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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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Heartbreak continues for Aggies with SEC Tournament loss

Photo by Photo by Kaylee Cogbill

Junior Makinzy Herzog led the Aggies offensively with a pair of home runs, also throwing a pair of strikeouts in 4.1 innings on the mound.

The Texas A&M softball team is headed home following a 3-2 loss to Tennessee in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Wednesday night.
No. 7 seed Tennessee defeated No. 10 seed A&M at Rhoads Stadium in the bottom of the ninth inning. Heartbreak for the maroon and white continues as three of the Aggies’ last four games have been walk-off losses.
Wednesday’s game was characterized by an intense pitchers duel between Tennessee’s Ashley Rogers and a combination of A&M’s Kayla Poynter and Makinzy Herzog.
Rogers, ranked fifth in the league in strikeouts, recorded 13 on the night against the Aggies. Poynter earned the start in the circle for A&M and pitched four innings before Herzog was brought in as relief.
Prior to the game, A&M coach Jo Evans said the key to success was going to be forcing Tennessee to go to its bullpen, as most of the Volunteers’ losses occur when Rogers is not on the mound. Following the game, Evans said the team did a nice job getting her pitch count up early on, but gave props to Rogers for hanging in there for all nine innings.
“It was a really great pitcher’s duel. Every pitcher out there was throwing their hearts out and giving their chance to win a ball game,” Evans said. “We did have our chances and Rogers showed why she’s as good as she is. She really did a nice job I thought when we threatened — she really shut it down.”
Offensively, Herzog led the way for the Aggies, as she went 4-of-5 with two doubles and two solo home runs. The junior utility player is responsible for both of A&M’s runs on the night.
Evans commended Herzog for her performance both on the mound and at the plate, but emphasized how impressed she was for her to see and hit the ball as well as she did against one of the highest ranked pitchers in the country.
“[Makinzy] was great tonight, I mean that’s a phenomenal performance by Herzog,” Evans said. “Being able to get up there against an All-American pitcher and do that kind of damage. She struck the ball really well every time — I mean all four of those looked like home run potential when they left her bat. [I’m] really proud of Makinzy for doing what she did offensively.”
Herzog’s first home run of the night came in the third inning, tying the game at one after Tennessee managed to put together a collection of hits to bring a runner around in the first.
Both teams remained scoreless until Herzog launched her second home run of the night in the top of the ninth to take a 2-1 lead that was combated by a two-run double by the Volunteers to secure the walk-off win.
Evans said she’s proud of her team’s fight, effort and defensive play, but said they’ve got to find ways to win. Evans said getting more production out of the lineup and having the pitching staff bear down to accumulate outs are areas that need improvement. Looking back, Evans said the loss is especially disappointing considering the opportunities A&M let slip by in each of the additional innings.
Despite the Aggies’ seven-game losing streak, A&M’s resume will likely result in an invitation to the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Selections are set for Sunday, May 16.

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