With just two hits compared to McNeese State’s five, Texas A&M softball fell 1-0 in a Thursday game at Davis Diamond.
McNeese State took the lead on a single by sophomore utility player Sara Geier that allowed junior infielder Tayler Strother to score.
Junior pitcher Kayla Poynter said the McNeese’s score came as a result of the weather, which featured southern winds of almost 10 mph.
“I’ll give them credit, they did do a lot of good things tonight,” Poynter said. “They struck one in the gap, but a lot of their hits were balls that were just caught up in the wind. There's nothing we can do about that.”
A&M coach Jo Evans said with the wind, opportunities to score were abundant though the Aggies didn’t take advantage of them.
“You get into a night like tonight where it’s cold, the winds blowing in and you know it’s not going to be a big scoring night and it’s all set up for someone to score a run here or there,” Evans said. “We needed to take care of the ball. I told our kids in that game, I didn’t care if it lasted 14 innings, you go out there and make plays.”
Poynter pitched all seven innings for the Aggies, allowing one run on five hits with five strikeouts. Despite taking the loss for A&M, Poynter still had a successful night leading the defense, Evans said.
“I love the way she is playing,” Evans said. “It’s a shame that that kid didn’t get a win tonight because she deserves it. She earned it. Our team just didn’t take care of business. Our team, I thought, defensively, was way too passive.”
Evans said the defense’s energy will be a focus moving forward.
“Be aggressive,” Evans said. “I thought we were so passive out there and [Poynter] was giving us opportunities to get outs and we were just on our heels. There was no sense of urgency to make a play. We were just way too passive in the way we were approaching the game.”
Sophomore pitcher Saleen Flores earned the win for McNeese State, allowing only two hits with four strikeouts.
Senior outfielder Kelbi Fortenberry and junior infielder Ashlynn Walls gave the Aggies their only two hits, with both coming in the first two innings.
The Aggies will host the five-game Texas A&M Invitational this weekend with first pitch for Friday’s game slated for 3 p.m. against Lamar. The game can be streamed on SEC Network+.
“Let’s get this bad taste out of our mouth and get out and play,” Evans said. “We have five games this weekend, which is really good. We need to get out there and get after it. I just want to see us play with a lot more energy and enthusiasm and a lot more passion for the game, and to just have a lot more confidence.”