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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
United they fall
June 24, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Winner-take-all
June 23, 2024

No. 6 Softball hosts Mississippi State to kick off conference play

Softball+vs.+Georgetown
Photo by Photo by: Brian Okosun
Softball vs. Georgetown

With the highest ranking in program history going into conference play, the Aggies host a three-game series against Mississippi State to open conference play.

The Aggies have been a powerhouse since kicking off the season just a month ago. Currently at 19-1, A&M is coming off a sweep of the Texas A&M Invite in which they outscored their opponents 35-1. MSU comes in at 19-3 is on the good side of a 15-game win streak. The two squads have not met since 2015 when the Bulldogs claimed the best of three victory. In the wake of SEC play, the Aggies say they are bracing for a spike in competition.

“We’re excited to start SEC play and it seems like it got here in a hurry,” Texas A&M head coach Jo Evans said. “We’re looking forward to it but I’m trying not to make it bigger than it already is. For us we just have to make sure that we keep our wits about us. You can say all the sudden ‘okay now we’re in the SEC and everybody’s ranked and we have to play harder and play better’, but really we just have to do our jobs and we have to really keep calm and confident in what we’re doing. We also have to expect that it’s going to be really challenging. We know that and I just want to make sure that we understand that it’s going to be a grind.”

The conference’s dominance in the nation is evident with nine SEC universities claiming spots in the AP Poll Top 25. The Aggies now join the ranks with their highest positioning going into conference play in program history. With quite possibly the most dominant start since joining the SEC in 2012, the Aggies are no strangers to the challenge the conference holds.

“Everyone in the SEC is really good,”  sophomore third baseman Riley Sartain said. “You can’t take anybody lightly and you can’t ever go into a game, even if you’ve beaten that team, thinking ‘well we’ll win easily here’. I don’t think we feel different [than last year]. We had great success in the pre-conference last year, we’re 10-0 the past two years so our confidence is the same. After going 0-9 in our first three road series last year, we’re more intense and know we have to do better starting out.”

The Aggie pitching staff has been in the spotlight since the start of the season. The foursome conceded just one run through four games last weekend. The pitchers, like the majority of the team, are young and now have an entire season under their belts. Sophomore Samantha Show has relinquished just four runs through 48.2 innings pitched and Evans claims Show is part of a young mound that can beat anyone at any time.  

“I really need to attack batters,” Show said. “Last year I was too worried about getting hit and this year I just need to attack. I came back stronger and faster than I was last year. My mental side of the game has improved so much. I’ve gotten the confidence to go out there and just dominate. We definitely can’t take them as an unranked team. We have to treat every game knowing that they’re good and they’re going to come out and probably had the best game that they’ve ever had.”
First pitch is slated for 6 pm Friday night at the Aggie Softball Complex in College Station.

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