminating in this week. It’s not an easy time for our ball club, their studies are first, and that’s the priority. Some of them aren’t able to hit when we need them too because they’re studying, so that’s what makes this time so hard.”

Sophomore catcher Ashley Walters said that although this time of the year is filled with stress and anxiety, the team finds relief from their studies during practice as they prepare for big match up.

“Coach has always told us during finals week, you’re stressed and busy outside of softball practice, but you just kind of zone in and forget about finals,” Walters said. “Sometimes it’s difficult to unwind, since softball is a mental sport, but it’s kinda nice hitting wise because you get to take out some of your anger on the ball and just let it go.”

The first game of the series is set to begin Friday at 6 p.m. and can be seen on SEC Network Plus. The second game of the series will be nationally televised on ESPN beginning at 1 p.m., while the finale on Sunday will return to SEC Network Plus.

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