Aggies Rally to Defeat No. 10 LSU, 6-5

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. - Texas A&M Softball defeated No. 10 LSU, 6-5, in the series finale Sunday afternoon at Davis Diamond.

Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth, Texas A&M’s (16-8, 1-2 SEC) Riley Sartain plated two on a double down the left field line before Baylee Klingler belted a home run to left, the first of her career, to give the Aggies their first lead of the series.

LSU jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first but the Maroon & White responded with two runs of their own on a Payton McBride two-RBI single in the bottom half of the inning.

McBride threw the first 2.2 innings of the game, allowing five hits and four runs while walking one. Kendall Potts stymied the Tigers’ offense, only giving up one hit, one run and one walk in 4.1 innings to earn the win and move to 4-4 on the season.

KEY INNINGS

T1| Aliyah Andrews reached on an error to start the game followed by an Amanda Sanchez single through the right side. Shelbi Sunseri delivered a two-run double to the gap in right, plating Andrews and Amanda Sanchez. LSU 2, A&M 0

B1| Kelbi Fortenberry led off with an infield single, Riley Sartain was hit by a pitch and Haley Lee earned a walk to load the bases. Payton McBride singled through the right side, allowing Fortenberry and Sartain to touch home. A&M 2, LSU 2

T2| Savannah Stewart singled up the middle and Andrews reached on a fielder’s choice. The Aggies threw down to second to attempt to catch Andrews stealing as Stewart scored on the throw. LSU 3, A&M 2

T3| Doyle reached on a fielder’s choice before an Elyse Thornhill single to right scored her. LSU 4, A&M 2

T4| The Tigers added a run as Andrews delivered an infield single, advanced to third on a throwing error by the Aggies’ third baseman and scored as Sunseri reached on a fielder’s choice. LSU 5, A&M 2

B5| Blake-Ann Fritsch began the fran with a single to left and advanced to second on a throwing error on an Ashlynn Walls bunt. Fortenberry and Morgan Smith each reached on a fielder’s choice before a Riley Sartain double allowed both to touch home. Baylee Klingler belted a two-run homer to left to score Jatzlau, who pinch ran for Sartain, to give the Aggies the lead. A&M 6, LSU 5

Top Offensive Players:

Baylee Klingler| 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, R

Riley Sartain| 1-for-2, 2 RBI, 2B, R

Payton McBride| 1-for-3, 2 RBI

Kelbi Fortenberry| 1-for-3, 2 R

Pitching Breakdown:

Payton McBride – 2.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 K, 1 BB

Kendall Potts (4-4) – W, 4.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB

WHAT THEY SAID

Head Coach Jo Evans

On what changed late in the game…

“We kept fighting. We talked about having a better approach at the plate, a better plan and being willing to stay in the plan and not abort the first time they throw a pitch you didn’t expect. I thought we did a good job at that. I thought we did a great job answering back early to score the two runs, and a big difference was cutting back on walks. We still had some hit batters, but I thought that made a big difference, keeping the ball in the yard. For us, the difference in the last couple of days and today was our willingness to fight for what we wanted – a win at home against a great team. I was really pleased with how we handled it.”

On Kendall Potts’ performance…

“She was a lot more comfortable. She threw strikes when she needed to throw strikes and had her composure. The other thing I thought she did really well was play defense. I had been challenging her to be a better defensive player, make plays and be more aggressive getting off the mound, and I thought she did that so I was really pleased with that. You could see her get a lot more comfortable out there, and manage the situation and not make it too big.”

Senior 3B Riley Sartain

On what this win means…

“This means the world. Not only because we went out and pulled off a win against a top-10 opponent, but knowing that we had the fight within us to do that.”

Freshman 1B Baylee Klingler

On her home run…

“I was trying to barrel the ball up and keep it simple. Right before she came in, Coach Evans told us what she threw so I was sitting on a specific pitch. I was lucky enough to get a solid pitch to swing at, which was a screwball inside. My first thought was, ‘I can’t wait to get to home plate.’ Those girls fire me up so much. I was so happy. It was such a good team win.”

Junior P Kendall Potts

On her performance on the mound…

“I’m not necessary thinking about throwing hard. I was thinking about throwing strikes and where the pitch was called. I wanted to keep the lead for them. They worked so hard to get that lead. I just did the best I could do.”

On what this win means…

“We needed this win to get some momentum and show we can compete here. This win proved just that.”

ON DECK

The Aggies return to action Wednesday at 6 p.m. in a midweek contest against Sam Houston State at Davis Diamond.