COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M softball begins its 2021 campaign hosting Central Arkansas, Colorado State and Texas Tech in the Texas A&M Invitational beginning Saturday, Feb. 20 through Monday, Feb. 22 at Davis Diamond.
Action begins Saturday at 3 p.m. with Texas A&M and Central Arkansas, before the Maroon & White square off against Colorado State at 5:30 p.m. On Sunday, the Aggies are slated for a 12:30 p.m. start against Colorado State and a first pitch against Texas Tech at 3 p.m. Monday’s finale at 11:30 a.m. features Texas A&M and Central Arkansas.
The Aggies return 18 letterwinners from last season’s team, including eight starters. The Maroon & White welcome eight newcomers to the squad, made up of seven freshmen and a graduate transfer.
The shortened 2020 campaign was led offensively by Makinzy Herzog and Morgan Smith, who compiled batting averages of .415 and .340, respectively. In the circle, Kayla Poynter paced the staff with a 7-2 record and a 1.68 ERA. The Aggies scored five and half runs per game along with ranking fourth in the country in doubles.
Central Arkansas finished the shortened 2020 campaign 18-9 (3-0 ASUN) and are currently 0-3 to start this season. The Bears are led by returners Reagan Sperling and Kaylyn Shepherd, who posted .385 and .355 batting averages last season, respectively. Kayla Beaver compiled a 7-1 record and a 1.07 ERA from the circle. The right-hander recorded 46 innings of work to lead the staff with 40 strikeouts and three shutouts. Cylla Hill, Shepherd and Beaver headlined the Preseason All-Southland First-Team along with Sperling earning herself a Second-Team nod. The Preseason Coaches poll placed the team as fifth place finishers in their conference.
Colorado State concluded the abbreviated 2020 season with a 11-12 finish. The Rams were led in the batter’s box by Ashley Michelena and Corina Gamboa, who paced the team with .300 and .292 batting averages, respectively. In the circle, Taylor Gilmore recorded 54 innings of work to garner a 4-4 record and 2.75 ERA last season.
The Texas Tech Red Raiders return standout starters Breanna Russell and Yvonne Whaley. Russell led the team with a .355 batting average while tallying 17 RBI and belting four home runs. Whaley followed in suit with a .326 batting average and six RBI. Zoe Jones paced the team with her 26 RBI in the 26 total games of the season. In the circle, Erin Edmoundson recorded 78.2 innings of work to lead the staff with a 10-4 finish last year. The Red Raiders were picked to finish fifth overall in the Big 12 Preseason poll.
Radio broadcasts can be heard locally on 97.3 FM and worldwide inside the free 12th Man Mobile app for all Texas A&M games this weekend. Search “12th Man Mobile” inside the App Store or Google Play to download.