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Texas A&M Softball

A&M softball ready for top-10 clash against Gators in final SEC weekend

May 1, 2024

One final regular season weekend remains for Aggie softball ahead of the postseason as No. 8 Texas A&M will travel to Gainesville for a series against No. 9 Florida. Head coach Trisha Ford joined Wednesday's edition of TexAgs Radio to detail the all-important weekend. 

Key notes from Trisha Ford interview

  • We took a couple of days off to practice, but we had two games last week: Houston at home and Sam Houston. Both of those ended up good for the Ags, so now we are just prepping for Florida.
  • The bye week is important for everybody. It hit at a good time because they are getting ready for or taking finals, so we hit a little reset. We didn't take so many days off. I like to keep them moving, so we had a little bit of a lighter practice. We work on hand coordination to get those reps. When you get in the box and you get competing again, you want to feel that comfort still. We took a few days off, but we practiced as well.
  • The rankings show the work that the players have put in. I'm excited, but I really don't pay attention to that. 
  • Trinity Cannon has been a beast. The thing I have really been impressed with is that she started off the season really hot, and then like all players do, she had a little period where they start thinking. Trin did a really good job of refocusing, has elevated her game again and come up in some big situations. What really sets her apart is her senior leadership. When we need a big ball, she comes through. 
  • Braden Montgomery and Jace LaViolette are two guys who are fun to watch. That is the reason why we have Jazmine Hill, Julia Cottrill, Cannon and Allie Enright because they show up big for us too. Those four have put up some damage this year. That is their job, and that is what they are here for. They are producing at a really high rate.
  • Shaylee Ackerman had a little injury early in the year but she has bounced back from it. This past weekend against Sam Houston, she did a really good job. She has been huge because Emiley Kennedy has been great, but we can't just have one pitcher for us to be where we are today.
  • It's going to be a big one, and it's going to be a hard one. I love that we won on the road in Tuscaloosa. I think that sets some things in our headspace of what we can and should do. It's two top-15 programs going to go at it. It will show where we are at, but it will also help with the standings within the conference. It's a big weekend.
  • We don't talk about what is at stake. Talking about it isn't going to change anything. It's going to be about us going out and playing Aggie softball, and if you look at Florida and how their offense works, they have a lot of athleticism. We are very similar.
  • If you look at the top of Florida’s lineup, they have some speed and some power. The biggest thing is taking away the free bases. If you look at walks and hit-by-pitches, those free bases, they are scoring a lot, so that is going to be our biggest key is keeping that at a minimum. 
  • Pitching and defense will bring us success in the postseason. It will always kind of come down to that. You are always going to love the long ball, but you are going to face some really good pitching, so there are going to be times when things aren't winding up. If you can pitch, stay in a game and make outs, you are going to win a lot of games. 
  • It's going to be vital to stay sharp in the postseason. For a lot of our players, this is new ground. Keeping things the same. We are very routine people.
  • When games get hard, they can fall back on their training and rise up to the competition. We need to stay consistent in what has gotten us to this place and make sure we hit the same areas that have made us consistent, such as hitting, base running and pitching. 
  • For us, we will set up some machines that are harder than what you will see in a game. So when that pitcher throws that, it is easier to hit. Defensively, we can get them tired easily and then put them in pressure situations. How can I be physically tired but mentally focused? Great teams understand how to do that. That is where your Sunday wins come from when you are physically tired but are mentally tough enough to be able to execute at a high level.
  • Florida is pretty dynamic. They have two freshman pitchers that have done a good job this year. I think, basically, it is going to not let them get on base for free. Walks and hit by pitches. Minimizing those things and being able to play clean defense things will be in our favor. 
  • The players are in a good place. They are excited, and they love to compete. It's our last road trip for the regular conference before the SEC Tournament which will be in Auburn. Now, they know what they are capable of doing. Let’s go out, execute and play this game.
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A&M softball ready for top-10 clash against Gators in final SEC weekend

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