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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 loses 7-3 to No. 5 Arkansas on heartfelt Senior Day at Davis Diamond

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Senior P/OF Makinzy Herzog (24) speaks with her fielders in the top of the seventh inning in Davis Diamond on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.

Senior Day. It’s a bittersweet moment on the schedule, and for a young team like Texas A&M softball, three impactful, veteran leaders were recognized on the field at Davis Diamond. The numbers 23, 24 and 25 were painted in maroon just off the infield dirt in shallow center to honor right fielder Morgan Smith, right-handed pitcher Makinzy Herzog and catcher Haley Lee, respectively. 

In the penultimate game of the regular season, following a thrilling walk-off win in Game 1 of the weekend series, A&M was looking for its second series win in three weeks over a top-5 team when it faced No. 5 Arkansas in Game 2 on Saturday, May 7 in College Station. 

The Aggies came into the middle game of the series second to last in the SEC West standings with a 6-16 record in conference play, and a 28-23 record on the season. The Razorbacks sat atop the SEC West standings with a 17-5 conference mark and a 39-9 record overall. 

Herzog got the start for A&M, possessing a 2.35 ERA on the season with a 9-7 record. She allowed two runs over 1.1 innings in Game 1. Arkansas sent senior right-hander Mary Haff to the circle, sporting a 3.02 ERA with a 16-4 record. She was the losing pitcher in Friday’s walk-off defeat after pitching 5.1 innings of two-run ball. 

The Aggies wasted no time jumping out to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning, as freshman designated player Katie Dack picked up right where she left off against Haff the previous night, launching a two-run home run off the top of the scoreboard to give the maroon and white a 2-0 lead after the opening frame. 

The Razorbacks quickly responded in the second with a laser beam to center off the bat of sophomore third baseman Hannah Gammill, which just got over the wall to put Arkansas on the board. After issuing three two-out walks, Herzog got a fly out to center to strand the bases loaded and keep her team in front 2-1. 

The seniors at the top of the order came through for A&M in the third, as back-to-back hard-hit doubles by Lee and Smith made it 3-1, Aggies after three innings. 

Herzog had grinded through 3.2 innings, but two-out damage ended her day in the circle after 95 pitches. An infield single by Arkansas freshman shortstop Spencer Prigge and a two-run homer to straightaway center by Arkansas senior center fielder KB Sides tied the game at three. 

Arkansas broke the tie in a four-run fifth inning, which sent seven batters to the plate. Senior first baseman Danielle Gibson swatted a two-run home run to right, just over the outstretched glove of Smith, to give the Razorbacks their first lead of the game, 5-3. Senior designated player Linnie Malkin regained the team lead in home runs from Gamill and Gibson, as she lined a two-run shot toward the light pole in right — her 18th long ball of the season — doubling Arkansas’ lead. 

A&M senior right-hander Kayla Poynter pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth. A&M junior right-hander Shaylee Ackerman followed that with a 1-2-3 seventh. The Aggies failed to find any rhythm at the plate down the stretch, as Haff retired 12 of the last 14 batters she faced to go the distance in a 7-3 Arkansas victory. 

Haff pitched all seven innings for the Razorbacks, allowing three runs on four hits with five strikeouts to earn her 17th win of the season. A&M sophomore right-hander Grace Uribe struggled in relief of Herzog, recording only one out while being charged with three earned runs and the loss to drop her to 5-3 on the season. 

The Razorbacks came from behind for their 40th win of the season thanks to Haff’s fifth complete game and an offense that scored seven runs on seven hits, including four home runs. 

Despite the tough outcome for A&M, the postgame ceremony for the seniors was heartfelt and showed how this program is about more than just wins and losses.  

“I want to thank Makinzy [Herzog] for making the decision to come back and be an Aggie,” A&M coach Jo Evans said. “I can’t think of anything greater than to come back and get that Aggie Ring.” 

“Mo [Morgan Smith], we always use the word ‘professional’ when we refer to her,” Evans said. “She’s very professional, she’s on top of things, you never have to worry if she’s gonna be in the right place at the right time and get her things done. She’s a pleasure to work with.” 

“I am so proud of the woman you have become,” Evans said of Lee. “I am proud of the teammate you have become, and your personal growth has been astounding. Your play on the field speaks for itself.” 

A&M will take the field at Davis Diamond one more time this season on Sunday, May 8 with a Game 3 rubber match against Arkansas. First pitch is scheduled for noon, and the game can be viewed on SEC Network+. 

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