NORMAN, Okla. - Texas A&M softball's season came to an end Saturday after falling to No. 23 Wichita State, 9-6, at the NCAA Norman Regional held at Marita Haynes Field.
The Aggies finish their campaign with a 32-23 record.
The first two innings were scoreless until Wichita State got on the board in the top of the third inning, taking a 3-0 lead, highlighted by a two-run home run. The Shockers added to its lead in the fourth after a bases-loaded walk gave them a 4-0 advantage.
The Aggies pulled within one in bottom half of the fourth inning with Haley Lee launching a three-run shot over the left field fence to make the score 4-3. The Kingwood, Texas, native recorded her third home run of the day, while also becoming Texas A&M's single-season record holder in home runs with 25.
The Shockers added two more in the top of the fifth to go ahead 6-3, but the Aggies answered once again with Rylen Wiggins driving in an RBI and Morgan Smith touching home on a wild pitch to make it 6-5.
Wichita State continued to add to its lead, plating two in the top of the sixth.
In the bottom half of the inning, Elder's bases-loaded walk allowed Madi Jatzlau to touch home to put the score at 8-6.
The Shockers added an insurance run in the top of the seventh off a solo home run to hold a 9-6 advantage. Texas A&M battled to the very last pitch and had the bases loaded with the winning run at the plate, but the season would come to end with Wichita State advancing to the championship game in the Norman Regional.
Freshman Grace Uribe earned the start for the Aggies and tossed 3.0 innings of work, giving up five hits on three runs. Makinzy Herzog came on in relief for 2.1 innings, allowing four runs on six hits. Kayla Poynter threw the remaining 1.2 innings, yielding one run on three hits, while striking out two.
T3| Bailey Urban walked and Sydney McKinney doubled down the left field line to score Urban. Addison Barnard homered to left center. WSU 3, A&M 0
T4| Neleigh Herring singled to right field. Bailee Nickerson singled to second base and Herring was out at second. Lauren Mills, Kaylee Huecker and Bailey Urban walked, while Nickerson scored on Urban's walk. WSU 4, A&M 0
B4| Ashlynn Walls walked and Kelbi Fortenberry reached first on a fielder's choice. Makinzy Herzog walked and Haley Lee homered to left field. WSU 4, A&M 3
T5| Madison Perrigan singled up the middle. Neleigh Herring doubled to centerfield to score Perrigan. Ryleigh Buck doubled down the left field line to score Herring. WSU 6, A&M 3
B5| Shaylee Ackerman singled through the left side and Morgan Smith walked. Dani Elder grounded out, but advanced Ackerman and Smith to second and third. Rylen Wiggins singled to left field to score Ackerman and move Smith to third. Smith then scored on a wild pitch. WSU 6, A&M 5
T6| Kaylee Huecker singled to right field and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Bailey Urban singled up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home, while Huecker advanced to third. Sydney McKinney had a SAC fly to centerfield, as Huecker would score. Addison Barnard walked. Urban and Barnard advanced on a wild pitch. Madison Perrigan walked and Neleigh Herring singled to score Urban. WSU 8, A&M 5
B6| Haley Lees struck out swinging, but reached first on a dropped third strike and Madi Jatzlau pinch ran for Lee. Bre Warren singled up the middle and advanced Jatzlau to second. Shaylee Ackerman reached on a fielder's choice, as Jatzlau advanced to third. Morgan Smith was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Dani Elder drew a bases-loaded walk to plate Jatzlau. WSU 8, A&M 6
T7| Kaylee Huecker homered to left field. WSU 9, A&M 6
Top Offensive Players:
Haley Lee| 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI
Shaylee Ackerman| 2-for-4
Rylen Wiggins| 2-for-4, RBI
Grace Uribe - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 SO, 2 BB
Makinzy Herzog - 2.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 SO, 5 BB
Kayla Poynter - 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 SO, 0 BB
WHAT THEY SAID
Head Coach Jo Evans
On Haley Lee breaking the program's home run record in a single season... "What a tremendous accomplishment for Haley to break the Texas A&M single season home run record, especially considering all great power hitters who have worn the Aggie uniform. I am proud of Haley. She processes the game at such a high level and it has been a thrill to watch her throughout this season. I love how happy her teammates were to celebrate her great accomplishment. I have no doubt that Haley will position herself as one of the best hitters to come through our program."