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Texas A&M Softball

Trisha Ford & Co. are off to hottest start since 2017 as SEC play looms

March 6, 2024

A Wednesday night clash against North Texas remains before Texas A&M softball begins SEC play, hosting South Carolina. Off to a 19-2 start, head coach Trisha Ford joined TexAgs Radio to discuss the current state of her squad and what is to come this week. 

Key notes from Trisha Ford interview

  • We've got one more non-conference game then we’re at it. We are in the middle of it. 
  • A couple of games, we haven't played in the moment. We had a really good practice yesterday. Usually, on Tuesdays, it is kind of an individual day and tidying up things. It's about our ability to play consistently every single day. Whether it is conference, North Texas or whoever, at the end of the day, I have to produce what I'm supposed to produce. I’m excited.
  • Emiley Kennedy has put in the work. The game knows. That kid has worked and worked, and she's gone through struggles but believed in the process. We’re having such different conversations with her. It's not, “Okay, how are you feeling?” It’s, “Let's elevate a little bit here. Let's dial down a little bit here. Are they swinging the first pitch? Let's expand and then dial back.”
  • We’re having more elevated conversations with Kennedy, and I think you can see that in her play. It's the high. It's why we do what we do. These are things they develop on the field, but also in life. She is going to carry some of those things into her life. So when you start to see them grow as humans out there, it is really rewarding. 
  • We do pay attention to all the numbers. We call it the free base game so how many walks, strikeouts and hit by pitchers? So, we’re trying to get our walks and hit by pitches, so free bases, to be more than strikeouts, and we’re doing a great job, and we work hard on it.
  • Coach Jeff Hargar is the best. That is why I hired him. He has done it at every place that we have been at. We get better every single year. We call it shrinking the strike zone. We have to hunt the middle of the plate. 
  • Allie Enright is just phenomenal. She puts in a lot of extra work. Everyone can practice 20 hours a week, but she comes in, watches the film on her own, and she’ll do some extra cuts on her own. She's starting to understand what her swing does and what pitches she needs to hunt. 
  • I want to see us come out and play Aggie softball no matter who is on the other side of the field and for us to stay consistent. We have.
  • I am a typical coach. 19-2. Those two losses, we could have won. We didn't play our kind of game. For me, I'm looking for that consistency to hunt strikes and play clean defense. That is our biggest thing this weekend: playing clean defense. 
  • But that is the fun, I love to compete. I want our players to be that same way. This is where the good stuff starts. You don't come to Texas A&M or the SEC if you don't want to play against the best. This isn't the place for you.
  • You're going to be able to challenge yourself on the field and figure out where you stand and what you need to work on. Those who take that in stride and get better really elevate.
  • I believe in what I have. We've developed a really good program, and we have done it in several places. Overtime, we have shown that we are capable of doing that. I think there is a way to get these athletes to compete at a really high level. But, also enjoy it and have fun.
  • Sometimes, they are nervous and trying to make things happen, and you can feel the energy. As a staff, we came to the office after Saturday’s game, and we said, “I think they are starting to figure this out.” We’re going to have ups and downs throughout the year, but as a whole, they stick together and work hard for each other.
  • The pitching staff and our pitcher do a good job of balancing each other out. Their relationship off the field is huge. They understand what Kennedy does very well. They understand what Shaylee Ackerman does well, what Brooke Vestal does well and Emily Leavitt. So they build off of each other.
  • We’ll again have conversations of, “Here's what we are going to look like against North Texas today.” Vestal's response will be, “Okay so Emiley’s going to hunt this part of the zone, so then now I have to hunt this part of the zone.” They understand who they come in after and what that looks like from a matchup perspective.
  • Oh man, I watched the Texas A&M-Texas baseball game in the office getting ready for North Texas. It was sweet. Anytime we get to beat those guys and give them a good whooping, I enjoy it. 
  • Jim Schlossnagle and I have a really good relationship. We got to do some speaking to donors in the fall so we got to spend a lot of time with each other. I think very highly of him, and I'll pick his brain about some things. He is a very likable guy. 
  • I have an idea of my plan. South Carolina will give us Alana Vawter, a transfer pitcher. She came from Stanford so we have a lot of information on her. Our first year at Arizona State, we got her. The second year, she got us. I think her ERA is in the low ones as well. Down ball pitcher with a phenomenal change-up.
  • South Carolina has a freshman, Sage Martjetko who is really good. She can go up and down, but she is primarily an up pitcher, so that will give a little bit. I don't think it will be a nine-run game. No matter what, I think it will be a close game. They play really good defense. It depends on whether our pitching can be good enough.
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Trisha Ford & Co. are off to hottest start since 2017 as SEC play looms

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