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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

First game of SEC Tournament against South Carolina ends in early exit for A&M

Photo by A Nguyen

Sophomore LHP Emiley Kennedy (11) winds up during Texas A&M’s game against Mizzou at Davis Diamond on Sunday, April 30, 2023.

No. 7 seed Texas A&M softball began the first round of the SEC Tournament against No. 10 seed South Carolina on Wednesday, May 10, at Bogle Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Aggies were previously swept in the regular season series against the Gamecocks with a combined score of 15-2 across three games.
The Aggies started off with four straight hitless innings on defense as both teams went scoreless until the eighth inning.
In the first inning, senior RHP Shaylee Ackerman began her reign in the circle by striking out the leadoff hitter in senior 1B Jordan Fabian. Next, a double play initiated by junior 3B Rylen Wiggins and the rest of the Aggie infielders would send the Gamecocks onto the field.
Ackerman continued her success in the third inning, striking out both sophomore 2B Emma Sellers and Fabian again. On offense, sophomore SS Koko Wooley singled to second base, then tried to steal second after a pitching change but was ruled out at first since she left early.
After groundouts by freshman 2B Amari Harper and junior 1B Trinity Cannon, senior RHP Donnie Gobourne struck out her first victim in junior C Juila Cottrill, pushing the game scoreless into the fifth inning.
After switching pitchers, sophomore RHP Emiley Kennedy entered the game and struck out junior RF Jen Cummings before sophomore C Giulia Desiderio doubled to left field.
Next, Kennedy walked Sellers before sophomore Brooke Blankenship was struck out, stranding two batters on base as the inning came to a close.
In the bottom of the sixth, Gobourne continued showing dominance by striking out sophomore CF Allie Enright and senior LF Star Ferguson. Wooley then flew out to right field to end the inning, still scoreless.
In the top of the seventh, the Gamecocks earned their second hit of the game when junior DP Aniyah Black singled to right field. Cummings then grounded out, sophomore LF Marissa Gonzalez flew out to right field and Desiderio grounded out to Kennedy, stranding Black on third base.
Back on offense for the Aggies, Harper flew out to center field, then Cannon was walked by Gobourne. Cottrill popped up a fly to first base before Gobourne sent the game into extra innings by striking out senior DP Morgan Smith.
After hitting Sellers and Fabian with pitches, Kennedy struck out Blankenship and junior 3B Zoe Laneaux. Junior CF Riley Blampied then singled through the right side for an RBI, pushing Sellers home for the first score of the game in the eighth inning. The game was halted right after the score due to a lightning delay.
After resuming play four hours later, Cummings grounded out and Kennedy escaped the elongated inning, down 1-0.
A&M needed to score in order to extend the game past the eighth, but after a strikeout and two flyouts, the game ended 1-0 in a heartbreaking fashion for the maroon and white.
“That’s a tough one for us,” coach Trisha Ford said. “Ackerman did a great job pitching four innings and Kennedy came in and pitched well, obviously got herself into trouble with some hit batters that ended up base hit scores, but it’s time to get ready for regionals.”
Next for A&M softball is an expected trip to the NCAA Regionals, between May 19-21, at a site to be determined.

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