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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M shuts out Incarnate Word

A Nguyen

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

Thus far, Texas A&M softball has fared far better when playing teams outside of the SEC. The Aggies have a 4-5 conference record compared to a 16-6 nonconference record. Next up for the A&M was a midweek matchup against Incarnate Word on Wednesday, March 29, at Davis Diamond. The Aggies hoped to use the game to build momentum for an important upcoming home series against No. 3 Tennessee.
On the bump for the Aggies was junior P Grace Uribe, while the Cardinals were starting senior P Annie Gunther. The matchup marked Uribe’s second start of the season, while Gunther entered with a 5-2 record and 2.37 ERA over 41.1 innings pitched.
In the top half of the first inning, Uribe sat down the Cardinals in order to give way to the Aggies’ bats. In the bottom half, A&M scored its first run on an RBI triple from junior 1B Trinity Cannon. The maroon and white’s rally started with two outs in the inning.
Incarnate Word squandered a great opportunity to tie up the game in the following half inning. The Cardinals had runners on second and third with one out, but tried to score on a shallow line drive to right field that ended up resulting in an inning-ending double play as the runner got caught in a pickle between third and home.
Both teams were held scoreless in the third inning, with both pitchers starting to find their groove on the mound. The Aggies still led 1-0 over the Cardinals heading into the fourth inning.
Despite still being held scoreless, Incarnate Word was consistently making solid contact off of Uribe. In the top of the fourth alone, the Cardinals hit three line drives, two of which resulted in outs, while the other hit the top of the left field wall.
In the following half inning, the Aggies were getting traffic on the basepaths. Gunther was somewhat unlucky, with the bases being loaded because of a walk, throwing error and infield single from junior 3B Rylen Wiggins.
In the ensuing at-bat, the Aggies scored their second run of the game off of heads-up baserunning from sophomore SS Koko Wooley off of a force out. Lackadaisical play from Incarnate Word’s infield led to A&M stealing a run.
Gunther was replaced by senior P Natalie Myers after giving up a walk to freshman PHAiyana Coleman to load the bases with one out. A&M increased its lead to 3-0 off of a bases-loaded walk from freshman LF Keely Williams.
A 2-run single from senior RF Morgan Smith gave the maroon and white a 5-0 lead over the Cardinals as the game started to get away from Incarnate Word in the bottom of the fourth.
Smith’s mindset during the at-bat was to take a few pitches and make solid contact with something inside the strike zone.
“Mentally, I was just thinking [about getting] a good pitch and hit something hard,” Smith said. “Wherever it went, I was going to be happy with that. Just wanted to be patient and have a good at-bat. [Myers] was throwing quite a few balls, so I wanted to make sure I got a good pitch to hit.”
The Aggies went to senior P Shaylee Ackerman to pitch the top of the fifth inning. Uribe gave up two hits and struck out one over four innings pitched.
For Uribe, Wednesday’s performance was particularly important because of her being out due to injury for a long period of time up until recently. Uribe said the routine of pitching on a regular basis has led to an improvement in her comfort level on the mound.
“I’ve been healthy, just kind of getting back to being used to pitching again,” Uribe said. “It’s kind of been a long time. I felt comfortable out there.”
A&M scored its sixth run in the bottom of the sixth off a fielder’s choice from Williams, leading 6-0 over the Cardinals heading into the top of the seventh.
Another shutout inning from Ackerman gave A&M the 6-0 victory over Incarnate Word. The win improved the Aggies’ record to 21-11.
Coach Trisha Ford was pleased with maroon and white’s well-rounded performance against the Cardinals.
“I thought we came out and put some runs up [on offense],” Ford said. “It took us a bit of time, but we had a big inning in the fourth. I thought Grace came out and did what she was going to do.”
A&M’s next game on Friday, March 31, is the opener of a crucial weekend home series against Tennessee. First pitch at Davis Diamond scheduled for 5 p.m.
Ford said she is looking at the upcoming series against Tennessee as a learning opportunity, no matter what transpires.
“We’re gonna learn from it, regardless of the outcome,” Ford said. “That’s where our focus needs to be. Controlling the things we can control.”

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