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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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One step away
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No. 7 A&M softball defeats Louisiana Tech, falls to Utah

Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Texas A&M softball claims victory over Louisiana Tech 1-0 thanks to Junior Kaitlyn Alderink’s solo home run in the Aggie’s first game of the Aggie Invitational.

For the fourth straight time, No. 7 A&M softball welcomed in the weekend with a Friday filled with softball. The Aggies opened up the A&M Invite with a win over Louisiana Tech, 1-0 and a loss to Utah, 8-7.
Earlier this week, Texas A&M head coach Jo Evans said she expected the A&M Invite to be a weekend filled with strong teams that would test the Aggies (15-3). A&M spilt the games on the opening day of the tournament.
Friday, Evans was reunited with a former player which she coached at Utah from 1991-1994. Utah head coach Amy Hogue said although it was bitter sweet to get the win over her former coach at the end of the day she still had a job to do.
“I don’t think of that really,” Hogue said. “It’s more about beating a really top team at their place.”
The Aggies suffered their third loss of the season in the nightcap of Friday’s opening day. A&M took the lead in the bottom half of the first inning, but Utah responded in the top half of the second.
The score remained locked in a 1-1 tie until the bottom of the fourth inning. The Aggies opened up the scoring with a two out 2-run home run off the bat of junior pitcher Samantha Show. Senior shortstop Kristen Cuyos followed in the next at-bat with a home run of her own, giving A&M the 4-1 lead.
However, much like the second inning, Utah responded in the top half of the fifth. Exploding for four runs on five hits scoring all their runs with two outs.
Show, who earned the start, was pulled from the game after 4.2 innings pitched allowing nine hits and five earned runs. Senior Lexi Smith came in for Show.
The Utes added three more runs in the sixth and seventh inning, extending their lead 8-4. However, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, senior Ashley Walters hit a line drive double off the centerfield wall with bases loaded, getting the Aggies within one run. Junior Riley Sartain kept the rally alive with a single to left field which put the winning run on third base.
Utah then made a pitching change with sophomore Sarah Hudek, who leads the team in batting averages, at the plate. Utah Miranda Viramontes then induced a ground out to second to end the game.
Hogue said as A&M was mounting a potential comeback, she and her coaching staff reminded their players that they were one out away from upsetting the No. 7 team in the country at their home stadium.
“Just one more out is what we kept telling them,” Hogue said. “It just takes one out, we knew someone was going to have to make a big play because we knew they were going to hit it. They’d seen Katie [Donovan], so it made it tough to have her have to face them another time, so we gave the ball to Miranda and it took her two pitches and she did her job.”
Hogue said the one run victory over No. 7 A&M was a confidence boost for her team.
“My team has been struggling to find the guts to do big things and that was a big thing and big moment for us,” Hogue said.
A&M opened the day with a 1-0 victory over the Techsters. The lone run of the game came in the bottom of the third inning. With a 1-1 count, junior Kaitlyn Alderink homered to the right-center gap.
Louisiana Tech threatened in the top of the seventh inning, loading the bases with one out. A play at the plate, preserved the Aggies 1-0 lead. The following batter flew out to centerfielder Erica Russell for the final out preserving the win for the Aggies.
Alderink provided the offensive spark for A&M in both games, hitting her first home run of the season in game one. Following the games, Alderink said Friday was a roller coaster of emotions that was draining but at the same time educational.
“It was really cool to strike the ball well on that one hit, it’s my first one all year,” Alderink said. “Towards the end [of the second game] we really started hitting the ball well, but we were in too big of a hole. Emotionally it was a low high low high, but we’re going to carry that high into tomorrow.”
Evans said there were a lot of missed opportunities in Utah game that led to the loss, including not keeping the momentum they gained after taking the lead in the fourth inning.
“It was an interesting game for sure. I thought Utah did a great job,” Evans said. “Every time we scored, they answered. We had our opportunity to put the game away when we got up by three runs and were up 4-1. We put up a three spot, and we had the momentum at that point, but that is when it is critical to go out there and shut them down.”
Texas A&M returns to the diamond Saturday for Day 2 of the A&M Invite as they face Texas State at 12:00 p.m. and Utah 3:00 p.m.

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