COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M softball opened its series against Tulsa with a 9-5 win Friday night at Davis Diamond. With the win, the Aggies improve to 4-2 while the Golden Hurricane fall to 0-1.
The Golden Hurricane opened the scoring in the top of the first inning, with Kylie Norwood scoring on a sacrifice fly. Tulsa added another run in the top of the second, with Norwood sending an RBI double to left centerfield.
With the Aggies trailing 2-0, senior Ashlynn Walls smashed a three-run home run just over the centerfielder’s glove to give the Aggies a 3-2 lead. A&M added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, but Tulsa responded with two of their own in the top of the fifth resulting in a 5-4 Aggie advantage. The Maroon & White padded the scoring differential with a four-run sixth inning. Tulsa added a run in the top of the seventh on a home run.
Freshman Bre Warren continued her reign of dominance in the batter’s box, finishing 2-for-2 and maintaining her 1.000 batting average. The College Station, Texas, native is 4-for-4 in her collegiate career. Shaylee Ackerman went 2-for-4, Makinzy Herzog recorded a hit with three RBI and Walls logged her first home run of the season and eighth of her career.
In the circle, Herzog pitched her third complete game of the season and recorded four strikeouts. The right-hander scattered six hits and allowed three earned runs. The Missouri City, Texas, native has fanned 20 batters so far this season through a combined 21 innings of action.
T1| Kylie Norwood led off the game with an infield single. Back-to-back walks to Sarah Briers and Chenise Celce loaded the bases for Alexis Perry, who drove in Norwood on a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Tulsa 1, A&M 0
T2| Kyndal Pirtle reached first on a bunt before scoring on a Norwood double to left center. Tulsa 2, A&M 0
B2| Bre Warren took second after an infield single followed by a throwing error. Dani Elder earned a walk before Ashylnn Walls’ three-run homer to straight away center. A&M 3, Tulsa 2
B4| Bre Warren opened the frame with a triple to leftfield followed by an Elder walk. Rylen Wiggins pinch ran for Elder, who advanced to second on a stolen base. With runners in scoring position, Makinzy Herzog produced a RBI groundout. Kelbi Fortenberry reached safely on a fielding error, plating Wiggins. A&M 5, Tulsa 2
T5| Imani Edwards doubled, Haley Morgan was hit by a pitch and Abby Jones singled to load the bases. Aubree Seaney reached on an error, plating Edwards and Morgan. A&M 5, Tulsa 4
B6| Back-to-back hit by pitches landed Trinity Cannon and Warren on base. Elder laid a bunt down for a single to load the bases. A throwing error scored pinch runner Star Ferguson and Warren. With Elder at third and Walls at second, Herzog roped a double off the leftfield wall, scoring both runners. A&M 9, Tulsa 4
T7| Perry started the inning off with a solo home run to left center. A&M 9, Tulsa 5
Top Offensive Players:
Shaylee Ackerman| 2-for-4
Bre Warren| 2-for-2
Makinzy Herzog| 1-for-4, 3 RBI
Ashlynn Walls| 1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI
Makinzy Herzog (2-1) – 7.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 SO, 3 BB
WHAT THEY SAID
Head Coach Jo Evans
“It’s nice to win a ball game when you don’t play your best. I thought (Makinzy) Herzog struggled a bit on the mound. Got a rocky start, but getting out of that first inning with only giving up a run, that was huge. It was a difference maker for us. In that case, we're just looking to get outs and not cut down runners at home plate, and we managed to be able to do that. Just getting one there, I thought it was big. The bottom of our order, I thought was really the difference-maker for us in that game. They struggled a little bit in our tournament last weekend, but came back tonight and had just quality at-bats out of Bre Warren and Dani Elder and Ashlynn Walls, so that was, again, another difference-maker for us. I thought early on our approach wasn’t great, then we settled in, and then we had so many quality at-bats. I think we had maybe 17 quality at-bats tonight, which is huge. Nice to see us take care of business in that way. Again, that was something that we thought we needed to improve on in this series, so I’m happy to see us take care of that.”
On taking advantage of the opponents' mistakes in tonight’s game…
“Every mistake that they made, we ended up scoring runs on it. I thought we did a really nice job putting pressure on them, taking advantage of those mistakes, staying in those innings, and scoring in those innings. That was a key factor as well.”
Senior infielder Ashlynn Walls
On the game plan and her job at the plate…
“Over practice Coach Snider helped us emphasize and break down those pitchers. I was trying to remember to keep my eyes down and know what my job is. It worked out and the practicing paid off.”
On the bottom of the lineup producing runs…
“It’s a really good feeling. We know how hard it is for the coaches to put out the starting nine, so that alone gives us the confidence we can pull through in any situation to produce runs for our pitcher.”