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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 softball gets series-clinching win on memorable senior night

Photo by Photo by A Nguyen

Sophomore INF Koko Wooley (3) looks back at her teammates after scoring a run during Texas A&M’s game against Mizzou at Davis Diamond on Sunday, April 30, 2023

On a gorgeous day for softball with blue skies and 80 degree weather on Sunday, April 30, the No. 23 Texas A&M softball team began its series-deciding game against the Missouri Tigers. The theme of the day was remembering and honoring the Aggie seniors who were playing their last home game at Davis Diamond. In a nice gesture, the players even presented each Missouri senior with a rose to honor them as well.
To start the game, sophomore RHP Emiley Leavitt was red hot from the mound. She struck out the first two Tiger batters and got the third to pop up in the infield. On the contrary, the Aggies’ first batter, sophomore SS Koko Wooley, hit a single on the second pitch of the inning. She used impressive baserunning to get a run for the Aggies, stealing second base before getting on third thanks to a wild pitch. Junior 1B Trinity Cannon then sent a ball foul that was caught, allowing Wooley to score and make it 1-0 in favor of the Aggies.
Mizzou was quick to respond in the next inning, however. Tiger sophomore C Julia Crenshaw and junior 2B Maddie Galagher hit back-to-back singles before the Aggies recorded an out. Junior RF Payton Jackson loaded the bases with another single, followed by senior DP Megan Moll singling into shallow left field to bring in a run and tie the game 1-1.
The Aggies made a pitching change to try and get out of the jam, with sophomore LHP Emily Kennedy entering the game. The first batter she faced was walked, despite the fans and Kennedy herself believing it was a strikeout. Junior SS Jenna Laird batted next and got two RBI with a single to left field to make it 4-1. Luckily for the Aggies, they were able to get out of the inning without any more damage.
The Aggie offense did not have much action in the bottom of the second. Despite this, Kennedy responded well in the top of the third, striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning.
The bottom of the third showed an opportunity to get more runs on the board for the Aggies, as freshman 2B Amari Harper hit a two-out single in between the first and second basemen. Cannon walked, putting Harper in scoring position. Junior DP Julia Cottrill had an opportunity to drive in a run or two, but an impressive catch by junior 1B Riley Frizell ended the inning.
In the top of the fourth, the Aggies again showed stout defense. After a walk, freshman catcher Riley Valentine picked off the runner trying to steal second. The next out was caught deep in center field by sophomore CF Allie Enright. Cannon finished the inning by snagging a speeding ground ball and tagging first.
Junior 3B Rylen Wiggins reached third in the bottom of the fourth when junior CF Alex Honnold failed to bring in a flyball at the warning track. Enright then crushed a ball to straight center field for just her third home run of the year. Senior LF Star Ferguson continued the two-out rally with a chopper to the shortstop and was able to beat the throw to first. Wooley tapped a ball that the third baseman attempted to dive for but could not catch. Harper followed this with a hit that bounced directly over the pitcher’s head and into center field, scoring Ferguson. Wooley was able to take advantage of the Tigers not paying attention and score on the play to take a 5-4 lead.
Despite a Tiger pitching change, the offensive fireworks continued for the Aggies. Cannon was walked before Cottrill destroyed a ball over the right field wall for a 3-run home run. By the end of the inning, the Aggies had scored seven runs on five hits for an 8-4 lead.
The game was expedited until the bottom of the sixth inning, as neither team got a hit in the inning and a half. The Tigers failed to make any noise even with the aid of two errors by the Aggies.
The action started up again when Ferguson opened up the bottom of the sixth with a single before Wooley doubled to left-center, her third hit of the game. Cottrill must have wanted to challenge Wooley’s bid for player of the game, as she sent another ball over the right field wall for her second 3-run blast and sixth RBI of the day. This became the story of the night, as Cottrill’s father, Jeff, is an assistant coach at Missouri.
“We are very competitive in our household,” Cottrill said. “We definitely had a household rivalry going on this weekend. It was a really cool experience, not many people get to play against their dad in college.”
With the score at 11-4, Mizzou had just one half inning to make up the seven-run difference. After the Aggies got the first two outs, an error allowed the Tigers to stay alive. A double put two Tigers in scoring position, but Wooley ended the game by catching a line drive. Kennedy finished with three strikeouts and only two hits in her 5.2 innings pitched.
The Aggies clinched the series and followed this with a ceremony for Ferguson, senior RF Morgan Smith, who had one hit on the day, as well as senior RHP Madison Preston.
“All of our seniors, today, really contributed in a way that was pivotal,” coach Trisha Ford said.
The Aggies will go on the road to play Houston for the final game of the season on Wednesday, May 3. They will then attend the SEC Tournament in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The maroon and white finished the year with an impressive 18-6 record at home.

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