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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

No. 17 A&M dismantles New Mexico, Missouri State on day two of Texas A&M Invitational

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Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel

Junior infielder Tori Vidales signals to her teammates.

On day two of the Texas A&M Invitational, No. 17 Texas A&M channeled the long ball to defeat New Mexico and Missouri State at the Aggie Softball Complex. 
Game one featured an explosive third inning which included five runs. The inning before, sophomore Samantha Show launched a two-run home run to take the lead after MSU took the lead in the top half of the second. 
Sophomore Kaitlyn Alderink was the first to lead off the third inning after drawing a walk. Alderink was able to get into scoring position after stealing second and junior Tori Vidales knocked her in to extend A&M’s lead. 
Following a series of hits from junior Ashley Walters and freshman Sarah Hudek, Vidales scored. Junior Kristen Cuyos kept the offense going when she delivered a two-RBI double. Junior Erica Russell rounded out the scoring after drawing a bases loaded walk.
With the 7-1 lead heading into the fourth inning A&M tacked on three more runs to defeat UNM in five innings. Junior Trinity Harrington earned her third win of the season pitching a total of 77 pitches with an ERA of .78 on the season. Harrington struck out five batters and allowed one run on two hits on the day.
Texas A&M head coach Jo Evans praised Harrington and the entire staff for their efforts on the mound to this point in the season.
“I thought Trinity [Harrington] had a good day,” Evans said. “She looked good out there. She had to make a couple of adjustments and she did. The story for us right now is our pitching staff and how they are managing their pitch counts and playing defense. It’s nice to see our kids get out there and be athletic.”
The A&M offense continued to roll in the second game of the day in a rematch of day one against MSU. The Aggies used the long ball to jump ahead in the first inning of the game, Vidales homered give A&M the lead.
After a series of hits, MSU took the lead in the second inning. However, that was short lived as freshman Kelbi Fortenberry drew a bases loaded walk. However, it was yet another explosive third inning that propelled A&M to its ninth win of the season. Cuyos hit her first homerun of the season, the second homerun in the game for the Aggies. 
Show earned her third win of the season tossing a complete game in the effort. Show allowed the first earned runs of the season striking out two batters she faced.
In both games, the nationally ranked Aggies trailed the two teams they faced. Evans said she was proud of the way her pitchers were able to power through the adversity they faced early in the game to be able to come out on top.
“With Samantha [Show in the second game], the second inning she was pulling the ball down in the middle of the plate,” Evans said. “I went out to the mound before we started that third inning and had a chat with her that she needed to sharpen up and command some presence on the mound. She just flipped it. She turned it around and started hitting spots and throwing harder. I thought she really buckled down and made a transition to win this game on the mound.”
In the four games the Aggies have played at the Texas A&M Invitational, A&M has outscored its opponents 31-3. Evans said the recent explosion has come from the fact that the team has become comfortable at the plate which has allowed them to see the ball.
 “I was really happy to see how we started to get comfortable at the plate,” Evans said. ”We got more aggressive… I think what we are seeing out of our team right now is that we can show power going to the opposite field. When you can do that, it is really promising. It was nice to see us hit throughout our order… Hitting is contagious, so when it opens for us I feel bad for the teams that have to face that. That is what we saw today.”

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