COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M softball team battled in a 2-1 loss in eight innings to No. 17 Kentucky on Saturday afternoon at Davis Diamond.
Kentucky drew first blood in the seventh inning after an Aggie error, allowing Kayla Kowalik to reach safely, followed by Tatum Spangler hitting a triple in the right-center gap to plate Kowalik.
Texas A&M answered right back in the home half of the seventh with Haley Lee hitting her 22nd home run of the season to dead center.
In the top of the eighth, with runners on first and second, the Wildcats regained the lead with an Autumn Humes RBI double.
Behind the plate, Kelly Martinez caught Kentucky’s Lauren Johnson stealing twice in the game. Previously, Johnson was a perfect 10-for-10 on stolen bases this season.
Offensively, seven Aggies recorded a hit on the day, while Bre Warren and Makinzy Herzog each attained multi-hits. Freshman Mariana Torres registered her first double of her career.
Haley Lee’s home run sent her into sole possession of second in program history on homers in a single season. The Kingwood, Texas, native is now tied for third in the nation in home runs.
In the circle, Aggie starter Kayla Poynter (9-6) was saddled with the loss. Poynter tossed a career-high 7.1 innings, allowing two runs, one earned on six hits and three walks while fanning three. Grace Uribe got the call out of the bullpen with one out in the eighth and stranded two runners on the basepaths.
The Aggies drop to 31-16 overall this season and hold an 8-12 record in SEC play, while Kentucky improves to 34-12 with a 9-11 mark against conference opponents.
T7 | Kayla Kowalik reached on a throwing error before Tatum Spangler hit a triple off the right field wall to plate Kowalik. UK 1, A&M 0
B7 | With one out, Haley Lee launched the first pitch she saw for a moonshot over the centerfield wall. UK 1, A&M 1
T8 | Erin Coffel hit a double to left field and Mallory Peyton walked. Autumn Humes followed with a double on a gapper to right to advance Peyton to third and score Coffel. UK 2, A&M 1
Top Offensive Players:
Makinzy Herzog | 2-for-3, 1 BB
Bre Warren | 2-for-4, 1 2B
Haley Lee | 1-for-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI
Kayla Poynter (9-6) – 7.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 SO, 3 BB
Grace Uribe – 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 SO, 0 BB
WHAT THEY SAID
Head Coach Jo Evans
“That’s a tough one to lose. I thought Kayla Poynter was phenomenal in the circle and it started from the get-go. In the first inning, she threw three pitches to the first batter and gets the strikeout. Just a single pitch to batter number two to get the out and then goes right after the third girl. She threw a total of only 10 pitches that inning. If you look at what she did and potentially did to get us off the field in 10 pitches after yesterday’s game, made a statement. She was prepared to come out and be in this one. At Mississippi State, she took a shot back at her and she came out tonight with a terrific performance. We certainly had our opportunities with stranding 10 runners and we talk about how important it is to get off to a quick start and answer right back. We had our chances early, but couldn’t make it happen. KP (Kayla Poynter) threw seven innings of no-earned runs against one of the best offensive lineups in the country. We have to acknowledge that even if we didn’t win it. I also thought Kelly Martinez was terrific behind the plate. She threw two runners out by a lot and didn’t have a passed ball or wild pitch on the day. Our battery was phenomenal today.”
The Aggies close out the series against the Wildcats on Sunday, May 2 at 12 p.m. at Davis Diamond. Following the game, the Aggies will honor their four seniors.