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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

Cannon’s walk-off canon

After 10 innings, Aggie softball defeats Gamecocks 2-1
Senior+INF+Trinity+Cannon+celebrates+with+her+team+after+hitting+a+home+run+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+UNT+on+March+6%2C+2024+at+Davis+Diamond.+%28Jaime+Rowe%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by Photo by Jaime Rowe
Senior INF Trinity Cannon celebrates with her team after hitting a home run during Texas A&M’s game against UNT on March 6, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)

After a 1-1 tie for six innings, Texas A&M softball outlasted South Carolina after a walk-off home run by senior 1B Trinity Cannon.

“Just a tremendous job of us continuing to fight,” coach Trisha Ford said.

Junior RHP Emily Leavitt started off in the circle for the Aggies, seeing four batters and striking out one in the first.

Gamecock freshman RHP Sage Mardjetko’s first pitches against junior SS Koko Wooley and senior CF Jaz Hill were outside of junior C Giulia Desiderio’s reach. Mardjetko walked Hill and senior C Julia Cottrill.

Bubbles soared as sophomore DP Aiyana Coleman singled to right field, sending Hill home. Junior RF Allie Enright struck out swinging on a ball to end the first.

Leavitt walked four consecutive batters to single handedly load the bases and earn the first run for South Carolina. Hitting the fourth batter to allow senior DP Zoe Laneaux to score, senior RHP Brooke Vestal entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs.

“I can do this,” Vestal said. “ I have the pitches to do this. I just have to believe in myself.”

Junior RF Carlie Henderson ran home off of senior CF Riley Blampied’s hit but was out as sophomore 3B Kennedy Powell connected with Cottrill to keep the score tied 1-1 to go into the bottom of the second.

Stealing second was sophomore LF Kramer Eschete followed by a walked Wooley. A wild pitch caused Wooley to advance to second, but Eschete was out at third with a collision with senior 3B Denver Bryant. Bryant was helped off the field after she secured the third out for the Gamecocks.

It was a three up, three down bottom of the third for the A&M offense as South Carolina’s Mardjetko was heating up in the circle striking out Hill and Cottrill.

Former Aggie turned Gamecock junior DH Bre Warren was walked by Vestal, but she was the only batter to reach in the top of the fourth. After a slow bottom of the frame and top of the fifth, the Maroon and White stepped into the batter’s box.

Eschete was walked by Mardjetko and threw in a hair flip for good measure on her way to first as senior RHP Alana Vawter entered the game. Vawter’s first pitch was wild, and it advanced Eschete to second with Powell at bat. After a full count, Powell was walked. Nothing came of the two runners on as Cannon grounded out to 1B.

Ford called in reinforcements and put junior LHP Emiley ‘Lefty’ Kennedy into the circle in the top of the sixth as the game remained tied 1-1. With three straight balls, Kennedy brought the count full then struck out Warren swinging.

Ford approached the circle to calm her pitcher as Kennedy threw three consecutive balls — again. She proceeded to throw a strike immediately after the chat. The batter popped it up to senior 2B Rylen Wiggins to end the fifth.

Cottrill was walked by Vawter and freshman PR Hailey Golden entered. With Golden on third, Wiggins was walked and Eschete stepped up to the plate but struck out swinging. The Aggies and the Gamecocks entered the seventh with five scoreless innings behind them.

A ground out to Wooley who quickly threw to Cannon earned the first out of the seventh and an eruption from the crowd. A line out to a fully-horizontal and diving Wiggins earned the second. The Gamecocks’ freshman 2B Karley Shelton went to walk to first but was proven wrong as the count went full. Shelton was struck out swinging by Kennedy for the third out, and the Aggie offense had their turn.

A&M’s bats were unable to end the game, and it went to extra innings. Kennedy and the Aggie defense handled the Gamecocks’ bats with three up, three down as the Maroon and White attempted to seal the game.

Cottrill’s safe at first was reviewed, but the call remained and so did the game as the Aggies could not score. Kennedy saw three batters in the top of the eighth with Warren falling to the same fate of a strikeout swinging against Lefty.

Wiggins’ single down the left-field line reengaged the shivering crowd as the sun and temperatures dropped. Powell stepped up to the plate after the Gamecocks’ double play got Wiggins and Eschete out. A foul ball by Powell was attempted to be caught by South Carolina, but two of them tripped each other and she remained. A ground out pushed the game into the 10th.

South Carolina called for a review of the play of Powell tagging junior SS Brooke Blankenship out at third and was confirmed. Once the call was confirmed, Ford challenged that Blankenship left first early and won. The Aggies had two outs left to go, but Kennedy walked Blampied. The Maroon and White got the three and went to the bottom of the frame.

“We were challenging regardless,” Ford said.

Cannon stepped up to the plate with one out on the board and hit a walk-off homer to end the game.

“I said ‘I’m hitting that outside drop ball’, and sure enough it was a change up so they’re pretty similar in speed and location,” Cannon said. “I just got my hands through it. It was a great feeling coming home to those girls.”

The Aggies will return to Davis on Sunday, March 10 at 1 p.m. to try and sweep the Gamecocks.

“I’m greedy,” Ford said “I would like us to come out and win, or at least put together our game.”

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About the Contributor
Kylie Stoner
Kylie Stoner, Associate Sports Editor
Kylie is a journalism senior from Keller, minoring in communication and sport management. She is the Associate Sports Editor with a passion for women's sports. After graduation, Kylie hopes to pursue a career in sports media or communications.
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