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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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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

A&M softball falls short on the road

Senior+catcher+and+utility+player+Haley+Lee+%2825%29+walks+to+first+base+in+Davis+Diamond+on+Friday%2C+Feb.+18%2C+2022.
Photo by Photo by Cameron Johnson

Senior catcher and utility player Haley Lee (25) walks to first base in Davis Diamond on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.

Despite its resurgence on offense, Texas A&M softball’s struggles on defense and in the circle led to its loss against the No. 20 Auburn Tigers, starting the Aggies’ SEC season 0-3.
Continuing to hold onto the flow of a game is where the Aggies need improvement, coach Jo Evans said.
“I think we need to do a better job of taking over a game and understanding momentum,” Evans said. “Do we have the momentum? Have we just shut them down? I think there are times we have momentum, and we’ve got them on their heels, and we don’t just finish.”
In the first match of the doubleheader Sunday, March 13, the Tigers started off strong with a solo home run in the first inning to kick off their lead. The game was quiet until the fourth inning when sophomore second baseman Rylen Wiggins hit her sixth home run of the season to put A&M on the board. The homer was the first allowed by sophomore Tiger pitcher Maddie Penta in all 15 appearances. Senior catcher Haley Lee hit a two-RBI shot in the fifth to bring the Aggies up 3-1. However, Auburn came back with two doubles in the bottom of the fifth to retake a 4-3 lead. Both A&M and Auburn held on defense throughout the sixth and seventh innings, leading to a Tiger victory, 4-3.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the maroon and white struggled on defense with Auburn tallying four runs in the first inning. The Aggies didn’t get on the board until the third inning with an RBI-single from senior right fielder Morgan Smith that sent Lee home. However, a two-run hit from the Tigers in the third brought their lead to 6-1. In the fourth inning, Lee hit her first grand slam of the season and narrowed Auburn’s lead to one. Despite A&M’s rally in the fourth, Auburn added two more runs to its lead in the fifth and held on to win 8-5.
Evans said Lee’s strategery makes her undefeatable at the plate.
“Cayden [Baker], Makinzy [Herzog] and Koko [Wooley] all get up there to load the bases for Haley [Lee], and that’s what a veteran player does,” Evans said. “She’s the best player on our team. She’s the best hitter and she’s savvy, and she’s always got a plan. You can get her out once, maybe twice, but you won’t get her out three times. Haley is the right person at the right time.”
Freshman pitcher Grace Uribe manned the circle in the first game. Uribe pitched for all six innings and gave up five hits, allowed four earned runs and threw three strikeouts. In the second match, the maroon and white had a three-pitcher relay using freshman Emiley Kennedy, junior Shaylee Ackerman and Uribe. Collectively, the trio allowed seven hits, eight runs with six earned and three strikeouts.
Evans said Uribe proved successful despite the overall challenges on the mound.
“If you look at what Grace [Uribe] has done, she’s coming off just one weekend of being able to throw bullpens,” Evans said. “She goes out last weekend to play some games and gets a win for us, then you look at what she does today and I’m just really proud of her. You can see that she’s a kid that can win games for us and keep us in games, and I thought she did a really nice job and gave us a chance.”
A&M returns to Davis Diamond on Tuesday, March 15 to host Sam Houston before its SEC home opener against No. 4 Florida.

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