After a weekend in which hits came often, Texas A&M softball’s matchup against Texas State on Wednesday was much different.
The Aggies recorded nine, six and eight points in their three-game series against Kentucky over the weekend, but managed only two on Wednesday to top the Bobcats 2-1.
A&M coach Jo Evans said the variety in A&M’s recent games provide the young team with valuable experience moving forward.
“We can win in different ways,” Evans said. “You look at this previous weekend, we scored a bunch of runs. It’s good to know that we can pitch and play defense to win a close game like this. I think this is a really important win for us. It’s a valuable experience for our kids.”
Junior Kayla Poynter got the start on the mound for A&M, allowing just one run on two hits with four strikeouts and five walks. Sophomore Hannah Mayo was credited with the save, finishing out the night with just one hit allowed and two strikeouts.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of work, after hours and behind the scenes,” Mayo said. “If you have an ounce of doubt in yourself, I feel like that’s corrected in preparation. I’ve felt extremely prepared and I’m waiting on my next opportunity.”
Evans said she is impressed with the growth she has seen from Mayo since last season.
“She’s getting better and better,” Evans said. “We redshirted her in her freshman year, because I wanted her to be able to develop. That’s what she’s doing. For her to be able to come out, pound the strike zone and attack hitters, you can see that she’s growing into that pitcher.”
Mayo put down the final two batters she faced with her two strikeouts, though she said her mindset remained the same going into those two pitches.
“Nothing changes,” Mayo said. “I make it a point of focus to keep the same mindset when it comes to aggression, especially when it’s in relief. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the start of a new inning or with the bases loaded. Being in this relief role, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to get comfortable with runners on and with that high-pressure situation. I felt ready for it and welcomed this opportunity tonight with open arms.”
The Aggies fell behind early as junior infielder Arieann Bell hit a homerun to put the Bobcats up 1-0 in the top of the second.
A&M countered in the third, as senior Dalilah Barrera walked redshirt freshman Kyndall Murray to begin the inning. Sophomore outfielder Makinzy Herzog then notched her eighth double of the season and scored Murray.
A pitching change followed for Texas State, with junior Meagan King replacing Barrera on the mound. It didn’t do much good, however, as she walked sophomore utility player Morgan Smith. Freshman infielder Jourdyn Campbell then recorded a single to score Herzog and give A&M the lead going into the fourth.
Both teams hit a scoring plateau from that point, with just four hits following.
The Aggies will host Tennessee this weekend at Davis Diamond. First pitch for Friday’s game is slated for 6:30 p.m.