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Photo by Kelii Horvath, TexAgs
Texas A&M Softball

No. 14 Ags falls short in 1-0 pitchers' duel as Kentucky avoids the sweep

April 7, 2024

Game #39: Kentucky 1, No. 14 Texas A&M 0
Records: Texas A&M (31-8, 10-5), Kentucky (24-14, 3-9)
WP: Stephanie Schoonover (14-6)
LP: Emiley Kennedy (15-6)
Box Score

After keeping each other scoreless for six innings, the 14th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies failed to complete the sweep of the Kentucky Wildcats, losing 1-0.

“Obviously, a hard-fought battle today on day three,” head coach Trisha Ford said. “I thought both pitchers pitched great games. They got a long ball, and we didn't get a timely hit, and that’s kind of the difference…We didn’t execute.”

Early, it was clear that a pitchers’ duel would ensue at Davis Diamond.

Emiley Kennedy and Stephanie Schoonover matched each other with seven Ks.

An All-American battle in the circle, Schoonover allowed two hits, while “Lefty” allowed three.

“She looked great,” Ford said of Kennedy. “I thought she threw a heck of a game. I thought she kept us in the ball game the whole entire time.”

With Schoonover’s specialty riseball, it was difficult for the Maroon & White to get going offensively.

Kelii Horvath, TexAgs
Kennedy’s ERA is now 1.57, and her record moved to 15-6 after appearing in all three games this weekend. She allowed five total runs in 14.1 IP vs. Kentucky.

“I think she’s [Schoonover] just savvy,” Ford said. “We started swinging at balls over our head, and she was just living up there. On Friday night, we didn’t swing on that up pitch very much, and today, we swung at it a lot.”

Defensively, the Aggies received some quick and sharp catches from junior shortstop Koko Wooley in the third and sophomore third baseman Kennedy Powell in the sixth to keep the game deadlocked.

As was the case earlier in the weekend, Sunday’s ballgame would also be decided by one run.

That game-winner came from Kentucky catcher Karissa Hamilton’s home run to left field off Kennedy’s first pitch of the seventh inning.

Ford said Kennedy’s pitch was too elevated and in the wrong spot.

A&M left fielder Kramer Eschete tried to rob the long ball but was unsuccessful as the ball tipped off her glove.

Still, the Aggies attempted to rally in the bottom half of the frame.

Ford called upon pinch hitters Aiyana Coleman and Kylei Griffin in for the seventh.

Coleman, with 15 RBI this season, was put into the game to bunt after Jazmine Hill walked to open the inning. Instead, Coleman struck out swinging.

“She is our best bunter,” Ford said of Coleman. “It didn’t look like it today, but she is our best bunter. There is an element of surprise, right? You’re not thinking we’re putting AC [Coleman] in to bunt.”

Following an Eschete single to move the tying run into scoring position, Griffin struck out swinging on just three pitches.

With two on and two outs, A&M needed just one hit to pull even. Unfortunately, catcher Julia Cottrill’s fate was the same as Coleman’s and Griffin’s.

Despite a prolonged battle, Schoonover ultimately got Cottrill swinging on the eighth pitch of the at-bat.

“You give up one run in the SEC, I feel like you’re gonna obviously win that game,” Ford said. “Sometimes it happens.”

The Aggies will travel to Tuscaloosa next weekend to face Alabama in a rare Saturday-Monday series.

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No. 14 Ags falls short in 1-0 pitchers' duel as Kentucky avoids the sweep

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