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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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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Harrington pitches complete game gem to send Aggies to Women’s College World Series

Tori+Vidales+makes+contact+and+hits+a+double.
Photo by By Lawrence Smelser

Tori Vidales makes contact and hits a double.

For the first time as a member of the Southeastern Conference, No. 9 Texas A&M softball returns to Oklahoma City for the 2017 Women’s College World Series. The Aggies punched their ticket following 5-3 victory over super regional host team Tennessee.
Much like in the first two games of the series, A&M trailed early in the game. However, with one swing of the bat, the path to OKC seemed to be a lot clearer. After a deep fly ball to right-field off the bat of junior Ashley Walters, that cut the Vols lead 3-1.
However, it was the sophomore third baseman Riley Sartain that changed the momentum of game three of the Knoxville Regional in favor of the Aggies. Sartain, who now has 12 home runs of the season, launched a no-doubter to left field with two runners on to give A&M the 4-3 lead in the top of the third inning. 
Following the game, Sartain told 12thman.com she felt as if she let her team down in the first inning when the Aggies loaded the bases but were unable to cash in after she hit a pop-up which was caught for the final out of the inning in foul ball territory. 
“In the first inning when I had the bases loaded with two outs, I wanted to be the player who would come through for my team,” Sartain said to 12thman.com. “Unfortunately, I didn’t, so I went into the dugout and told myself I would come through for my team if I got another opportunity like that. I’m happy I was put in that situation again with runners on base. I tried to get a good pitch to hit and drive it hard. I got that opportunity.”
Once the Aggies took the lead, they never once looked back. Trinity Harrington got the start in the circle for A&M, hours after she made her post-season debut in game two. Harrington who wasn’t awarded the victory in the circle for Texas A&M Saturday, pitched a complete game. Despite surrendering six hits, Harrington contained Vols offense to only three runs. 
Junior centerfielder Erica Russell had one of the most important plays of the game when she tracked down a long ball to left-center in the bottom of the fourth inning that halted the Vols attack and preserved the A&M lead.
Texas A&M head coach Jo Evans told 12thman.com the performance Harrington gave in the circle today was a testament to her resiliency and willingness to give everything she had for the Aggies. 
“I thought she showed great composure and poise on the mound and gave us a chance to get outs,” Evans said. “Early on when we couldn’t get outs, she could have easily gotten frustrated and felt like she would have to strike people out because we weren’t making plays. Instead, she stayed patient with us. She kept doing what she does. I’m proud of her because she showed a lot of heart, and I thought her team really stepped up.”
A 27 minute rain delay in the top half of the fifth inning, the A&M offense continued roll. Junior Tori Vidales, who had the game winning RBI Saturday and force game three, extended the Aggies lead 5-3 to give Harrington breathing room for the remaining offensive innings for the Vols. 
This is the first time that Texas A&M will be heading to Oklahoma City as a member of the SEC. The last time the Aggies went to the WCWS they made it to the three game championship series where they faced Arizona State, falling to the Sun Devils in consecutive games. 
Vidales told 12thman.com that this win and reaching the WCWS was years in the making. Vidales gave credit to all the former A&M softball players and coaches who have made Aggies softball the program that is. 

“This program was built by the ones who came before us,” Vidales said. “I don’t think it was all us. There were players before us who paved the way to make this happen. The new stadium isn’t because we did great one year; it’s because this program has constantly had success. Players love to be here, and our culture is family. That’s what we are all about. Everyone before us has left their legacy, and we are going to continue to do that ourselves. ”
 The Aggies are set to face top-seeded Florida once they arrive in OKC, game time and information is TBD. 

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