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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. 18 Texas A&M heads to California to clash with several top 25 teams at Mary Nutter Classic

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Photo by Carlie Russell

Sophomore third baseman Riley Sartain watches the ball as she follows her swing through. Sartain had four at-bats, three hits, and one RBI.

For the first time this season, No. 18 Texas A&M softball hits the road for the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. The ladies in maroon will head west to face a crop of nationally ranked teams including No. 1 Florida State, No. 14 Michigan, No. 21 Arizona State, No.23 BYU and Long Beach State.
The Aggies boast a perfect record heading to California. Two weeks ago, A&M swept the competition at the Aggie Classic. Just last week, the maroon and white did the same but faced a scare in the final game of the Texas A&M Invitational. 
Heading into the final inning against Stephen F. Austin at the Texas A&M Invitational, the Aggies held the 8-1 lead. However, the Lady Jacks found their way within one run of tying the game before a slow roller in the infield ended the matchup. Junior Trinity Harrington said although it was a bit of a scare for the team, facing that adversity allowed them to not only learn from their mistakes but also prepare for the week ahead of them. 
“Having those game that are still tough reminds us that we need to finish the game when we start them,” Harrington said. “I do think it is important that we have games like that, once in a while not all the time because those are very stressful.”
During the Aggie Classic, A&M outscored its opponents 22-9. However, the Aggie offense cranked up the power for the second weekend of the season at the Texas A&M Invitational. The maroon and white outscored its opponents 39-10. Sophomore Riley Sartain said the offense picked up at the right time since they will be playing top ranked opponents this up coming weekend.
“We’re facing some pretty good competition this week in California,” Sartain said. “We gained a lot of momentum this [past] weekend. The first weekend we didn’t score, our offense wasn’t as hot as we wanted to be. This past weekend we changed it up a little bit, scored a lot more runs, we were having more quality at-bats so I think we’re going to take that momentum into this week.”
With a field as competitive and elite as the one the Aggies will be facing this weekend, Harrington said the most important thing for the pitching staff is to remain united and seize the opportunities they are given when they come up.
“It’s going to be important for us to stick together as a [pitching] staff,” Harrington said. “Also take the opportunities when they come to us when we get the ball in our hands.
Texas A&M head coach Jo Evans calls the Mary Nutter Classic “Mini-World Series”, due to the higher caliber teams participating. Evans said the team looks forward to the trip to the West Coast each year and is excited for the opportunity to bond on the road. Evans said it’s good to face tough competition that has had  several post-season appearances to help the team evaluate themselves before conference play.
“We’re excited to go to Palm Springs,” Evans said. “We go there every year and we know were going to see great competition. We get to play Florida State, Michigan, Arizona State, BYU and Long Beach State. Every one of those teams went to the post-season last year and two of them were in the Women’s College World Series and four out of the five are ranked in the top 25. It’s going to be a great opportunity to get out there and see where we’re at.”
The Aggies begin play at 5 p.m. as the face LBSU in the first game of the Mary Nutter Classic.

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