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

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

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Mexico fans react after Mexico F Julián Quiñones 73rd-minute goal during the MexTour match between Mexico and Brazil at Kyle Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
‘The stuff of dreams’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 11, 2024

As soon as the Mexico-Brazil soccer match at Kyle Field was announced, Jacob Svetz and Caitlin Falke saw an opportunity.  The match was scheduled...

The Fighting Texas Aggie Band performs at halftime during Texas A&Ms football game against ULM at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.
Gridiron glory to multi-event marvel
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • June 7, 2024

Special teams: Special events  “My favorite thing about an event is seeing the people come into the stadium and seeing their excitement...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Grand slam, walk-off home run lift A&M softball to 10-2 victory over South Carolina

Photo by Photo by Joshua Sozio

Senior centerfielder Kelly Martinez hit a grand slam in the first inning against South Carolina to give A&M an early 6-0 lead.

The Texas A&M softball team’s dominant offensive showing led to the Aggies’ second win over No. 23 South Carolina on Saturday at Davis Diamond.
After clinching the series with a 10-2 win on Saturday, the maroon and white will take the field again Sunday for the series finale in which A&M has the opportunity to record its first conference sweep of the season.
The Aggies got on the board early with a pair of singles from leadoff batter Makinzy Herzog and freshman Bre Warren, who then took advantage of fielding errors made by the Gamecocks and scored. Senior catcher Kelly Martinez extended A&M’s lead to 6-0 with a grand slam to conclude the first inning.
Martinez said having the opportunity to sit behind the plate catching in the top of the first helped her get a feel for the umpire’s strike zone, which gave her a better idea of what to anticipate when she stepped into the batter’s box.
“It was just another day at the ballpark,” Martinez said. “For myself, I expect it because I’m a softball player and I just know that’s my job for the day to go out there and pretend like I play everyday.
I’ve learned not to [put pressure on myself]. In the past, I would have but I’ve learned that this is my role so I take advantage of my role.”
A&M coach Jo Evans said she’s proud of the way the team came out aggressively from the start and was especially proud of Martinez for making the statement she did at the plate.
“I just tip my hat to Kelly in the way she manages her role,” Evans said. “Her attitude and her body language is really good, she just wants to be a part of the team and win games. I’ve been really impressed with what she’s done and offensively she’s really coming into her own.”
South Carolina managed to bring one across in the top of the second, which prompted the Aggies to make a pitching change. Starting pitcher Kelsey Broadus was replaced by senior Kayla Poynter who closed out the game and had an impressive performance on the mound.
“We needed somebody that was going to come out and attack the strike zone, throw strikes early and get our defense ready to make plays. I’m really pleased with how Kayla Poynter threw today,” Evans said. “I thought her accuracy was really impressive today.”
Evans stressed the importance of having a deep bullpen to rely on and said both Friday night and Saturday’s wins can be attributed to the relievers and their ability to come in and take care of business.
“I also think it’s a confidence boost that if and when you have to go to the bullpen, those kids actually step up and do their job,” Evans said. “Last night, Grace Uribe, today Kayla Poynter — those kids did their job. They were spectacular in relief for us and got us out of two jams and just cruised on through it.”
In addition to relying on a pitching staff rather than one person in particular, Evans said it’s a luxury to have options in junior Haley Lee and Martinez at catcher as well. Although Martinez isn’t in the line up every game, Evans said she stays ready for the opportunity.
“Kelly Martinez is a huge part of our team,” Evans said. “She gives Lee a chance to get out of that crouch and give her knees and hips [a break]. Kelly is steady — it’s not very often that you see a ball club with two elite catchers and we have two elite catchers, we’re really fortunate.”
A&M went into the fifth inning with an 8-2 lead, held the Gamecocks scoreless, then wrapped up the game early with a walk-off home run by junior Makinzy Herzog to secure the Aggies’ 10-2 victory.
“I like the way we managed this today,” Evans said. “Getting the walk-off in the fifth was really important because it allowed Poynter to come off the field and not have to throw those last few innings and it made it statement about us being here ready to play.”
Although the Aggies have reaped success so far this weekend, Evans looked ahead to the series finale and said the team can’t get ahead of themselves.
“It obviously feels really good, it feels good to win a series on game two and it feels good knowing you can come in and possibly sweep,” Evans said. “But we never underestimate our opponent — we know it’s really hard to beat a team three times. South Carolina is a good ball club so we expect them to come out and be even better and we know we’ll have to come out and be really sharp.”
The Aggies will take the field again tomorrow, Sunday, March 28, for an opportunity to sweep South Carolina of the series. First pitch is scheduled for noon at Davis Diamond.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *