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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies unable to get past Alabama’s offensive dominance in 13-3 loss

Sophomore+Dani+Elder+from+League+City%2C+Texas+runs+to+third+base.
Photo by Photo by Megan Cusick

Sophomore Dani Elder from League City, Texas runs to third base.

Texas A&M softball has been relatively unsuccessful in Southeastern conference play so far this season, winning only one of the six games.
Against No. 4 Alabama on Friday, it was no different.
The scoring started for the Crimson Tide with a three-run homer by junior utility player, Bailey Hemphill. Hemphill put Alabama on the board early, as she was the third batter to step up to the plate.
“Part of it is just having our pitcher’s back. Part of it’s also just trying to not let runners be on base when that happens,” senior third baseman Riley Sartain said. “Making sure we get outs whenever we can and making that incredible play, so that when the big hitter does make the home run there is no one on base. Solo home runs will never make you lose a game.”
Hemphill’s home run in the first was the first of many — four total in the six innings played .The home runs accounted for eight of Alabama’s total runs.
Despite the defensive setback, A&M starting sophomore pitcher Kayla Poynter digged the Aggies out of the hole and struck out the next two batters. She did this again in the second inning after junior center fielder Elissa Brown and freshman second baseman Skylar Wallace returned home from a single to right by sophomore first baseman Kaylee Tow.
Poynter would go on to play 1.1 more innings, and was replaced on the mound while the score was 6-0 by redshirt freshman pitcher Hannah Mayo. Mayo finished out the 3.2 innings and had seven hits on seven runs with five walks.
The Aggies had a string of single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth inning, with a home run of their own by sophomore catcher and third baseman Dani Elder in the bottom of the sixth. The home run was the first of Elder’s career and she said it was exciting to be able to contribute to her team in a big way.
“I was doing whatever I could for my team,” Elder said. “I was looking to put the ball in play to give ourselves a chance to come back and score some runs.”
A&M head coach Jo Evans said Elder’s performance was a game changer for both the team and Elder’s softball career.
“I was pleased to see Dani get up there and swing the bat the way she did. She’s swinging the bat well,” Evans said. “She did a nice job at Auburn when she got her opportunities and came back tonight to do the same thing. Hitting your first career home run is a big deal and the way she competed at the plate was impressive.”
With eight runs going into the sixth inning, Alabama tacked on another five runs with the help of another three-run homer, but this time by Wallace. The home run, coupled with sophomore infielder Maddie Morgan’s double RBI, earned the Crimson Tide a 13-3 victory in game one.
As for what their performance in game one means for the rest of the three-game series, Evans said the Aggies have some changes to make both offensively and defensively.
“We need our pitchers to hold hitters at bay and give us a chance to make some defensive plays,” Evans said. “We got ourselves in a hole quickly today. Offensively, we need to do a better job controlling the strike zone. I felt our discipline at the plate was lacking. I want us to be more strong minded in how we play the game.”

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