The Texas A&M softball team is set to open its fall season with back-to-back games against Weatherford College on Friday at Davis Diamond.
The Aggies are coming off a 2019 season in which they went 28-27 overall and earned their 18th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance. Sixteen players from last season’s roster, including seven starters, are returning for the Aggies.
A&M coach Jo Evans said she recognizes what the young team had to overcome a year ago in order to see the postseason in 2019, but believes that better things are ahead for this year’s squad.
“Last year, we did some really great things,” Evans said. “It was a challenging year for us. For us to get into the postseason with the young team that we had, I was happy for our kids to get to that point. It was a challenge and a grind every single day … We’ve added some good talent to our team, some depth, some experience from this last year. So all of last year builds towards what we’ve got right now and what we’re doing right now and what we will build this year and for the following years.”
The Aggies have four returning pitchers in sophomore Hannah Mayo, senior Payton McBride, senior Kendall Potts and junior Kayla Poynter. Evans said she also looks forward to incorporating Florida State transfer Makinzy Herzog into the young lineup this season.
“She was an everyday player for them as a freshman,” Evans said. “She’s coming in and really establishing herself as someone who’s going to help us in our lineup, on the mound, at the plate, in the outfield. So I think our fans are really going to enjoy watching her. She comes from an Aggie family, she understands our traditions, she’s bought in. I think she’s going to be a big addition to our team.”
Weatherford College is coming off an 34-21 record and an NTJCAC Regional Tournament appearance last season. Evans also said the team should seek value from these fall games against junior colleges, like Weatherford, since it will allow them to see exactly what they need to improve before regular season play.
“The fall season is important to us,” Evans said. “I think in the fall we’re not concerned with who our opponent is, as much as we are with getting on the field, getting in the reps, getting in the playing time, working different combinations and getting a feel...It’s really nice to get out there and play games and to get a feel for what it feels like on that game day, where everyone actually puts the uniform on.”
The doubleheader is set to kick off at 4 p.m. at Davis Diamond, with first pitch for the second game slated for 6 p.m.