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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Undefeated A&M softball team to take on Cougars after victory over Florida State

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Photo by Photo by Carlie Russell

Sophomore third baseman Riley Sartain prepares to make contact. Sartain had four at-bats, three hits, and one RBI. 

After winning its first 15 games, the No. 5 Texas A&M softball team will attempt to build upon its momentum against the University of Houston Wednesday night at the Aggie Softball Complex.
The undefeated Aggies (15-0) return home from a weekend series in the Mary Nutter Classic in California, where they won all five games they played, including a 2-0 victory over then-No. 1 Florida State.
Following the weekend sweep which included wins over No. 14 Michigan, No. 21 Arizona State, No. 23 BYU and Long Beach State, A&M climbed to the No. 5 spot in the most recent ESPN Top-25 rankings.
The Aggies have navigated through the early part of the season due to strong performances on both offensive and defensive sides of the diamond.
“We found different ways to win, so what makes this team special is that we’re pretty balanced,” said A&M head coach Jo Evans. “We’re not just relying on hitting a bunch of home runs and scoring nine or 10 runs a game. We’re really relying on great pitching, great defense and timely hitting. And I’ll take that over having to score nine or 10 runs a game, so I’ve been really pleased with our team.”
Offensively, multiple players are batting over the .300 mark and have driven in runs in the double digits. Juniors Tori Valde and Kristen Cuyos lead the team in home runs at 3, and sophomore Samantha Show joins them in the RBI category with 11 a piece. Sophomore Riley Sartain holds the highest batting average on the team at .429.
Outfielder Sarah Hudek, who’s hitting .306 with a home run and 9 RBI, said the team has been feeding off of each other and that, in turn, has translated to success so far.
“The team chemistry is the biggest factor,” Hudek said. “I think that our bonds are strong and they’re getting stronger and stronger every day. And that’s a big tool and that’s a big key to success for any team, because it’s not the best team that wins, it’s the team that really works together the best.”
In the circle, the Aggies have counted on the pitching of Show as well as juniors Lexi Smith and Trinity Harrington. All three have won multiple games without suffering a loss. Show leads the way with six wins, followed by Smith at five and Harrington at four. Both Show and Harrington are neck-and-neck with low ERA’s at 0.57 and 0.58, respectively.
The Cougars (6-11) travel to College station after taking one of four games in the Mary Nutter Classic Tournament — an 8-2 victory over Purdue in the third game. The last game Houston played resulted in a 3-1, loss to Northwestern.
Utility player Sarah Miller has been the most productive for the Cougars offense, with seven home runs and 22 RBIs, followed by outfielder Elise Lebeouf with three home runs and 11 RBIs. Outfielder Maya Thomas leads her team in batting average at .472. All of Houston’s starters have two wins, with Savannah Heebner allowing the fewest runs at a 3.09 ERA.
Hudek said Wednesday night’s game against Houston will be key to carrying the team’s success from the weekend ahead.
“I mean I think just to kind of start off where we left off in California,” Hudek said. “Just kind of build off that momentum — just keep building and building and getting better and better and just little things that we just have to work on.”
Evans said she enjoys coaching against Houston because they field such an athletic team each year and always play tough against A&M.
“Well U of H — I feel like they always play great against us,” Evans said. “I feel like they’ve got a lot of good athletes on their team — a lot of good Texas athletes, so a lot of those kids we see at camp year in and year out and compete against them. So it’s nice to get the opportunity to continue to play them every year.”
The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the game can be seen on the SEC Network+.

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  • Kaitlyn Alderink greets Tori Vidales after they both cross home plate.

    Photo by Photo by Carlie Russell

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