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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 softball edged out by No. 21 LSU

Photo by Photo by Cameron Johnson

Sophomore infielder Trinity Cannon (26) catches a new game ball in Davis Diamond on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.

Despite a late offensive rally from Texas A&M softball and a defensive block led by freshman pitcher Emiley Kennedy, the Aggies succumbed to the LSU Tigers, who had an early start.
Kennedy said she knows her role is to relieve the tension and constraint on her team.
“It was a good day; coming out and giving my team a chance to come back and score runs was great,” Kennedy said. “I knew I was supposed to close the game, but I was called on before expected. [The quick innings] gave my team some relief and took some weight off our backs, so we can know we’re still in it and can still win the game.”
On Saturday, April 9, A&M began its second match against the Tigers in a three-game weekend. LSU began the match hot, pulling in three runs to the Aggies’ zero in the first inning. The momentum continued for the Tigers into the second inning. A wild pitch from graduate pitcher Kayla Poynter, a bases-clearing double and a two-out home run brought LSU up 8-0 heading into the bottom half of the inning.
The Aggies’ revival began in the bottom of the second. Sophomore second baseman Rylen Wiggins slammed her team-leading ninth home run of the season, bringing both herself and senior right fielder Morgan Smith home to bring the maroon and white within six. Odds turned against the Aggies once more in the third when another bases-clearing double from the Tigers added three runs to their lead, but A&M shut them down with its 17th double play of the season.
Coach Jo Evans said before the match that Wiggins was moved lower in the lineup to remove the pressure from her shoulders.
“She’s such a good hitter; you can’t keep that kid down for long,” Evans said. “I think [moving her down in the lineup] got her to relax a little bit and not try to do too much, which, on a day where she doesn’t try to do too much, she gets two home runs. I’m really happy to see the way she managed that and came out and fought.”
In the home-half of the third, the Aggies continued their offensive fight from the previous inning by taking advantage of opportunities. Two wild pitches from LSU redshirt junior pitcher Ali Kilponen sent three Aggies home and cut into the Tigers’ lead. Freshman left fielder Katie Dack sent a sacrifice fly to right field to bring A&M within five. The fight of the maroon and white was strengthened when Kennedy came in as relief to pitch the last four innings with two strikeouts, no hits and no runs.
Evans said Kennedy’s ability to keep calm despite the circumstances made the difference in the game’s outcome.
“She was so sharp,” Evans said. “I thought she did a phenomenal job — just a gutsy performance, really. When you give up so many runs early, and then when we started chipping into the lead, it’s like, ‘OK, let’s get the kid out there.’ I thought she threw really well and her composure was spot-on; a lot of poise out there in a tough situation.”
It was quiet until the seventh and final inning when Wiggins hit her second home run of the game, bringing Smith home with her once again. However, despite A&M’s efforts, LSU held on to secure the 11-8 victory.
The Aggies return to Davis Diamond for their third and final game against LSU on Sunday, April 10, with the first pitch scheduled for 12 p.m.

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