Aggies Blank Central Arkansas, 2-0
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Aggie softball closed out the Texas A&M Invitational with a 2-0 shutout over the Central Arkansas Bears on Monday at Davis Diamond.
The Aggies broke the scoring seal in the second inning as Ashlynn Walls drove in Trinity Cannon. In the sixth, Texas A&M added an insurance run as Shaylee Ackerman plated Kelbi Fortenberry on a double to center.
Kayla Poynter made her season debut twirling six shutout innings, scattering five hits and one walk while striking out seven. Kelsey Broadus retired all three batters she faced in the seventh to pick up her first save of the season.
Bre Warren earned her first start for the Maroon & White in right field, going 2-for-2 with a double. Fortenberry compiled two hits to finish 2-for-3 on the day.
B2 | Trinity Cannon reached first on a fielding error before moving to third on a Bre Warren double. Ashlynn Walls’ RBI ground out to the left side plated Cannon. A&M 1, UCA 0
B6 | Kelbi Fortenberry opened the frame with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a hard-hit grounder by Haley Lee. Shaylee Ackerman blasted a double to centerfield scoring Fortenberry. A&M 2, UCA 0
Top Offensive Players:
Bre Warren| 2-for-2
Kelbi Fortenberry| 2-for-3
Ashlynn Walls| 1-for-3, RBI
Shaylee Ackerman| 1-for-3, RBI
Kayla Poynter (1-0) – 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 7 SO, 1 BB
Kelsey Broadus (Save) – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 SO, 0 BB
WHAT THEY SAID
Head Coach Jo Evans
“Really happy to see our team bounce back from last night. Nice to see Kayla Poynter on the mound. I thought she had a really good game for us, you know, gets a big strikeout in her first time back, and managed baserunners, and got us out of a couple of jams. Just really excited about what she did out there. Did a good job with getting ahead of hitters, throwing strikes early. Kelsey Broadus came in and did a really nice job in closing that game out. Just such a good combination there with the big lefty throwing that firm pitch, and then you got Poynter just completely different. So, I was pleased to see Kelsey bounce back from her start the other day against Colorado State. Really happy to see how she managed that. Defensively, we had one miscue, but it didn’t end up hurting us. We got in that same situation where we had the lead and we got some pressure on the base path’s, and we showed that we can make plays and we can handle that pressure. I thought Dani Elder making the play on the sac bunt to get that lead runner on third base was a really crucial play. Rylen Wiggins, our freshman shortstop, she’s the one calling where to throw in that situation. She made a perfect decision to get that out at third base, and then Rylen making the play to end that inning. It was not an easy play, lefty snapper up there with a runner running in front of her, she manages the pressure just fine and makes the play look easy when it wasn’t an easy play. So, really happy to see us bounce back from yesterday, which was really frustrating for us.”
On the learning experience that the team gained from opening weekend…
“Yeah, I feel really good about the way our team processed what we talked about after the game yesterday because I was hard on our kids. I was not easy on them whatsoever. I think it’s really important for our young team to learn how to win, learn how to win close games, learn how to keep a lead with some pressure in the late innings. I thought we did that really well. You know, my big thing is when you have a post-game like we had yesterday, is can you be mature enough to come back the next day with a smile on your face, and look your coach in the eye, and look your teammates in the eye and just play the game. All our kids did that today. I think that shows the maturity that we have, and we’ll just keep getting better.”
Sophomore pitcher/outfielder Shaylee Ackerman
On her hitting increase compared to the start of last season…
“Last year, I felt like I was definitely trying to rush my process rather than trusting my work, trusting everything that I’m putting into the game. So this year, I definitely came in with a different mentality of like, everything’s going to be okay, it’s going to happen when it’s going to happen, rather than me trying to rush everything.”
On the feeling of the team after opening weekend…
“It seems exciting. It’s crazy. Nobody is really expecting us to be what we are, and it’s going to be fun to kind of come out and show who we are, and show what we have been doing at practice, to put ourselves out there.”
The Maroon & White host Tulsa in a three-game series at Davis Diamond. Game one is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start on Friday, Feb. 26, while Saturday and Sunday’s contest are slated for a 1 p.m. and 11 a.m., respectively.
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