COLLEGE STATION –The fifth-ranked Texas A&M Softball team won its fifth mid-week game of the season with a 10-3 victory over the McNeese State Cowgirls Wednesday night at the Aggie Softball Complex.
In an early 3-0 hole, the Aggies (32-3) brought 11 to the plate in a momentum-shifting six-run third. Erica Russell and Keeli Milligan reached base, setting the table for a textbook Tori Vidales long ball. The game-tying blast was Vidales’ eighth of the season, the highest by an Aggie this season.
Four-straight Aggies reached after the first out was recorded including Ashley Walter’s two-run single. The sixth run of the frame came on a deep sac fly curtesy of Samantha Show.
McNeese State (25-13) opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the second inning off Aggie starter Lexi Smith. The rally started with a hit batter followed by consecutive singles to load the bases with one out. An error by Vidales allowed the first Cowgirl run to come home. Smith walked in the second run before a pair of pop ups ended the frame.
The Cowgirls added to their lead with a one-run third before the Aggies came charging ahead with their six-run third.
In the fourth, Sarah Hudek and Russell contributed with sacrifice flies while Show and Cuyos worked bases-loaded walks to give the Maroon and White a 10-3 advantage.
Trinity Harrington came in to the game in the fourth and worked out of a one-out bases loaded jam. The junior pitched the final 3.2 innings and earned her 10th win of the season. Harrington fanned a pair, and along with Smith, forced the Cowgirls to leave nine on base in the ballgame.
McNeese State starter Baylee Corbello (5-3) was chased from the game in the six-run third inning. She gave up five runs and was saddled with the loss.
Russell finished the game a perfect 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI. Alderink tied a season high with three hits including a triple in the fifth.
The Aggies return to action on Friday for a three-game non-conference series with Oklahoma State. First pitch from the Aggie Softball Complex is set for 6:00 p.m. on Friday.
The bookend games are available through WatchESPN and the ESPN app on the SEC Network+ while all three games can be heard locally on Willy 1550 AM.
To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to 12thMan.com or follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.
Texas A&M Head Coach Jo Evans
On tonight’s win and the offense…
“We got off to a slow start and didn’t look good offensively initially. Defensively, we misplayed a couple of balls that I wasn’t happy about. We are too good to play the game like that. I wasn’t thrilled about the second inning, but I thought our kids did a great job to come back and buckle down to get some better at bats. We turned it around by starting to get some free passes and timely hits. We had opportunities to end the game, but we couldn’t get that done. We sure set the table and that’s what you’re asking. You’re asking those kids to go out there and get themselves in scoring position so that we have a chance to finish that game in five or six. I was really happy with the way we started to be more selective at the plate.”
On pitching staff…
“I feel like it’s not [Lexi Smith’s] fault that they scored two runs in the second inning. She did what she was supposed to do. She put balls in the infield and we almost always make those plays. She wasn’t as sharp as normal and that is going to happen sometimes. I thought Trinity Harrington came in and was lights out. She looked really good. She threw us ground balls. Trinity went out there ready to play, and I was pleased to see her step in there. You could see her just take over and take charge of the game.”
On upcoming Oklahoma State series…
“They are on a roll right now. They swept their series against Texas and then swept Kansas, so they are looking really good in conference. They got off to a little bit of a slow start this season, but now they are running on all cylinders. They are a dangerous ball club right now and are feeling really good about themselves. It will be challenging for us, which we expect. We expect them to be good. For us, we need to treat these games like we treat the SEC games, with a lot of respect and understanding the game and letting it come to us and not get careless.”