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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 Battalion May 4, 2024

Aggies unable to combat offensive struggles against Florida in game three

Freshman%26%23160%3BBaylee+Klingler+had+two+hits+against+Florida+pitcher+Kelly+Barnhill.
Photo by Kaylee Cogbill

Freshman Baylee Klingler had two hits against Florida pitcher Kelly Barnhill.

Texas A&M softball was plagued by hitting difficulties against No. 6 Florida on Sunday, going six innings without earning a hit.
Two A&M hitters saw over 10 pitches from Florida senior All-American pitcher Kelly Barnhill in their first at-bats. Freshman infielder Baylee Klingler saw 14 before she was walked, and Morgan Smith saw 12 before she struck out.
A&M head coach Jo Evans said making Barnhill throw a lot of pitches early helped the Aggies later in the game.
“Making her go so deep in the count — that’s what you want,” Evans said. “You want a kid that has to throw a bunch of pitches on the day and that should give you many opportunities for some good looks.”
Despite the ideal pitching scenario on the mound, the Aggies didn’t capitalize, Evans said.
“We didn’t use that to our advantage,” Evans said. “We didn’t really strike in those situations where if we have a pitcher throwing 40 pitches in an inning or 30 pitches in an inning, you love that. But she just ended up getting stronger and we didn’t do a good job of getting up there and being on top of the ball.”
In the afternoon game, Barnhill allowed only three hits in the seventh inning when A&M attempted a rally, striking out seven of the 25 batters she faced.
The Aggies’ attempted comeback ultimately came up short to give them the 4-1 loss.
Klingler kicked off the seventh inning with a double, A&M’s first hit of the night. Klingler said that though she knew Barnhill had pitched a no-hitter up until her final at-bat, she didn’t focus on that fact.
“I wasn’t necessarily trying to get a huge hit,” Klingler said. “I was really just trying to keep it simple, poke it up the middle, do something. It just happened to be a nice hit.”
To follow up Klingler’s double, Payton
McBride knocked a line drive down the right side to settle Klingler’s pinch runner Madi Jatzlau on third. Smith scored Jatzlau, though a double play by the Gators outed both Smith and McBride’s pinch runner Ashlynn Walls.
A fielding error by A&M allowed Florida’s freshman infielder Hannah Sipos to reach second base, followed by a double by senior outfielder Amanda Lorenz to score Sipos. Junior catcher Kendyl Lindaman then knocked a single to left field to drive home Lorenz and give the Gators the 2-0 lead.
With two outs in the third inning, Jordan Roberts knocked a home run over the center field wall to score two runs for the Gators and widened their lead over A&M to 4-0.
A&M junior pitcher Kendall Potts got the start on the mound for the Aggies, allowing four runs on eight hits over seven innings.
“I thought she did a good job throwing strikes,” Evans said. “I thought her change-up was effective. I thought she competed. She threw the outs we needed to get out of that inning and we just didn’t take care of the ball. [Florida] had the right people up at the right time.”
A&M now moves to a 25-18 record overall and is 3-12 in conference play. Florida maintains a seven game winning streak, moving to 36-9 on the season and 9-6 in the SEC.
The Aggies will next travel to the University of Missouri on Thursday for a three-game SEC series. Thursday’s first pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.

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