Softball vs. Houston

Sophomore L/L Emiley Kennedy (11) gets ready to pitch the softball at Davis Diamond on Wednesday, March. 1, 2023

Southeastern Conference play began for Texas A&M softball on Friday, March 10, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The No. 7 Arkansas Razorbacks kept the game to five short innings with an 8-0 run rule and banked three home runs in the first inning alone.

A&M now has 20 total wins and five losses to Arkansas, now on a three-win streak over the maroon and white.

Arkansas came out of the gate hot and put five runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning off sophomore left-handed pitcher Emiley Kennedy. Kennedy had previously only allowed one home run this season, but quickly gave up three within one inning.

The Aggies could not answer the offensive rally in the top of the second inning and left two baserunners stranded in scoring position. Senior left-handed pitcher Madison Preston then came into the circle for Kennedy and managed three ground outs.

Another Arkansas hit and two more runs brought the score to 7-0 in the bottom of the third inning. A&M struggled to get any balls through the infield, and the strikeout count climbed to three. Arkansas senior ace and 2022 SEC Pitcher of the Year Chenise Delce racked up her 73rd strikeout of the season.

A&M struggled offensively again in the top of the fourth as Delce pitched another 1-2-3 inning.

Coach Trisha Ford reconvened between innings to rally her team and stay in the game with the run rule approaching.

“We’re gonna have to score runs in order to win this ballgame,” Ford said on a quick broadcast interview with SEC Network from the dugout. “Let’s fight. Let’s make this a ballgame.”

The last opportunity to stay in the game and avoid the run rule was unsuccessful for the Fightin’ Farmers, despite a double from junior pinch hitter Bre Warren and a single from junior pinch hitter Grace Uribe. The 8-0 game ended on a fast and furious double play with a tag out to third base and a throw across the field to first off of junior catcher Julia Cotrrill's groundball. Cotrrill returned to play after missing the last five games due to a leg injury.

A&M and Arkansas will face off again tomorrow, Saturday, March 11, at 1 p.m. at Bogle Park for Game 2 of the weekend series. The live stream service is available on ESPN, along with live stats.

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