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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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Lights, camera, action

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Head coach Trisha Ford talks to her players after Texas A&M’s win against Mizzou at Davis Diamond on Sunday, April 30, 2023. (A Nguyen/ The Battalion)

Thirty-two wins in 2021, eight in conference play. Thirty-one wins in 2022, six in conference play. Thirty-five wins in 2023, 12 in conference play.

Texas A&M softball is in the midst of its best season in the SEC, as the Aggies, with a series and postseason still left to play, sit at 38-9 and 15-6 in the conference. The Maroon and White are also still in contention for an SEC title, currently only two games behind Tennessee. A&M has never finished above third in the conference since joining in 2012.

In Year 2 of coach Trisha Ford’s tenure, she has turned the No. 11 Aggies into not just a conference threat, but a national one. The Maroon and White now, barring any major late season shakeups, will be hosting a regional at Davis Diamond for the first time ever.

Ford brought life to a program that, despite historic success in the Big 12, had been treading water for years. Aggie fans got a glimpse of it last year, almost making it out of the Austin regional. Now, the Maroon and White are poised for postseason damage.

A&M is No. 13 in scoring, No. 20 in earned run average, No. 18 in slugging percentage and No. 16 in on-base percentage. The Aggies as a team are one of the most efficient offenses in the country, and the pitching staff, led by junior RHP Emiley Kennedy, has 12 shutouts this year.

Experience has stepped up for the Maroon and White this season. In the portal this offseason, Ford only bolstered it, grabbing graduate OF Jazmine Hill from Arizona State — Ford’s old school — and graduate RHP Brooke Vestal from Ole Miss. Six of the nine players in the starting lineup are either a junior, senior or graduate, and no pitchers are younger than a junior.

Ford has set the Aggies up for success now as they’re currently in the driver’s seat of their own destiny in just her second year. The Fremont, California native has pushed A&M into the spotlight, putting the Aggies amidst the rankings next to perennial powerhouses like Florida, Washington and Stanford.

The main thing for the Aggies is understanding that, yes, this season is historic and it should be appreciated. However, it’s not over. Teams that have random bouts of success sometimes get lost in the fog and then find their memorable seasons over almost as soon as it began.

Successful teams, ones like Tennessee, Oklahoma and UCLA who find themselves making deep postseason runs year in and year out, have one thing in common: Winning is expected.

Although the Aggies are finding themselves in relatively unfamiliar territory, they are not unfamiliar to the game. Not only did Ford win Coach of the Year in two conferences and lead Arizona State to the Women’s College World Series in 2022, but she has a lineup who has been playing softball for a long time.

The Aggies have their coach, and she will keep A&M in the limelight for years if they don’t get lost standing center stage. For now, breaking records is great, but there’s still so much more up for grabs. Don’t leave any on the table.

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About the Contributor
Hunter Mitchell, Associate Sports Editor
Hunter Mitchell is a sport management senior minoring in journalism. Hunter has covered football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball, hockey, cross country, track and field, along with swim and dive. Hunter's favorite sport is college basketball, and he is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association. Hunter also hosts weekly episodes of the Home Turf sports podcast.
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