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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Softball drops opening game to Ole Miss

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Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Sophomore Shaylee Ackerman recorded a hit in the sixth inning of the Aggies’ loss to Ole Miss. 

Texas A&M dropped the opening game 2-1 against Ole Miss on Friday night at Davis Diamond.
The Aggies’ record dropped to 27-12, 5-8 in conference play.
A&M coach Jo Evans said she was pleased with the pitching performance by junior Makinzy Herzog, but was disappointed with the outcome of the game. Overall, Evans said the team needs to continue to shore up defensively and be more aggressive offensively.
“[It was a] disappointing loss for us. I thought Herzog was terrific on the mound and just gave us a chance to win a ball game,” Evans said. “It’s tough when our offense doesn’t score many runs. It does put a lot of the pressure on the pitcher and defense — it makes them have to be perfect and it’s just glaring when they’re not.”
Herzog was coming off of her new career-high strikeout performance from Wednesday’s game in which she recorded 13 strikeouts against Sam Houston. Herzog then pitched the entirety of Friday’s game, striking out four and limiting the Rebels to five hits.
Ole Miss got on the board first with back-to-back doubles, taking a 1-0 lead in the second. The following three innings remained scoreless for both teams, but A&M broke the scoring drought in the bottom of the sixth.
A handful of hits allowed the maroon and white to get themselves on the board, tying the game at 1 in the sixth. Junior Haley Lee, sophomore Shaylee Ackerman and junior Morgan Smith each managed to get on base with a single before Kelly Martinez recorded an RBI single, evening the score to head into the seventh.
“We had our opportunities in the sixth,” Evans said. “A timely hit gives ourselves a chance to give ourselves the lead going into the seventh and we just couldn’t make that happen. When [Ole Miss] starts throwing that change-up for a strike it makes it challenging.”
A combination of defensive imperfections in the seventh allowed Ole Miss to bring another around and take a 2-1 lead. A fielding error followed by a walked batter and hit batter allowed the Rebels to load the bases and ultimately take advantage of an infield hit that bounced off of A&M third baseman Dani Elder and allowed Ole Miss to take the lead.
A&M’s inability to get anything going offensively in the bottom of the seventh secured the win for the Rebels.
“Disappointing, but I thought we competed,” Evans said. “I thought it was, overall, aside from the seventh inning, a really well-played game and I thought their pitcher did a nice job. She kept our hitters off balance, she was throwing the change-up for a strike as she went on and tip your hat to her, I thought she had a good night. I think offensively we will come out and do a better job tomorrow.”
Evans said her message to the team was simply to keep competing and keep fighting. Evans said she commended Herzog for her performance in the circle and reminded the team that they expect to win the series and said to come out ready to win Game 2.
“It’s a really disappointing loss, it’s hard,” Evans said. “You know, sometimes in these close ones when you work so hard to get yourself back in it, you tie it up, you got your pitchers just dealing on the mound — those are tough to lose right there. Emotionally draining, but we have to bounce back, that’s all there is to it. We have to bounce back and come back ready to play.”
The Aggies will be back at Davis Diamond on Saturday, April 17, to continue the series against Ole Miss. FIrst pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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