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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M softball opens new season against Lamar at Aggie Classic

Photo by File

Head Coach Jo Evans talks to her team in between innings.

The last time the Texas A&M softball team walked onto the diamond, it suffered a season ending 9-8 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in extra innings. However, with the new season just hours away, the No. 18 team in the nation looks forward to building on last season’s success and eclipse its NCAA Tournament Regional finish. A&M will open its season against Lamar at the Aggie Classic at the Aggie Softball Complex Feb. 10-13.
Fortunately, the Aggies are returning 12 players from last season’s Regional team. Sophomore Samantha Show led A&M in the circle, pitching a total of 202 innings in her debut season with the maroon and white. As a freshman, Show had a 25-10 record in the circle, launched 13 home runs with 31 RBIs. Show said she has worked to improve the mechanics of her delivery as well as her mental approach to the game during the offseason and is looking forward to the new season.
“I feel my mental side of the game has improved so much,” Show said. “More pitching wise, coach [Kara] Dill has come in and done an amazing job just boosting the confidence for me and the other pitchers and just evening everything out for us.”
In the offseason, Texas A&M welcomed a new face to its coaching staff. Kara Dill was named the voluntary pitching coach. Before accepting the position with the Aggies, Dill was working within the National Pro Fastpitch League, prior to that she spent two years working with LSU focusing mainly on slap hitters.
Show said Dill brings a different approach since she has been around the game of softball, both as a player and as a coach, and looks forward to the season with Dill as her pitching coach.
“I think that it will take a lot of pressure off of me more mentally I think,” Show said. “With coach [Kara] Dill’s knowledge of the game and how to use all four pitchers, it will help save Trinity [Harrington] and I towards the end of the season.”
Sophomore infielder Riley Sartain said the team is ready and eager to capitalize on the new opportunities that come with the birth of a new season.
“I think we’re a lot hungrier for that national title this year,” Sartain said. “I think we’ve been working a lot harder on the little things and the little parts of the game. We had a vision guy come work on our vision training and we’ve been fine-tuning our hitting over these past few months so hopefully that hard work will pay off.”
The new season comes with a bit of a nostalgic feeling for the team and its coaching staff. Midway through last season, the Texas A&M Board of Regents approved the construction of a new state of the art facility, making this season the last at the Aggie Softball Complex.
Junior infielder Tori Vidales said that although this marks the final time the Aggie Softball Complex will welcome in a new season, there will always be a place in the hearts of the players who have played at the stadium.
“I’ve been around this stadium for a long time through my recruiting process and my first three years here so I think it’s going to be bittersweet,” Vidales said. “We’re moving onto a stadium that is amazing and this place will always hold a special place in our heart because this is where we first fell in love with A&M, so it’ll always be a part of us.”
Texas A&M head coach Jo Evans said that the offseason preparation will allow them to make the strides down the road in conference play where nine of the thirteen teams are currently ranked in the top 25.
“We worked really hard on our defense and infield, on our reads off the bat, just being more aggressive,” Evans said. “Offensively we’ve just gotten better. I think we may even have more power than last year and more speed for sure. And then pitching, just having our pitchers change speeds and being able to complement each other so we don’t have to rely on someone to go seven innings. Every year we’ve been wanting to do that but this is the first we’re really able to do that.”
A&M will face Lamar in the first of four games this weekend. First pitch is slated to begin at 5:15 at the Aggie Softball Complex.

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