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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 run rules Texas State

Photos Austin Nguyen

Sophomore INF Koko Wooley (3) hits a double during Texas A&M’s game against Texas State at Davis Diamond on Wednesday, April 19, 2023.

Texas A&M softball entered its game on Wednesday, April 19, in a bit of a rut, having been swept in its series at South Carolina last weekend. The Aggies have struggled in SEC play to the tune of an 8-10 record. Wednesday’s nonconference game against the Bobcats provided them with an opportunity to get back on track with the regular season approaching its conclusion.
On the mound for the Aggies was senior P Shaylee Ackerman, while the Bobcats had senior P Tori McCann. Both pitchers entered with ERAs under 3. Quality starting pitching from both teams meant runs would likely be hard to come by at Davis Diamond.
Ackerman set down the side in order in the top of the first, inducing weak contact from Texas State. The only issue for Ackerman was some trouble staying in the strike zone.
In the bottom half, A&M quickly got two on the bases with no outs on both an infield single and bad fielding on a weak ground ball from Texas State. The Aggies proceeded to make three consecutive outs to squander the early opportunity.
In the top half of the second, the Bobcats got their first baserunner of the game in the form of a walk.
The next half inning once again saw the Aggies get runners on first and second with two outs. A seeing-eye infield single from sophomore SS Koko Wooley gave A&M a 1-0 lead after two innings of play.
After getting a runner on second via an error to start the third, Texas State elected to sacrifice bunt them over to third to set up its first real threat of the game. A line drive right to junior 3B Rylen Wiggins gave the Aggies the second out of the inning.
Wooley ended the inning by making a great play on a chopper up the middle to strand the runner at third base. Ackerman wasn’t getting a lot of swings and misses, but was able to routinely force Texas State into making weak contact when she needed to.
The Aggies didn’t pose much of a threat in the fourth outside of getting one runner on after a walk. As advertised, the game was looking like it was going to be a low-scoring affair.
In the top half of the fourth, the Bobcats got a runner on second after a shallow fly ball in left field was unable to be caught by the Aggies. A big strikeout from Ackerman gave A&M the opportunity to once again escape the inning unscathed. In the ensuing at-bat, Ackerman ended the inning on a shallow fly-out to right field.
Senior RF Morgan Smith led off the bottom of the fourth with a lead-off bunt single. A walk from sophomore CF Allie Enright gave the Aggies runners on first and second. Texas State brought in junior P Karsen Pierce in an attempt to stymie A&M’s building momentum.
Following a strikeout from junior LF Bre Warren, the maroon and white still found itself with a pair of runners on with the top of their order coming to the plate. A bloop single from Wooley loaded the bases for the Aggies with one out.
A bases-loaded walk from junior 1B Trinity Cannon increased A&M’s lead to 2-0. A no-doubt grand slam to center field from junior C Julia Cottrill added insult to injury for the Bobcats, as the Aggies now led 6-0 in the bottom of the fourth.
Cottrill said her plan going into her grand slam was staying in the zone to get a pitch to drive.
“I was just hunting a strike,” Cotrill said. “I think I didn’t do that my first two at-bats, so my goal in my third at-bat was to make an adjustment and hunt a strike.”
Coach Trisha Ford said a key part of Cottrill’s grand slam was slowing everything down and staying in the moment.
“She’s a big time player,” Ford said. “Her and I talked before that at-bat because she [can get] a little antsy. They want it so much and they don’t know how to funnel that energy into [being relaxed] and [confident]. That’s what she’s been working on.”
Sophomore P Emily Leavitt came in to replace Ackerman to start the fifth inning. Ackerman’s final line was four innings of shutout ball with one strikeout while giving up a walk and a hit.
The Bobcats refused to go down without a fight, getting runners on first and second with one out. An inning-ending double play from Wooley kept the maroon and white’s shutout alive. It was looking like the Aggies were going to end their three-game losing streak.
The Aggies plated their seventh run of the game in the bottom of the sixth off a sacrifice fly from Cannon. More suspect fielding from Texas State loaded the bases with one out for Wiggins, who proceeded to hit a two-run double off the left field wall to end the game. The Aggies won 8-0, and improved their record to 27-16.
Ford said she entered the game with questions about how A&M would respond from its recent losing streak.
“Excited for the bounce back, honestly,” Ford said. “I was wondering what tonight was going to look like, and I was really proud of our fight.”
One of the more impressive performers Wednesday night for the Aggies was Wooley, who finished the game 4-for-4, with one of the hits being a double. More impressively, Wooley did all this wearing a splint for a recently broken finger.
Wooley said she was initially unsure of how well she would be able to play, but ended up gaining more confidence during warmups before the game.
“I just went and warmed up and I was like, ‘Oh, this is not as hard as I thought it was going to be,’” Wooley said. “It was harder fielding, the hitting part wasn’t that hard.”

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