On Tuesday, the Texas A&M softball team hosted a doubleheader with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Davis Diamond in College Station. The Aggies extended their win streak to five games as they defeated the Islanders in both matches, winning the first game 7-0 and the second game 9-2.
The first game started defensively, as neither team scored in the match’s first four innings. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Aggies got on the board, when a single by junior Haley Lee brought home junior Taudrea Sinnie. They added to their lead with the next batter, as sophomore Shaylee Ackerman drilled a grand slam home run over the centerfield wall. Later in the inning, a double by senior Ashlynn Walls scored senior Dani Elder, giving A&M a commanding 6-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, junior Makinzy Herzog whacked a home run of her own, bringing the Aggies’ lead to seven. In the top of the seventh inning, the A&M defense shut down the Islanders to secure the 7-0 shutout in the afternoon’s opening game.
Senior Kayla Poynter was the starting pitcher of the first game. In 6.0 innings, she delivered three strikeouts and allowed no runs on four hits. Junior Hannah Mayo relieved in the game’s final inning, earning a strikeout and allowing no hits.
The Aggies got off to a hot start in the second game of the day. In the bottom of the first inning, Ackerman earned her second home run of the day, bringing home freshman Bre Warren. Elder followed that up with another homer, giving A&M a 3-0 advantage.
In the top of the second inning, the Islanders got on the board, when freshman Haley Morse delivered a home run. The next score would not happen until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Elder went deep for the second time of the game, giving the Aggies a 4-1 lead. The Islanders answered in the top of the fifth, when a single by Morse scored sophomore Ashleigh Sgambelluri, bringing the score to 4-2.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Lee homered for the Aggies, bringing home Herzog. Then, a double by Walls scored Elder and junior Madi Jatzlau. On the next at bat, a fly-out by junior Morgan Smith brought home senior Kelly Martinez. In all, the Aggies totaled five runs in the inning, giving them a 9-2 lead. The defense would hold that score, and A&M earned the sweep.
In the second match, freshman Grace Uribe pitched for 5.0 innings, allowing two runs off of five hits and forcing three strikeouts. Graduate transfer Kelsey Broadus played for 2.0 innings striking out five batters and allowing no runs off of one hit.
The bats were hot all day for the A&M, as four different Aggies earned home runs. Ackerman, who had two homers, including a grand slam, emphasized the importance of relying on her teammates to produce hits and runs.
"It's definitely a big deal, knowing that if we go out there and something doesn't go our way, that our teammates are always going to have our backs,” Ackerman said. “If I go down, I know the person behind me is going to step up. I know Haley Lee is always going to step up. We have each other's backs always."
A&M coach Jo Evans had nothing but praise for the A&M offense, specifically highlighting Ackerman and Lee’s performances.
"You look at what [Ackerman]'s done and she's been really consistent,” Evans said. “You've got Haley Lee, who nobody wants to throw to, and if you've got Ackerman swinging the bat like she did tonight, then that makes it really tough on the team. You have to pitch to Haley Lee, or you pick your poison and pitch to Shay.”
The wins lift A&M to 25-5 on the season, while the Islanders fall to 14-16.
On Thursday, the Aggies will begin their three-game series against Alabama at Rhodes Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The game’s first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.