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Jo Evans
Haley Lee
Texas A&M Softball

Aggie softball splits twin bill to open the season in Texas A&M Invitational

February 20, 2021
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After nearly a year-long hiatus, Texas A&M softball returned to Davis Diamond to take on Central Arkansas and Colorado State in the Texas A&M Invitational. 

Game 1 - Texas A&M 9, Central Arkansas 0 

The Aggies started the 2021 season off with a bang, to say the least.

Jo Evans and Co. ended their season opener after five innings, run-ruling the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears, 9-0. The number of players that stepped up and made plays in game one is exciting for A&M fans.

Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Jo Evans began her 25th season as the Texas A&M head coach on Saturday afternoon.

Starting pitcher Makinzy Herzog struck out seven, with six coming in the first three innings, taking the life out of the Sugar Bears’ bats. Herzog was on fire all day, hitting a solo home run in the fifth.

Still, Herzog might not have been the most influential player for the Aggies against UCA.

Haley Lee opened the scoring with a two-run bomb in the first inning.

In the third, Shaylee Ackerman whacked a double to left. After Herzog moved her to third, Kelbi Fortenberry brought Ackerman home. With A&M up 3-0, Lee stepped to the plate again, hitting an opposite-field solo shot to right.

The Aggies never looked back, adding the aforementioned Herzog homer and a two-run bomb from Lee in the fifth inning, her third of the game. Later in the inning, Ackerman walked it off with a ball down the third base line, giving the Aggies a season-opening victory.

Evans spoke about Lee’s incredible performance. 

“You have hitters that are just so savvy and smart, and Haley is becoming that hitter,” Evans said. “You watch what Haley did today, and it is just so impressive. It speaks volumes about her growth as a hitter.” 

Game 2 - Colorado State 7, Texas A&M 6

The second was not nearly as smooth as the first.

The Aggies managed to jump out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to a couple of wild pitches and an overthrown ball to first from Colorado State.

However, the Lady Rams came alive in the second, scoring six runs off a pair of triples, a pair of singles, a double and a walk.

Evans switched it up in the circle, removing Kelsey Broadus for Grace Uribe in the middle of the second, but the damage was done. While the young Broadus didn’t have the outing she wanted, Evans is confident in her ability. 

“I think it just got away from her,” Evans said of Broadus’ performance. “Colorado State did a great job of preparing, but I think the key for her is to shake it off. It’s a long season, and she will get past it.”

“You watch what Haley (Lee) did today and it is just so impressive. It speaks volumes about her growth as a hitter.” 
- Head coach Jo Evans

However, the Aggies did not lie down.

Lee hit an RBI double in the third. Morgan Smith followed with another double, and the Ags were back in it. 

Colorado State started the fifth inning with a Corina Gamboa homer, stealing any momentum the Aggies had.

The Aggies had one last chance for a comeback in the final frame.

Herzog led off the inning with a walk, but Fortenberry flew out, bringing the Aggies down to their final two outs. Then, Lee stepped to the plate and hit her fourth dinger of the day, bringing A&M within one. However, back-to-back flyouts ended the ballgame as the Aggies fell, 7-6.

Despite the loss, Lee is excited for what the season holds. 

“I feel like every game will be a little different from the last,” Lee said. “I just keep hoping to move forward in a positive way and build off what I did today.”

Texas A&M will be back in action with two more games tomorrow. The Aggies begin the day with a rematch with Colorado State at 12:30 p.m. CT before facing Texas Tech at 3 p.m CT. Both games will be played at Davis Diamond.

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Aggie softball splits twin bill to open the season in Texas A&M Invitational

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