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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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A&M drops series on walk-off home run

A two-run, walk-off shot over the left field scoreboard by Mississippi State’s Amanda Ivey, her third home run on the year, secured a 7-5 victory for her softball team while leaving the Texas A&M fielders trudging off the turf of the Mississippi State softball field in disbelief.
Ivey hinted at bunting with two outs and with starting pitcher Alexis Silkwood on second base, before abruptly pulling back and teeing off on a pitch from Lauren Ainsley. Ivey fist pumped her way around the bases and was swarmed by teammates at home plate as the near 800 Bulldog fans on hand rejoiced for their team Sunday afternoon.
In the opposing dugout, A&M head coach Jo Evans had to quickly shuffle what was going to be a positive post game speech to her squad after what looked to be a conference road series victory.
“I know our kids are going to be disappointed,” Evans said. “They played really hard and worked hard for that win but we just couldn’t get it done in the end. We have to be really emotionally and mentally mature, understand that will happen at times. We fought, did the best we could and we have to take what comes to us.”
The No. 19 Aggies (21-7, 3-3) led by two runs heading into the final inning in the rubber match of the three game series in Starkville, Mississippi.
A&M leaned on home runs from Breanna Douglas and Kristen Cuyos along with a near complete game from slinger Rachel Fox to establish a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.
But, Fox ran into difficulties, giving up two runs while only securing one out in the seventh before Evans pulled her. She delivered 133 pitches, and Evans looked to the seasoned veteran Lauren Ainsley to send the game into extras.
Ainsley only secured one of the needed two outs, allowing two hits and two runs, including the game winning, walk-off homer.
“I thought our kids fought hard and showed a lot of heart today,” Evans said. “We just need to keep the ball in the ballpark in situations like that. To me, the story is that we had our opportunities several times with the right people up. I felt like there were times where we weren’t aggressive enough in those situations when we could have put the game away.
The loss places the Aggies into a tie for fifth in the Southeastern Conference standings. Missouri and Auburn remain as the only unbeatens in conference play.
Texas A&M hits the field again Wednesday night in a midweek, single game matchup with Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Texas. Sam Houston State traveled to College Station for a similar matchup on March 11, in which the Aggies prevailed 9-1.
First pitch for the upcoming matchup is slated for 6:30 p.m.

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