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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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Texas A&M softball splits games in Ode to Joy Invitational

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A Nguyen

Sophomore L/L Emiley Kennedy (11) gets ready to pitch the softball at Davis Diamond on Wednesday, March. 1, 2023

Texas A&M softball took the field in Waco to start day 2 of the Ode to Joy Invitational on Sunday, March 5, at 10 a.m. against the Sam Houston State Bearkats. The No. 25 Aggies attempted to avenge their loss against the Bearkats that occurred the previous day.
Starting the game on the mound for A&M was senior pitcher Madison Preston. She contained the Bearkats for the majority of her start, allowing just one hit in the first three innings. This included one of the rarer events in the entire sport in the second inning, as Preston struck out four batters. After striking out the first two batters, Preston faced junior catcher Julia Herzinger. Preston threw three straight strikes, but the last was a wild pitch that allowed Herzinger to advance to first base. Preston followed this up by striking out the next batter on four pitches.
Offensively, the Aggies were able to get on the scoreboard quickly in the first inning. Leadoff hitter and sophomore infielder Koko Wooley was hit by a pitch before senior right fielder Morgan Smith singled to put her in scoring position. Freshman center fielder Keely Williams was able to capitalize on this and drove Wooley home with a double to left field.
The game turned into a pitching duel, with no hits after the first inning until the top of the fifth. Bearkat sophomore left fielder Haleigh Carter ended the offensive drought with a single. After another Bearkat got on base via hit-by-pitch, sophomore pitcher Emiley Leavitt came into the game for Preston. Preston finished her 4.1 innings with just two hits allowed and a career-high nine strikeouts. Leavitt was able to strike out two Bearkats to finish the inning. She would finish her 2.2 innings holding the Bearkats scoreless, with just one hit and six strikeouts of her own. Leavitt was credited with the save.
The A&M offense also made plays in the fifth inning as well. Freshman second baseman Amari Harper doubled, then Wooley brought her home with a single into the outfield, making the lead 2-0. In the bottom of the sixth inning, junior designated player Grace Uribe opened with a single before Wiliams sent a two-run shot over the right-center field wall to grow the lead to 4-0.
The Aggies finished a quick top of the seventh inning and won the game 4-0, the score mirroring the score of the game that A&M lost to Sam Houston State previously. The Aggies then went on to face the No. 19 Baylor Bears in a revival of the Battle of the Brazos at 3 p.m.
In their first matchup from Saturday, the Ags no-hit the Bears and beat them 3-0. Baylor would not be shut down in this game. In a storyline continuing from Saturday’s games, the Aggies gave up another unearned run in the bottom of the first. This one came as sophomore shortstop Amber Toven reached first off of an error and scored on a double from sophomore first baseman Shaylon Govan, putting the Bears up 1-0.
A&M managed to tie the game up during the third inning as Wooley got on with a bunt and stole second base. Smith then singled and got the RBI, tying the game at1-1. This, however, was the last time the Aggies would capitalize on offense. The Aggies left runners on base in the fifth and seventh innings. Leavitt came in as a reliever for the second time in one day, this time in place of sophomore pitcher Emiley Kennedy, and kept the Ags in a tied ball game.
The game remained even after seven innings, and a well-pitched inning ended the top of the eighth without a hit for the Aggies. The Bears’ sophomore second baseman Presleigh Pilon started the action in the bottom of the eighth, singling and putting a runner in scoring position. Toven then singled, ending the game in walk-off fashion as Baylor won 2-1.
The Aggies finished the Ode to Joy Invitational 2-2, winning once and losing once to each team they played. Following this performance, A&M will open up SEC play in Fayetteville, Arkansas next weekend, where it will face the No. 7 Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday, March 10, at 6 pm.

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