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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M softball topples No. 2 Alabama

Photo by Robert O’Brien

Senior first baseman Haley Lee (25) celebrates the win over Alabama on Friday, April 22, 2022.

Beginning with a man balancing an ironing board on his chin while dancing and ending with an illuminating fireworks show, the first match of Texas A&M’s three-game series against No. 2 Alabama on Friday, April 22 featured impressive feats and explosive performances, leading to a 6-4 win for the Aggies.

Coach Jo Evans said the team’s hard work finally paid off in the night’s performance.

“They came out and just fought,” Evans said. “Our pitching staff did a phenomenal job as a staff as a whole. Grace Uribe had such a great start for us going out there and throwing no earned runs in three innings. We made the error and gave up some runs, but she stayed right in there and fought hard. Then [Makinzy] Herzog doing her job and then Emiley Kennedy to close it out.” 

The Aggies came out aggressive when in the first inning at only the second at-bat of the game with a 1-2 count, senior deputy player Makinzy Herzog slammed a homer into left field to put the first run on the board for A&M. It was quiet until the third inning when the Crimson Tide applied pressure on the Aggies when they loaded up the bases. Consecutive ground hits by Alabama allowed them to push four runs home and pull the lead, 4-1. 
It turned around for the maroon and white when freshman shortstop Koko Wooley ran up Alabama senior pitcher Montana Fouts’ pitch count before grounding a hit to get on base. Wooley was quickly followed by senior first baseman Haley Lee who sneaked a bunt and narrowly got safe at first. Sophomore third baseman Trinity Cannon continued the momentum with a hit inside the diamond that, along with an error by the Crimson Tide, sent Wooley and Lee charging home. A&M’s comeback was halted when Fouts and Alabama senior first baseman Kaylee Tow combined to get the out to end the inning.

The A&M defense took the field in the fourth with Herzog relieving sophomore pitcher Grace Uribe. The maroon and white made quick work of the Tide, getting all three outs at the first three at-bats in both the fourth and fifth innings. A&M’s momentum stalled through the fourth, but surged in the fifth when Cannon slammed an explosive, two-out, two-RBI hit to center field. She was followed up by senior right fielder Morgan Smith, who sent a hit down the center to bring Cannon home, allowing the Aggies to regain the lead, 6-4. 

Evans said the team took advantage of errors and performed at bat to put pressure on the Crimson Tide.

“Koko Wooley had a phenomenal night for us in the nine spot,” Evans said. “Going up and being on base when Haley Lee comes up. Those five kids: you got Wooley, and Haley Lee who draws a couple of walks, [Makinzy] Herzog that goes up there and the home run in the first was huge for us to get momentum on our side. Trinity Cannon had a great night for us with those two-out hits that really broke their back, and Morgan Smith doing the same thing.”

Freshman pitcher Emiley Kennedy came in for the second relief of the night in the sixth inning. It looked dark in the beginning as Kennedy walked the first batter and allowed two more hits, but the maroon and white defense locked up and closed out the inning without giving up a run. A&M showed up on offense once again when sophomore catcher Mayce Allen was walked and junior pinch-runner Hailey Gallegos came in. A bunt from Wooley allowed her and Gallegos to capture second and third. Lee was walked onto first —the bases were loaded. The crowd stood on their feet to watch as Herzog stepped up to the plate, but the Crimson Tide managed to hold out, and the score stayed 6-4 in favor of the maroon and white. 

However, despite the rough end to the inning, the record A&M crowd stayed standing as they yelled The War Hymn, hope in their eyes and belief in their team. The seventh inning began; Alabama senior third baseman Prange stepped up to the plate and hit a ground out to Wooley: one out. Next, Crimson Tide senior catcher Ally Shipman stepped up and sent a line shot straight to Kennedy: two outs. Finally, Alabama sophomore shortstop Bailey Dowling came to bat. The tension was tangible in the air. Dowling sent a short hit to Cannon, who whipped it to first.


Cannon, who dominated all around at bat, on base and fielding, said that her play got better when she calmed her pace. 
“I think slowing the game down was a big part [of my game’s success],” Cannon said. “Coming in, I just needed to see a few pitches. That first half, I was really antsy and was going after everything. Then finally in the second half at my third at-bat I just thought, ‘Slow it down, slow it down,’ and I think that’s what really helped.”

The 6-4 win revived the Aggies’ winning streak after their three-game loss to Tennessee on April 16-18 as well as marked their first win over Alabama since the 2019 season. The night also set record attendance for the facility with 2,231 people in the stands.
The Aggies return to Davis Diamond on Saturday, April 23 to face the Crimson Tide once more in the second game of the series. The first pitch is set for 6 p.m.

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