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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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Early defensive miscues, pitching problems plague Aggies in 8-1 loss to Tennessee

Show+smiles+while+talking+to+a+coach+and+the+catcher%2C+Ashley+Walters.
Photo by By Lawrence Smelser

Show smiles while talking to a coach and the catcher, Ashley Walters.

Coming into the Knoxville Super Regional, Texas A&M was firm in the field, boasting the nation’s third best fielding percentage with a .980 clip. It also held a solid team ERA at 1.78.
Friday night at Parker Lee Stadium, however, Tennessee demolished the No. 9 Aggies’ (45-11) defensive discipline and picked apart their pitchers, as the No. 8 Volunteers (48-10) took the series opener with an 8-1 win.
Already maintaining a firm lead, the Vols broke the game open in the third, scoring five runs on just one hit – banking on pitching problems by the Aggies.
After loading the bases with no outs, Samantha Show (19-7) was lifted in favor of Lexi Smith following back-to-back walks. Smith, however, did not have an answer, walking in two straight runs after missing consecutive pay-off pitches up and away.
Smith would be pulled for Payton McBride after her third batter faced, as Aubrey Leach plated Taylor Rowland on a single up the middle.
Tennessee added two more on back-to-back fielder’s choices to second baseman Kaitlyn Alderink, before first baseman Tori Vidales turned a double-play to catcher Ashley Walters who tagged out Leach trying to score, ending the inning.
A&M avoided being run ruled in the fifth, as Sarah Hudek scored Walters from third on a bloop single into shallow left field. Hudek was the lone bright-spot in the Aggies’ order, going 2-for-3 on the day.
McBride continued to churn outs in the circle, working three up, three down innings in her final three frames and retired all 11 batters she faced.
The Aggies were unable to produce at the plate, however, as Vols ace Matty Moss (26-2) tossed a gem, allowing the lone run on just five hits and struck out five in her complete game effort.
Despite allowing her first run of the postseason, Moss’ heaters halted the A&M hitters, as the sophomore also painted both corners well and mixed in an effective change-up.
Tennessee took advantage of A&M’s defensive miscues early, as Brooke Vines plated Leach from third after laying down a bunt back to Show, who misplayed the softly hit grounder, allowing the Vols to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Show struggled to find the strike zone from the get-go, tossing 37 first inning pitches and walked three batters in the frame.
The Vols added to their lead in the second, continuing to capitalize on the Aggies’ fielding mistakes.
Jenna Holcomb brought home C.J. McClain from third on a two-out RBI triple down the right field line, which Hudek barely missed catching the fly ball. Holcomb herself came across the plate on a passed ball during the next at-bat, as catcher Walters did not cleanly catch Show’s pitch, trickling back towards the Vols’ dugout.
The Aggies and Volunteers return for game two of the series Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and the game will be aired on ESPN2.

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