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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Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Aggies one win away from Oklahoma City

Photo by By Lawrence Smelser

Tori Vidales celebrates after recording a double.

Down three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning in the second game of Knoxville Super Regional against host No. 8 Tennessee, No.9 Texas A&M conjured up some road magic to keep their season alive. A&M, who was on the brink of elimination, came back to defeat the Vols 6-5, to force game three of the super regional.
For game two of the series, Texas A&M was the designated home team. A&M started the game trailing the Vols 1-0 in the top of the first inning off a two-out solo-home run off the bat of Meghan Gregg. Harrington was able to contain the Volunteers after forcing a ground out to close out the inning.
The Aggies responded in the bottom half of the inning. The rally to tie the Vols began when sophomore Keeli Milligan drew a lead-off walk. Kaitlyn Alderink advanced Milligan to second on a sacrifice bunt. Junior Kristen Cuyos evened out the score when she hit a short blooper to left feels allowing the speedy Milligan to score with ease. 
The Volunteer offense continued to take the aggressive approach against A&M starting pitcher Trinity Harrington. After a single to Cuyos and a close call at first base that favored Tennessee, the Vols took the 2-1 lead over A&M. Tennessee extended its lead in an almost identical play giving the Vols a two run advantage. 
In the top of the fifth inning, Gregg scored an unearned run to give Tennessee the 4-1 advantage. However, A&M turned the tide in the bottom half of the inning to not only tie the game but to take the lead in the Aggies most crucial game of the season. 
It all began when Alderink singled to centerfield to open the inning on a 0-2 count.  Junior Tori Vidales then singled to give the Aggies two baserunners in consecutive at-bats. Junior Ashley Walters singled to center which allowed Alderink to score cutting the Vols lead to half. From there, the A&M offense strung along a few more hits. The Aggies closed the fifth inning with the lead to give the pitching staff their first lead of the super regional series.
Tennessee then scored to tie the game again, in the top of the sixth inning, at five apiece. In the long run, it was the errors that hurt the Vols. A pitch that caught Milligan gave A&M the potential game winner with no outs. Vidales brought Milligan home to take the 6-5 lead. 
Harrington returned to the circle following an absence from the team in the regional portion of the tournament due to personal reasons. In her first post season outing, Harrington pitch 5 and 1/3 innings striking out three and allowing five hits. Freshman Payton McBride came into the game in relief for Harrington, pitching 1 and 2/3 innings with a strike out. 
Following the game, Texas A&M head coach Jo Evans told she was glad with the way her team responded while being on the verge of being eliminated. Evans said the key to todays victory was the squads ability to continue  playing despite errors. 
“I just felt like if we came out and fought, we could live with whatever the result was,” Evans said to “I thought our team showed a lot of resiliency today. I thought we did a good job of bouncing back when we weren’t perfect or had a mistake. The difference for us today was that, if we made a mistake, we shook it off.”
The Aggies will be back for the win or go home game tomorrow in Knoxville. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. The Aggies are seeking their eighth Women’s College World Series appearance in school history and hope to return the first time in eight years, when they were still apart of the Big 12 conference. 

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