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Texas A&M Softball

Aggie softball opens SEC play with a 2-1 win over LSU in Baton Rouge

March 20, 2021
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 Texas A&M softball opened SEC play on Saturday night with a 2-1 win over LSU in Baton Rouge. Morgan Smith hit a home run and Makinzy Herzoy tossed a complete-game victory as the Aggies opened conference play on a high note.



Release from Texas A&M Athletics:

BATON ROUGE, La. – With a one-run lead and runners on second and third with two outs, Makinzy Herzog’s sixth strikeout of the game secured Texas A&M’s 2-1 win over No. 12 LSU Saturday night at Tiger Park.

Texas A&M improves to 20-3 and 1-0 in the SEC, picking up its 12th consecutive win, as LSU falls to 16-8 and 2-2 in league play.

With a full count, Morgan Smith hit a solo shot over the right field fence to lead off the top of the second inning. This was Smith’s first home run of the season and sixth of her career. The Aggies have now hit a home run in 10 of their last 11 games.

Herzog retired the side in back-to-back innings before LSU was able to get a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third inning by Ali Newland. Aliyah Andrews reached on an A&M fielding error as Newland moved to third, but Herzog ended the inning with a strikeout and continued her dominance in the circle.

In the top of the sixth inning, Morgan Smith ripped a single through the right side to give the Aggies some momentum. Star Ferguson pinch ranch for Smith and was moved over to second by a sacrifice bunt by Kelbi Fortenberry. Ferguson moved to third on a passed ball and on a six-pitch at-bat, Ashlynn Walls crushed one up the middle to plate Ferguson. Walls was down 0-2 in the count, but battled back to a full count to give the Aggies the go-ahead run.

The Tigers answered in the bottom half of the inning with a leadoff walk by Andrews, who stole second and then scored on a single down the right field line by Amanda Doyle to pull within one.

The Aggies held a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh. Herzog was able to get the leadoff batter to pop up to Rylen Wiggins at short, but Ciara Briggs gave LSU a base runner with a bunt. Raeleen Gutierrez walked to place runners on first and second. Morgan Cummins pinch for Gutierrez. Ali Newland hit a long fly ball to Fortenberry in centerfield for the Aggies’ second out of the inning, but Briggs and Cummins moved to second and third on the play. LSU was down to its final out with runners at second and third for Danieca Coffey. Coffey worked through a seven-pitch at-bat and had a full count before chasing an outside pitch by Herzog to end the game.

Herzog pitched the complete 7.0 innings, picking up her eighth win of the season. The Missouri City, Texas, native tossed a two-hitter, allowing three walks, while striking out six. The junior also extends her hit streak to seven after recording her ninth double of the season.

Morgan Smith and Ashlynn Walls both finished 2-for-3 and tallied an RBI in the Aggies’ victory.

KEY INNINGS

T2 | Morgan Smith homered to right field.  A&M 1, LSU 0

T6 | Morgan Smith singled through the right side. Star Ferguson pinch ran for Smith and was moved to second by a Kelbi Fortenberry sacrifice bunt. Ferguson moved to third on a passed ball and scored on an Ashlynn Walls single up the middle.  A&M 2, LSU 0

B6 | Aliyah Andrews walked and stole second. Amanda Doyle singled down the right field line and Andrews scored.  A&M 2, LSU 1

Top Offensive Players

Morgan Smith| 2-for-3, HR

Ashlynn Walls| 2-for-3, RBI

Makinzy Herzog| 1-for-2

Pitching Breakdown

Makinzy Herzog (8-1) – 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 SO, 3 BB

WHAT THEY SAID

Head Coach Jo Evans
Opening statement
“I’m really proud of our ball club tonight. I thought [Makinzy] Herzog just pitched a gem. She was in control all night. That last inning was really just nails. It kind of bent, but it didn’t break. I’m proud of the way she just managed that. It’s a tough situation on the road trying to keep that lead in the bottom of the seventh. I’m really proud of how she handled herself out there. We came to win. I know we’re a young ball club and pretty much untested in the last couple of years, but it’s good to see our kids come out and expect to win. We had a great night, from Morgan Smith getting the solo home run and getting herself on again and we end up scoring that run. Ashlynn Walls, I thought what a huge at-bat she had in that situation where she’s battling and she’s got two strikes on her. She was actually 0-2 in the count and draws it to a full and ends up getting a huge game-winning RBI for us. I thought we played well all the way around. I thought our defense was solid and everyone in our dugout was just in it. It was a complete team win.”

ON DECK

Texas A&M continues its series against LSU. Tomorrow’s game is set for 5 p.m. at Tiger Park and will air on the SEC Network.

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Aggie softball opens SEC play with a 2-1 win over LSU in Baton Rouge

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