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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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A&M dominates Kentucky in doubleheader

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A Nguyen

Senior Morgan Smith (23) swings her to hit the softball at Davis Diamond on Wednesday, March. 1, 2023

After inclement weather postponed Friday night’s game, Texas A&M softball took on the No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats in Game 1 of the series, and the first in a doubleheader. On Saturday, March 25, the Aggies came away with the win 14-13.
The tone of the game was set early by the Wildcats offense. It was in the bottom of the first when the Wildcats scored five runs on five hits, taking the early 5-0 lead. This was started as the leadoff hitter, graduate catcher Kayla Kowali, opened with a double. A single by junior LF Vanessa Nesby and another double by junior SS Erin Coffel brought in the first run. After a batter was hit by a pitch, junior 3B Grace Lorsung sent a ball over the leftfield wall, bringing in four runs. This set the Aggies at a 5-0 deficit going into the second.
The Aggies offense, however, was able to respond relatively well. With junior 1B Trinity Cannon reaching first by an error, a single by sophomore shortstop Koko Wooley was able to put runners in scoring position. After freshman 2B Amari Harper was walked, junior 3B Rylen Wiggins singled and Cannon scored the first run of the game for the Aggies. A sacrifice fly then brought Wooley home, and shortly after, Harper scored thanks to a wild pitch. The Aggies came out of the inning with three runs and they had cut into the large Kentucky lead.
The only scoreless inning of the entire game would be the third, as two relief pitchers, sophomore pitcher Emiley Preston for A&M and graduate pitcher Kennedy Sullivan for Kentucky, started to find a small amount of defensive stability.
The fourth inning saw the Aggies, once again, chop away at the Wildcat lead. Wooley opened the inning with a single. In the game to pinch hit was freshman Aiyana Coleman, who proceeded to hit a home run that would tie the game at 5-5. The Wildcats, however, responded with a couple runs of their own. This occurred when Kowali bunted and safely got to first. Nesby then singled, advancing Kowalik to third base. A walk loaded the bases and Sullivan brought one run in by a fielder’s choice. Lorsung then sent one through the gap to centerfield to bring in another run. Kentucky once again led 7-5.
The fifth inning appeared to be a tragic one for the Aggies. While in the top of the fifth, the Aggies were able to score one run, thanks to freshman LFKeely Williams. Williams was walked before she stole second, advanced to third thanks to a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly from Cannon. This was overshadowed by the fact that the Wildcats built upon their lead thanks to two errors by the Aggie defense. Sophomore 2B Margaret Tobias and Kowalik were both gifted a base by those Aggie fielding errors, and Nesby singled. With the bases loaded, Coffel doubled to center field and all three of her baserunner teammates scored. Junior 1B Meeko Harrison was able to drive Coffel home with a single into centerfield. At the end of the fifth, the Wildcats led 11-6.
It was up to the Aggies to stage a furious comeback in the final two innings of the game. Wiggins and sophomore center fielder Allie Enright both singled to start the sixth inning. Williams batted in Wiggins with a single to right field and both Enright and Williams were able to secure extra bases due to an error. Senior RF Morgan Smith drove both of them in with a single of her own. This made the score 11-9.
With a need for a miracle, Cannon opened the seventh inning with a homer. Then suddenly, Wooley reached first on an error. The momentum had swung in favor of the Aggies. Wiggins singled and Wooley advanced to third. Enright was out on first by a fielder’s choice but it allowed Wooley to score. Needing just one more run to take the lead, Williams came to the plate. She blasted a three-run home run to deep centerfield that put the Aggies up 14-11 going into the bottom of the seventh.
However, the Aggies would not escape without some drama. With two outs, Lorsung hit a two-run shot to make it a one run game. It was up to senior pitcher Shaylee Ackerman to get the save. She had come into the game before the sixth inning and held the majority of the Wildcats in check. She struck out the final batter to secure the win for the Aggies. In her clutch outing, she pitched two innings and struck out three while allowing three hits.
The Aggies didn’t have much time to celebrate this win, as they had to play Kentucky once more.
The offensive momentum carried into Game 2 of the doubleheader. The Aggies jumped on the scoreboard early and handed out a 10-0 five-inning run rule to the Wildcats to wrap up the 12 total innings and five hours of play.
Junior LHP Grace Uribe made her pitching debut for the Aggies and threw 2.2 innings. She allowed three hits and two walks. In the 2022 slate, Uribe pitched 73.2 innings and led her team to five total wins while in the circle. Sophomore RHP Emily Leavitt came in to relieve Uribe for the remainder of the game and shut out Kentucky with no hits or runs and two walks.
The maroon and white kept the hot bats rolling in top of first inning with a double from junior catcher Julia Cottrill and a single from Cannon that brought Cottrill around to score.
In the top of the second, the offense hit a plateau with a fly out from junior 3B Rylen Wiggins and two strikeouts from Coleman and junior pinch hitter Bre Warren. However, the Aggies were able to answer in the top of the third inning with three more runs.
With bases loaded and Wooley in the batter’s box, she doubled down the left foul line on her second pitch and scored Cottrill and Smith. Coleman bounced back from her strikeout with a home run over the right field fence. The Aggies had four total runs on the board in the bottom of the third with zero runs from the Wildcats.
Williams smacked another home run to leftfield in the top of the fourth inning and scored three total runs. Smith immediately followed with a double to leftfield. Cottrill singled to third base, followed by an RBI from Cannon to put the fourth run on the board. The A&M runs now tallied up to nine with still no offensive answer from Kentucky.
In the top of the fifth inning, Harper doubled to rightfield, followed by a single from Wiggins that brought Harper around to score. Coleman stepped up for her second home run of the night to rightfield. With two more runs on the board in just the fifth inning, the game concluded on a run rule win for the Aggies with a 10-0 final over Kentucky and a punchy start to the three-game series.
A&M softball will play No. 11 Kentucky once more on March 26, at 12 p.m. in John Cropp Stadium to finish the series before traveling back to College Station to play Lamar on March 28.

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