Story Poster
Trisha Ford
Enright & Powell
Texas A&M Softball

No. 24 A&M powers its way to Opening Day run rules of Valpo & Lehigh

February 9, 2024

Game #1: No. 24 Texas A&M 11, Valparaiso 0
Records: Texas A&M (1-0, 0-0), Valparaiso (0-2, 0-0)
WP: Shaylee Ackerman (1-0)
LP: Sydney McDermott (0-1)
Box Score

No. 24 Texas A&M kicked off its 2024 season with an 11- 0 shutout against Valparaiso in Game 1 of the Aggie Classic on Friday night.

Starting on a high note, right-handed pitcher Shaylee Ackerman started the game with a solid strike, which quickly led to third baseman Kennedy Powell making a play for the first out of A&M’s season.

Things got moving in the bottom of the second for A&M.

With designated player Trinity Cannon on first base and center fielder Jazmine Hill on second, left fielder Keely Williams hit a three-run home run to give the home squad the lead.

Allie Enright was brought home by an RBI single from Rylen Wiggins to cap off the scoring in the second.

The Aggies did not relent.

The third inning saw Enright and Wiggins’ big bats hit back-to-back home runs to stretch the lead to 9-0. Following the third frame, A&M led by 11.

“I thought our offense tonight was absolutely dynamic,” A&M head coach Trisha Ford said. “Just a lot of hard-hit balls. They've been working hard. It was a really good day.”

A&M’s double-digit lead finished the game in just five innings.

“I think our lineup feels very confident from top to bottom,” Ford said. “We have the ability to put up good numbers at any point in time. ... It's a great start for 2024.”

Game #2: No. 24 Texas A&M 12, Lehigh 4
Records: Texas A&M (2-0, 0-0), Lehigh (0-2, 0-0)
WP: Emiley Kennedy (1-0)
LP: Katelyn Young (0-1)
Box Score

Continuing on the positives, the Aggies runruled Lehigh in the nightcap, 12-4.

The same lineup pulled through offensively, but Ford used the doubleheader as an opportunity to work in all four of her pitchers.

Junior left-handed pitcher Emiley Kennedy started hot, throwing her heater at over 70 miles per hour.

Still, the Mountain Hawks got a couple of hits off of Kennedy, and those clutch knocks came early.

A walk, a hit-by-pitch and four consecutive two-out hits were all it took for Lehigh to muster up four runs within the span of minutes and take the lead in the second inning, 4-2.

Yet, the Aggies’ bats came back to life.

In the fourth inning, Cottrill hit her first round-tripper of the season, and soon after, Enright’s three-run homer stole back the lead, 6-4.

“I was in the weight room all summer,” Enright said. “I feel way more comfortable at the plate. I'm really confident.

“I just felt very prepared. I didn't second guess myself.”

Relieving Kennedy, Emily Leavitt came in and quickly ended the inning.

“Leavitt came in a did a really nice job of just stopping the bleeding a little bit,” Ford said. “I thought we were too knit picky. We were either too much on their plate or too much off the plate.”

After Lehigh’s pitchers continued to walk the Aggies, the bases were loaded, and the runs started to pour in, allowing the Aggies to put six on the board in the fourth.

Game 2 ended with back-to-back punchouts from Leavitt, run-ruling the Mountain Hawks.

“We have a really good camaraderie, and I think that’s what sets us apart from other teams,” Enright said.

Weather permitting, A&M resumes the Aggie Classic with a Saturday doubleheader, facing Lehigh at 3:30 p.m. and Tulsa at 6:30 p.m.

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No. 24 A&M powers its way to Opening Day run rules of Valpo & Lehigh

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BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
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