With two outs in the fifth inning and no runs on the board at McCombs Field in Austin, the University of Houston’s Arielle James knocked a three RBI home run over the left field wall to finally break the scoring plateau.
Texas A&M attempted an answering rally in the sixth, loading the bases with two singles and a fielding error. A second fielding error allowed sophomore infielder Ashlynn Walls to score and gave A&M its first — and only — point in the NCAA Austin Regional game.
However, the inning ended on the next at-bat, leaving the final score 3-1 and leaving three runners on base.
The Aggies were plagued with the same problem throughout the game, finding many opportunities to score but being unable to capitalize on them.
Junior outfielder Kelbi Fortenberry notched a leadoff single in the first, but three ground outs followed to strand her at third. The Cougars answered with a single on their first at-bat, but three quick outs followed to send them back to the dugout.
The second and third innings were much of the same as both teams batted through their lineups.
A&M finally managed to garner some momentum in the fourth as freshman infielder Baylee Klingler notched a single to second base, then advanced to second on another single by freshman catcher Haley Lee.
A wild pitch then allowed freshman second baseman Madi Jatzlau — Klingler’s pinch runner — to advance to third, putting A&M in scoring position.
Houston senior pitcher Savannah Heebner then walked senior infielder Riley Sartain to give the Aggies a bases loaded situation; however, the Aggies could not convert it into points as two outs followed to leave the game scoreless.
The Aggies' momentum seemed to carry over to Houston’s turn at the plate. After Houston junior infielder Kelli Montgomery was walked and senior outfielder Maya Thomas hit a single, a wild pitch moved the pair to third and second respectively where they were stranded.
The A&M offense then put two on base with a fielding error and a double, but the pair were stranded as Heebner struck out two in the inning.
The Aggies suffered hitting difficulties throughout the game as Heebner struck out seven batters while allowing one run on six hits in the seven innings she pitched.
It was all defense through the first three innings as both teams struggled at the plate, only notching one hit apiece.
Junior pitcher Kendall Potts led the A&M defense, allowing three runs on five hits and striking out three.
After Potts allowed a hit and a walk in the sixth, McBride replaced her on the mound.
With two runners on base and one out, a fielder’s choice allowed the Cougars to load the bases. McBride stepped up when the Aggies needed her most, striking out the next batter she faced. A second out followed to end the inning.
McBride finished the game with no runs on no hits and one strikeout.
A&M will face the loser of the Texas-Sam Houston State game in an elimination game at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.