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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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Herzog leads Aggies in shutout of Sam Houston

Despite+the+Aggies+loss+on+Friday%2C+sophomore+pitcher+Makinzy+Herzog%26%23160%3Brecorded+the+200th+strikeout+of+her+career.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Abbey Santoro

Despite the Aggies’ loss on Friday, sophomore pitcher Makinzy Herzog recorded the 200th strikeout of her career. 

Texas A&M softball shut out the Sam Houston Bearkats 8-0 at Davis Diamond on Wednesday night.
This mid-week, nonconference win improved the Aggies’ overall record to 27-11.
Junior Makinzy Herzog recorded 13 strikeouts on the night, a new career high, in the six innings required to shut out Sam Houston. The Bearkats only managed to acquire two hits on the night.
Herzog said she’s been slightly off while on the mound lately, but she’s been focusing on getting mechanically and mentally sound the past few weeks. Herzog said one aspect she’s specifically been working on in the bullpen is being aggressive from the start and getting a first pitch strike.
“It had been a while since we had been in the bullpen since we had so many games that were back-to-back, so I just had to go back down to my fundamentals and figure out what was going on and then get back in there and get comfortable again. I think today was the day for that,” Herzog said. “It’s just so much better when you attack that first pitch so we’ve been working on that a lot these past couple of weeks and it finally came into play and it helped out a lot.”
A&M head coach Jo Evans commended Herzog for her performance in the circle and said she was especially pleased with her ability to accumulate 20 first-throw strikes against the 23 batters she faced. Evans said Herzog looked comfortable on the mound and had the Bearkats off balance in the box all night.
“I think she just got herself comfortable,” Evans said. “There were some mechanics that she wanted to work on and I think she sorted that out a bit and then felt relaxed and went out and took care of business [and] didn’t put too much pressure on herself … I’m really happy for her.”
Offensively, junior Haley Lee and sophomore Shaylee Ackerman got the Aggies going right away, each launching a ball over the fence. Lee recorded her 16th home run of the season in the bottom of the first and her 17th just a few innings later, ranking her third in the country in home runs this season. Ackerman follows closely behind with 11.
“Overall, really happy with the way our team played tonight,” Evans said. “To be able to score runs in the first inning always takes pressure off our pitcher and puts a lot of pressure on our opponent. Haley Lee doing just what Haley Lee does and it was nice to see [Shaylee] Ackerman get up there and get a long ball as well. Another thing I was really happy about was that we continued to score in five out of the six innings — just continued to put pressure on them.”
Evans said she worked with hitting coach Craig Snider in rearranging the line-up in order to give the Aggies as many opportunities to score runs and be as productive as possible at the plate. Herzog, who generally is the leadoff batter, was moved to the three-hole, preceded by freshman Bre Warren and Lee.
“I felt like it worked well and there’s nothing wrong with mixing things up a little bit. I thought our kids managed it just fine,” Evans said. “What we don’t want is our players to panic just because we changed things up just a little bit. You still have to get up there and have a quality at-bat whether you’re hitting in the eight-hole or the three-hole.”
Evans said she’s proud of the team for coming out and making a statement against Sam Houston, an opponent that traditionally isn’t considered an easy win. While earning a win is great, winning decisively is what Evans said she’s really pleased with and happy for her team to have accomplished.
“I think it gives us a lot of confidence,” Evans said. “I don’t really care who we’re playing, I care about how we play. Sam Houston has always given us fits… that’s the kind of team they are. So to come out tonight and not have a close game, that’s unusual against Sam Houston and how they show up to play us. I think that bodes well for us and it means that our kids are locked in, this is a confidence boost for us.”
Up next, A&M will host Ole Miss for a three-game series beginning Friday, April 16 with the first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. at Davis Diamond.

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