COLLEGE STATION, Texas — No. 22 Texas A&M Softball fell to Liberty, 4-2, before defeating McNeese, 2-1, in eight innings in day one of the Texas A&M Invitational Friday at Davis Diamond.
Against Liberty, Morgan Smith reached base three times via a walk, hit by pitch and a single. Kelbi Fortenberry and Baylee Klingler each recorded a hit and an RBI for the Aggies (6-2).
Kendall Potts suffered the loss to move to 1-1 on the year. The junior allowed 10 hits, four runs, and three walks in 7.0 innings of work.
In game two, Texas A&M gained a 1-0 lead in the fourth after taking advantage of a pair of defensive miscues and held McNeese scoreless until the top of the seventh when Cori McCrary blasted a solo shot over the left field wall to tie the game. In the eighth, the Aggies walked off on a sacrifice fly from Morgan Smith.
Payton McBride (4-0) earned the win after only giving up five hits, one walk and one run while fanning three after throwing a career-high, 8.0 innings.
T1| Autumn Bishop led the game off with a walk before Kara Canetto singled down the left field line to score her. LU 1, A&M 0
B1| Morgan Smith earned a walk and a Klingler single down the left field line, allowing her to touch home. A&M 1, LU 1
T3| Kara Canetto singled to third base before Sarah Robertson bunted for a hit. Alexis Erich delivered a double to center, plating Canetto and Erich. LU 3, A&M 1
B3| Morgan Smith reached base after being hit by a pitch and was plated by a Fortenberry single up the middle to cut Liberty’s lead to one. LU 3, A&M 2
T7| Madison Via reached base on an infield single and advanced on a groundout and an Amber Bishop single before taking advantage of a throwing error to score. LU 4, A&M 2
B4| Riley Sartain singled to left and moved to third on two errors by the Cowgirls’ defense. A Baylee Klingler sacrifice fly plated Sartain to give the Aggies the lead. A&M 1, MCN 0
T7| Cori McCrary homered over the left field wall to tie the game at one. A&M 1, MCN 1
B8| With the international tie breaker rule in effect, Taudrea Sinnie was placed on second base to start the inning. Ashlynn Walls singled to left to advance Sinnie to third, before a Morgan Smith sacrifice fly allowed her to tag up and score. A&M 2, MCN 1
Top Offensive Players:
Morgan Smith | 2-for-5, RBI, 2 R, BB
Kendall Potts (1-1) – L, 7.0 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 K, 3 BB
Payton McBride (4-0) – W, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 K, 1 BB
WHAT THEY SAID
Head Coach Jo Evans
On the offensive performance…
“I just want to see us more aggressive at the plate. I thought there were times we were a little tentative at the plate but other times we didn’t do a good job staying in the strike zone. There is a tricky balance of being aggressive but not overly aggressive and chasing bad pitches. For the most part, we swung the bat really well in all the games we have played. I expect us to come out swinging it better tomorrow.”
On Payton McBride…
“I thought she had some tough luck. I thought she pitched really well and as the game went on, she got better and better. She had a couple of walks there early that hurt her, but she made really good pitches with two outs. I thought there were several times where she made really good pitches to get us out of an inning. All in all, she got better as the game went on and you could see her being a lot looser than she was the other night.”
The Aggies return to action Saturday in day two of the Texas A&M Invitational with a rematch against Liberty scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m. before a 3 p.m. tilt with Rutgers.