Texas A&M Invitational Day 1

Haley Lee had one hit and one walk in two at bats against Lamar.

The Aggie bats were hot at Davis Diamond on Friday as Texas A&M softball posted two shutouts of Lamar and St. John’s to open the Texas A&M Invitational.

Coming off a 1-0 loss to McNeese State on Thursday in which the Aggies struggled at the plate, they seemed to have hardly any trouble garnering hits Friday.

Six runs in the bottom of the first inning in game one helped A&M to an 8-0 win over Lamar, while four more followed in game two to give the Aggies a 4-0 win over St. John’s.

A&M coach Jo Evans said the quality of the Aggies’ at-bats needed improvement after Thursday’s loss, and with only one strikeout allowed between both of Friday’s games, she said she was proud of the way the team bounced back.

“We needed to change our mentality and be more aggressive and more engaged in the game,” Evans said. “Last night, it was so lackluster. Our kids, we challenged them and said let’s be aggressive, let’s get after it. If we’re going to swing the bat, we’re going to swing hard.”

In the second game, sophomore catcher Haley Lee kicked off scoring with a homerun to score senior outfielder Kelbi Fortenberry in the bottom of the third inning.

“Last night hit me hard, hit the team hard,” Lee said. “We worked so hard on seeing a drop-ball pitcher throughout this whole week and for us to come and fail as a team was pretty tough. But it was an adjustment that we learned and we made.”

The Aggies weren’t done there though. Freshman infielder Jourdyn Campbell hit a double to advance sophomore outfielder Taudrea Sinnie to third. Senior first baseman Payton McBride then took advantage of the scoring position, bringing Sinnie home with a groundout and extending A&M’s lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth.

The Aggies scored one final run to cap off the night, with senior outfielder Blake-Ann Fritsch finding home on a fielding error in the sixth inning.

Senior pitcher Kendall Potts got the start on the mound against St. John’s, finishing with nine strikeouts over the seven innings while allowing four hits.

Lee said Potts has become more confident on the mound over the offseason.

“She’s a lot more confident in what she’s throwing and how she’s throwing her pitches,” Lee said. “Seeing her change-up work, that’s her best pitch to me so I think she’s doing great and she’s going to keep doing great.”

Against Lamar, sophomore pitcher Makinzy Herzog pitched five innings for the Aggies, allowing just three hits with five strikeouts. She also added one run on two hits against Lamar and a hit on three at-bats against St. John’s.

Campbell notched two RBIs against Lamar, in the first and fourth innings, to score Herzog and Fortenberry. Sophomore utility player Meagan Smith and sophomore infielder Kayla Garcia also added two RBIs for the Aggies.

The Aggies will continue the tournament with a 12:15 p.m. first pitch against Lamar on Saturday.

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