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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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Walls’s early home run ignites A&M’s strong offensive performance

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Photo by Kaylee Cogbill

Senior Ashlynn Walls kicked off scoring for Texas A&M against Tulsa with a three-run home run.

The Texas A&M softball team beat Tulsa, 9-5, at Davis Diamond on Friday night with a great offensive showing by the Aggies.
Tulsa started the game off with a few quick runs, one in the first and another in the second inning, but senior Ashlynn Walls’s bat came alive and she recorded a three-run home run to boost the maroon and white to a 3-2 lead over the Hurricanes.
“It was crazy, I don’t know what I was expecting,” Walls said. “That ball just kept going.”
Junior Makinzy Herzog was in the circle Friday night and although she struggled throughout the first two innings, she eventually found her rhythm and settled in. Herzog recorded four strikeouts and allowed seven hits.
Neither team was able to get anything going offensively in the third inning, but Herzog and senior Kelbi Fortenberry each managed to record an RBI in the fourth and extended the Aggies’ lead to 5-2.
The Hurricanes came alive at the plate in the fifth but despite loading the bases, were only able to bring two across on a defensive error made by the Aggies at first base. Sophomore Shaylee Ackermann made her debut as a first baseman to begin the game but following a carousel of defensive changes, was moved to left field, where she typically plays.
A&M held Tulsa scoreless again in the sixth then loaded the bases and was able to get two across thanks to another hit by Walls and a wild throw home by the Hurricanes. The Aggies capitalized on Tulsa’s error and managed to increase their insurance with a 9-4 lead.
A&M coach Jo Evans praised the bottom of the lineup for their performance at the plate and said the quality at-bats are essentially what led to the win. In addition to Walls’ homerun, Bre Warren managed to get on base three times and Elder twice.
“The bottom of our order I thought was really the difference maker in that game,” Evans said. “They struggled a little bit in our last tournament but came back tonight [with] quality at-bats from Bre Warren, Dani Elder and Ashlynn Walls.”
Herzog gave up a home run in the top of the seventh but managed to close out the game for the Aggies and secure the 9-5 victory.
“I thought it was critical that Herzog was able to go the full seven innings [pitching] so we didn’t have to show anybody in our bullpen, I think that’s a really big deal,” Evans said. “And for us, chasing their starter — we got a look at one of their relievers so I think that bodes well moving into the rest of the weekend.”
Evans said the team’s initial approach wasn’t great but they managed to settle in and take care of business at the plate, which is something she said they needed to improve.
“We just learned that we don’t have to be perfect to win a ball game. When we have that many quality plate appearances it takes some pressure off the defense to be perfect,” Evans said. “Winning that first one is always huge when you’re in a three-game series and I feel good about our chances.”

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