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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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A&M to clash against ranked SEC-opponent

 
 

The No. 18 Texas A&M softball team will continue its seven-game road stretch with a visit to Lexington to take on the No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats Friday through Sunday in a top-25 showdown.
The Aggies (26-10, 7-5 SEC) are coming off a midweek 2-1 loss to Houston, and the Wildcats (29-7, 5-4 SEC) were victorious at home against Louisville 5-0. Both teams are in SEC divisions in which the majority of opponents are ranked.
“Kentucky is really good,” said A&M head coach Jo Evans. “Their coach has done a great job with their program. They pitch really well, so when you have pitchers that you know are going to show up and play well, you always have a chance to win. We’re going to have to play well to win that series.”
Although this is the first time the Aggies have played Kentucky in Lexington since joining the SEC, Evans’ team has experienced John Cropp Stadium before.
“The nice thing is that we played at [John Cropp Stadium] last year in the conference tournament,” Evans said. “We didn’t play them, but we’ve played in that stadium so we’re comfortable with what that feels like.”
Kentucky leans on its pitching staff, led by senior Lauren Cumbess and sophomore Kelsey Nunley, who have a combined record of 21-3 and an ERA of 1.60 and 1.82, respectively. The Wildcats’ are led on offense by sophomore outfielder Sylver Samuel, who has a team-best nine stolen bases on the season. The power in the lineup comes from junior catcher Griffin Joiner, who leads the team with eight home runs and 25 RBIs.
“Kentucky has been ranked all throughout the season,” said A&M senior outfielder Cassie Tysarczyk. “They’re a really good ball club – they’re very well coached. We just need to keep rolling with what we got right now. Everybody’s really contributing offensively and our defense is looking great and the pitchers are doing their thing.”
The Aggies are led by senior catcher Nicole Morgan, whose RBI double provided A&M’s lone run against the Cougars. She continues to lead the Aggies in home runs (10) and RBIs (41).
Sophomore Katie Marks suffered her second loss Tuesday against Houston. She is expected to take the mound against Kentucky.
Freshman designated hitter and pitcher Abby Donnell said her team has to lay it all on the line this weekend.
“One more, that’s our motto,” Donnell said. “If we follow it, we can be successful.”
The Aggies return home April 11 to host the Tennessee Volunteers at the Aggie Softball Complex.

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