COLLEGE STATION, Tx. -- The No. 6 Texas A&M Softball team downed No. 9 Tennessee, 5-1, Friday night in the series opener at the Aggie Softball Complex.
With the win, the Aggies move to 42-7 (16-5 SEC) on the year and maintain their hold on second place in the SEC standings. Tennessee falls to 42-9 (14-7 SEC) on the campaign.
The Maroon and White struck first in the first to take a 3-0 lead. Kaitlyn Alderink led off with a double and moved to third as Tori Vidales reached on a fielder's choice. Riley Sartain drew a walk to load the bases, before Samantha Show drove in Alderink on a single to left. Following an Ashley Walters walk that allowed Vidales to touch home, Sarah Hudek plated Sartain on a sacrifice fly.
Texas A&M tacked on to its lead in the fourth on a two-RBI double by Hudek. With the bags full of Ags following two walks and a single, Hudek sent a liner to center past the outstretched glove of CJ McClain, scoring Vidales and Walters.
Hudek led the offense, who had eight hitters reach base, with a season-high three RBI. Walters and Sartain each drew two walks, while Reagan Boenker was hit by a pitch twice.
Tennessee mounted a mini rally in the seventh, scoring on a Chelsea Seggern single and had runners on the corners before Trinity Harrington sealed the deal with a grounder to short.
Harrington improved to 13-2 on the year, throwing a six-hit complete game with two strikeouts. The Greeley, Colo., native allowed a single in the first, before retiring 12 of the next 14 batters.
Caylan Arnold was saddled with the loss, giving up three runs, two earned, on two hits and a pair of walks. Kelsey Morrision gave up two runs on three hits and five walks in 3.1 innings of relief.
The two teams return to the Aggie Softball Complex on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game can be seen on SEC Network +, available through WatchESPN and the ESPN app. All three games can be heard locally on Willy 1550 AM.
To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to 12thMan.com or follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.
Texas A&M Quotes Head Coach Jo Evans
On tonight's win...
"I'm proud of our kids for going out there in the first inning and putting some pressure on them. We really stewed about who we were going to lead off and what's best for our ball club and Kaitlyn Alderink told us exactly who ought to be out there. She went out there and drove the ball and that really set a tone. Really happy to see that."
On the offensive performance...
"Nobody went yard today. People set the table. They did a good job with discipline at the plate and they were hungry to hit in those key situations. We didn't always get a hit with runners on, but I liked our approach at the plate. I thought we really attacked the ball and we were looking to hit. I'll take that any day. I thought (Sarah) Hudek was terrific. She just did such a good job out there. Her at-bats, she wasn't getting cheated. That kid was swinging and the big double really made a big difference for us. You don't want to go into that last inning with a three-run lead."
On grading Riley Sartain at shortstop and Reagan Boenker at third base...
"A-plus. Trinity Harrington really made it easy on those kids. She threw ground balls for outs and we did a great job of taking all of the outs they gave us. Riley looked really comfortable out there. You get in these situations and it can be that little bit of magic you're looking for, that little bit of spark. Riley goes out there and makes a diving play on a line drive to keep a run from scoring early on. Everything we ask the kid to do, she just goes out and does it."
On Trinity Harrington's performance...
"She is a Friday night starter. She just knocked us over the head tonight and reminded us why she should be throwing on Friday nights. I thought she was absolutely terrific. She's got a new pitch she's working in there. Every time we needed an out, the kid threw it. She made some big pitches. (Meghan) Gregg is a kid that's so dangerous and Trinity just continued to make pitches to get that kid out. I'm just really impressed with how she handled that and just giving us ground ball after ground ball. Very impressive out there. I know people might have been worried there at the end, but I wasn't worried one bit. I'm happy for that kid."