Photo by Mintie Betts, TexAgs
Texas A&M Softball

Aggies rally, score five unanswered in final two innings to beat SHSU, 5-4

March 28, 2019

The Aggies came back to defeat the Sam Houston State Bearkats in their second game of the day, 5-4. This game was the second part of a doubleheader at Davis Diamond on Wednesday night.

After a scoreless first inning from both ballclubs, the Bearkats opened up the scoring in the second inning with a groundout RBI by Sam Houston State catcher Hunter Ervin. The Bearkats would take the early 1-0 lead heading to the bottom half of the second inning.

The third frame saw the Bearkats begin to gain confidence. A RBI single by Bearkats second baseman Brooke Malia, and a subsequent Karlee Canada single gave Sam Houston a 2-0 lead with runners at the corners. Aggie starting pitcher Kayla Poynter would quickly shut down the threat and kept the runners at bay by inducing a flyout to left field to end the frame.

Mintie Betts, TexAgs
Kendall Potts came on in relief of Kayla Poynter in the fifth inning.

With Kendall Potts now pitching for Texas A&M, the Sam Houston batters once again began to find ways to take advantage in the top of the fifth. Karlee Canada would record her second consecutive single on the night, and a walk would put two runners on base for the Bearkats early in the inning. An error by the Aggies gave Sam Houston a three-run lead with Brooke Malia returning to the plate. Malia would once again rise to the occasion and delivered another RBI single to give the Bearkats a commanding 4-0 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth.

A trio of hits loaded the bases for Texas A&M in the bottom of the fifth, and after a lineout to third, and a fielder’s choice out at home plate, the Aggies seemed to be in desperate need of a score to stay in the game. Freshman third baseman Baylee Klingler stepped up and delivered an RBI single to center field. Though the Aggies would end the inning on the next at-bat, it seemed that they were slowly finding a way to get back into the game.

The sixth inning saw the Bearkats make a questionable move of going to the bullpen to replace Bearkat starter Karina Sanchez (1-3, 2.75 ERA) after five shutout innings. The Bearkats would go to Darby Fitzpatrick (0-2, 23.33 ERA), and the middle of the Texas A&M lineup jumped at the opportunity.

 “Towards the end of the game, we started making adjustments and hitting out-pitches, and making our plays all the way around.” said Blake-Ann Fritsch about the change in approach to the Sam Houston pitching staff after the contest.

A bloop hit to right field put Riley Sartain on third base to lead off the inning, and what followed would be yet another trio of hits by the bottom of the Aggie batting order. A RBI single by the red-hot Kayla Garcia pulled the game within one run. A hit by Kelbi Fortenberry led to a fielder’s choice play at the plate and after a video review determined that pinch runner Taudrea Sinnie was safe on a slide at home, the Aggies had tied the game at four. Blake-Ann Fristch stepped to the plate with a chance to put the Aggies ahead. Fritsch delivered the go-ahead RBI single that gave the Aggies their first lead of the contest. After a strikeout by Payton McBride, the score would favor the Aggies 5-4 heading to the final inning.

“We’re constantly playing Texas schools that play well against us, so it was really important for us to get two wins tonight.”
- Jo Evans

Potts came back out for the seventh inning and would shut down the Bearkats, retiring the final three batters in order, sealing the second victory of the day for the Aggies. After allowing two runs in the fifth, Potts went on to retire the final nine batters she faced to close the game out. Potts (7-5) notched her seventh win of the year with her performance on the mound today.

Timely hitting has been a major factor in the past week for the Aggies, as they have now won their last three games at home by a single-run each.

“We let our frustrations get to us,” said Jo Evans after the game. “They did a good job, we did not do a good job adjusting, until we got a few times through the order.

“It’s a really big midweek, and the opportunity to play two midweek games, Sam Houston is really well-coached, and it’s a midweek that can really come back and bite you,” Evan continued. “We’re constantly playing Texas schools that play well against us, so it was really important for us to get two wins tonight.”

The Aggies will look to continue to build on their winning streak as they return to action this Friday at Davis Diamond to take on the BYU Cougars. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. on SEC Network+.

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Aggies rally, score five unanswered in final two innings to beat SHSU, 5-4

BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
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