COLLEGE STATION - No. 19 Texas A&M Softball fell to McNeese, 3-1, Sunday to close out the Texas A&M Invitational at Davis Diamond.
The Cowgirls (6-5) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first as McNeese scored on a bases-loaded hit by pitch and an error, which allowed two runners to touch home.
Texas A&M (8-3) plated its lone run on a Baylee Klinger sacrifice fly in the third. Kelbi Fortenberry led the offense with two base hits, her fourth multi-hit game of the season. Riley Sartain reached base in all four plate appearances as the senior drew three walks and singled.
Kayla Poynter was saddled with the loss to move to 1-2 on the season. The sophomore gave up three runs, one earned, on five hits while striking out five. Kendall Potts came on in relief in the seventh and worked a 1-2-3 inning.
McNeese's Alexsandra Flores earned the win after allowing three hits, a run, five walks and four strikeouts in 6.1 innings of relief.
T1| McNeese loaded the bases with one out on a Justyce McClain single, a double from Demi Boudreux and a hit by pitch. Toni Perrin was hit by a pitch, allowing McClain to touch home. A two-out error on a liner to right allowed two runs to score to give the Cowgirls a three-run lead. MCN 3, A&M 0
B3| Morgan Smith led off the inning with a single to center and moved to third on a Kelbi Fortenberry bunt single and a throwing error. After a Riley Sartain walk to load the bases, Baylee Klingler delivered a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Smith. MCN 3, A&M 1
Top Offensive Players:
Kelbi Fortenberry | 2-for-3
Riley Sartain | 1-for-1, 3 BB
Kayla Poynter (1-2) - L, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
Kendall Potts - IP, 0 H
WHAT THEY SAID
Head Coach Jo Evans
On the offensive struggles...
"It was a struggle for us offensively today, and I didn't feel great about our missed opportunities. We certainly had some opportunities a couple times with bases loaded, and we couldn't step up and get a timely hit. We had some trouble executing as well, with a little bit of a struggle at the plate for us. Pitching wise, I thought we threw really well today. Our pitchers gave us a chance to win, but offensively we need to be better and stronger throughout the lineup."
On Kayla Poynter's performance...
"I thought Kayla threw really well today actually. She gave up one earned run the whole day. We made an error to give up a couple extra runs in the first inning. She did a great job holding them down, because they are a good offensive team. They hit the ball well, and I am really pleased with the way she was resilient after the first inning. In the last inning, Kendall Potts came in and was really great in relief. I always feel that if our pitchers can keep the other team with one earned run, we should be able to win pretty much every game we play. I was really pleased with the pitchers."
On their performance throughout the tournament...
"I thought our team was resilient and did a good job winning the close games. We didn't end up winning the one today, but every opportunity we had to win a game we did it, aside from earlier in the tournament. I thought our team fought hard. It got a little challenging with the weather, but I think we're doing a good job managing the elements. I just want to see our team make some better adjustments as we move throughout the season."
The Aggies travel to Cathedral City, Calif., to take on Nebraska and UCLA Thursday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. First pitch against the Cornhuskers is slated for 5 p.m. CT.