TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The No. 24 Texas A&M softball team (25-7, 4-4 SEC) came up just short, 8-6, to No. 4 Alabama (28-4, 8-3 SEC) with a two-out rally in the top of the seventh Friday night at Rhoads Stadium. The Aggies strung together three runs with two outs to pull within two, with the go-ahead run at the plate.
Makinzy Herzog got things started for the Maroon & White in the top of the first with a single through the left side and the Aggies would quickly get on the board with a two-run shot by Shaylee Ackerman.
Alabama was able to cut its deficit in half after plating a run in the bottom half of the inning. The Crimson Tide took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the second with a series of singles. Alabama added to its lead scoring four runs in the bottom of the fourth to go ahead 8-2. The Tide loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth inning, but a trio of groundouts helped the Aggies get out of the inning unscathed.
In the top of the sixth, Ackerman came through once again, launching a solo shot to centerfield to make the score 8-3. This is the first time the sophomore has homered twice in a game and five of her last six hits have been home runs.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Makinzy Herzog belted her eighth home run of the season, which began a two-out rally for the Maroon & White. Freshman Bre Warren singled to centerfield and scored on an RBI single by Haley Lee. Taudrea Sinnie pinch ran for Lee and Ackerman walked to give the Aggies runners at first and second. Junior Morgan Smith pinch hit for Dani Elder and came up in a big way, singling to centerfield to score Sinnie from second. Texas A&M had runners at the corners with the go-ahead run at the plate, but Alabama would secure the win with a strikeout.
Grace Uribe (6-2) tallied her eight start of her rookie campaign and limited a hot-hitting Alabama offense to 12 hits, none of which were extra bases. The freshman also registered four strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work.
Offensively, Ackerman led the Aggies with three RBI, while Herzog led the team in hits with three. Bre Warren and Haley Lee compiled two hits apiece with Morgan Smith and Kelly Martinez recording one. Ackerman and Herzog now tie for second on the team with eight home runs, followed by Haley Lee’s 13.
T1 | Makinzy Herzog singled through the left side and Shaylee Ackerman homered to right field. A&M 2, UA 0
B1 | Alexis Mack walked and advanced to second on a KB sides groundout to second base. Bailey Hemphill singled down the left field line and Mack scored from second. A&M 2, UA 1
B2 | Lexi Kilfoyl singled to centerfield and Maddie Morgan singled up the middle. Kayla Davis pinch ran for Lexi Kilfoyl. Elissa Brown grounded out to the pitcher, but Davis and Morgan advanced to second and third. Alexis Mack singled up the middle and Davis and Morgan scored. Mack stole second and advanced to third on a KB Sides single. Bailey Hemphill singled through the left side to score Mack. UA 4, A&M 2
B4 | Kat Grill pinch hit for Savannah Woodard and walked. Elissa Brown singled to the shortstop. Grill and Brown advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Alexis Mack loaded the bases with a bunt to the pitcher. KB Sides singled up the middle as Grill and Brown scored. Bailey Hemphill walked to load the bases. Lexi Kilfoyl singled through the left side to score Mack and Sides. UA 8, A&M 2
T6 | Shaylee Ackerman homered to centerfield. UA 8, A&M 3
T7 | Makinzy Herzog homered to centerfield. Bre Warren singled to centerfield and advanced to second on an Alabama fielding error. Haley Lee singled up the middle and Warren scored. Taudrea Sinnie pinch ran for Lee and Ackerman walked. Morgan Smith pinch hit for Dani Elder and singled to centerfield to plate Sinnie. UA 8, A&M 6
Top Offensive Players:
Makinzy Herzog| 3-for-4, HR
Shaylee Ackerman| 2-for-3, 3 RBI, 2 HR
Bre Warren| 2-for-4
Haley Lee| 2-for-4
Morgan Smith| 1-for-1, RBI
Grace Uribe (6-2) – 6.0 IP, 12 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 4 SO, 5 BB
WHAT THEY SAID
Head Coach Jo Evans
On Grace Uribe’s pitching performance…
“I thought Grace pitched really well. You look up there and they’ve got 12 hits and they’re all singles. When does that happen when you score eight runs on 12 hits and they’re all singles. I’m just really proud of Grace. She didn’t break and I just thought she handled herself so well. She gets out there in that one inning with the bases loaded, nobody out, she pops up two of them and they do end up getting a hit, scoring a couple, but then she comes right back at that next batter and gets herself an out. I thought she handled herself very very well. That’s a freshman on the mound playing against a team like this and she did not back down.”
On the team’s fight…
“We had the go-ahead run at the plate. That’s where you want to be. Our top four hitters were phenomenal today. I thought they played so well. They had great at-bats and they had nine out of our 11 hits. They managed their AB’s and I just can’t say enough about those kids. Makinzy Herzog and Bre Warren coming out today after a tough day yesterday. Haley Lee doing what she does, and then Shay Ackerman hitting a couple of bombs that were just quality at-bats. I’m really pleased with that.”
Texas A&M and Alabama square off for game three of the series tomorrow, April 3. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. at Rhoads Stadium and can be seen on SEC Network.