COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M softball won its third consecutive game to close out the Reveille Classic with a 6-3 win over Kansas on Sunday morning at Davis Diamond. The Aggies improve to 15-7, while Kansas drops to 8-11.
The Aggies were on the board first after Makinzy Herzog got things started for A&M with a single through the right side. Payton McBride tallied her 14th RBI of the season with a two-out single to right field, to bring Herzog home. Jourdyn Campbell continued the offensive momentum after hitting her 12th double, but was stranded at second to end the inning.
A&M would tack on two more runs to go ahead 3-0 in the fourth after Campbell was hit by a pitch for the fifth time this year. Kelbi Fortenberry came through for the Aggies after cranking a triple to centerfield to plate Campbell. Fortenberry would score after Ashlynn Walls crushed one up the middle, for her ninth RBI of the season.
The Aggie bats started to heat up with another two-run inning in the bottom of the fifth. Morgan Smith belted her third home run of the season with a solo shot to left field. McBride added to her day with a double to left field and Campbell would earn an RBI ripping the ball through the right side to give A&M a 5-0 lead.
Kansas didn’t go away quietly after blasting a two-run home run in the top of the sixth. Sam Dellinger reached on a single and Sydnee Ramsey hit her fourth homer of the year. Madison Hirsh followed with a stand up double, but the Jayhawks couldn’t get anything across after freshman Campbell made two tremendous defensive plays at shortstop, using her range and arm to gun back-to-back runners out at first.
Texas A&M would add an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Meagan Smith had a leadoff single, and Ashlynn Walls walked. A wild pitch put runners on second and third for Herzog, as she grounded out to the right side to add to the Aggies’ lead with an RBI.
The Jayhawks’ Becki Monaghan homered to lead off the seventh, but Hannah Mayo entered the game in relief, recording the final three outs to earn her first save of the season.
Junior right-hander Kayla Poynter recorded her fifth win of the season in the circle, scattering seven hits on three runs and striking out three in 6.0 innings of work.
B1 | Makinzy Herzog singled through the right side and stole second. Payton McBride’s RBI single to right field brought Herzog home to score. A&M 1, KU 0
B4 | Jourdyn Campbell was a hit by a pitch and touched home after Kelbi Fortenberry’s triple to centerfield. Ashlynn Walls brought Fortenberry home with a single up the middle. A&M 3, KU 0
B5 | Morgan Smith blasted a solo home run to left field. Payton McBride doubled to left center and Madi Jatzlau pinch ran for her. Campbell singled through the left side, plating Jatzlau. A&M 5, KU 0
T6 | Sam Dellinger singled to the left side and Sydnee Ramsey homered to left field. A&M 5, KU 2
B6 | Meagan Smith pinch hit for Shaylee Ackerman and she singled to left center. Kyndall Murray pinch ran for Meagan Smith and moved to second after Ashlynn Walls walked. Both Murray and Walls advanced bases on a wild pitch. Herzog grounded out on the right side, bringing Murray home. A&M 6, KU 2
T7 | Becki Monaghan homered to centerfield. A&M 6, KU 3
Top Offensive Players:
Payton McBride | 2-for-3, 2 H, 1 RBI
Jourdyn Campbell| 2-for-2, 2 H, 1 R, 1 RBI
Kelbi Fortenbery | 1-for-3, 1 H, 1 R, 1 RBI
Kayla Poynter (5-2) – 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 SO, 1 BB
Hannah Mayo (Save – 1) – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 SO, 1 BB
WHAT THEY SAID
Head Coach Jo Evans
On Kayla Poynter’s pitching performance…
“I thought she threw well today. She kept them off balance and threw a low number of pitches. Any good team, once they get through the order the third time, is going to make changes. I thought Kansas did a good job making adjustments as the game went on.”
On Payton McBride…
“I think Payton the last two days has made some good adjustments. She worked hard in practice and I could see her tweaking her swing. That right there has made a big difference for her. We needed that, she’s our senior leader. You see how much better we are when the senior leaders step up.”
On her thoughts moving forward…
“I was just talking to our staff about that. Friday night was dismal, our performance was awful. For us to come back and get ourselves together, showed some signs of what this team could be. I feel encouraged about our ball club and I know we are going to face a bunch of tough opponents in conference play. When you can go from Friday night to what we did yesterday and today, that tells me there is something there.”
Senior P/1B Payton McBride
On her performance today…
“I just kind of let loose. I was kind of pressing at the beginning of the year. I let my swing work itself out and worked in the cages to find its way.”
On her team’s overall performance today…
“When we went to California and played the way that we did and beat the teams that we did, it showed us that we can do this. We came out this weekend and told ourselves that.”
On the team’s mentality moving into conference play…
“I wouldn’t say it’s different, it is more exciting than usual. We are playing in the SEC and those teams are good. It’s nothing that we haven’t seen before.”
Junior Pitcher Kayla Poynter
On the pitching mentality…
“Our mentality going into every game is to attack the batters. We did that today by getting ahead and moving the ball using different stuff.”
On starting conference play…
“I think we are in a good spot right now. The last couple of games we’ve lost put us in a tough spot, but we changed our mentality moving forward. Going into SEC play, we are going to stick with the same approach.”
Texas A&M kicks off conference action next week when the Aggies travel to Kentucky for a three-game series beginning Saturday, March 7 at 1 p.m. (CT)
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