Softball challenges No. 22 Texas A&M, wins one

So far, this season has been an eventful one for Tech softball. The team has gone back and forth with wins and losses, but one thing has been consistent, and that is improvement.

The Jackets started the season with some tough losses but responded to their rocky start by coming back with a five-game winning streak against Mt. St. Mary’s and Savannah State. Since then, they have powered through and started even the playing
field better.

Last weekend the Jackets played a three game series against No. 22 Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. Sophomore Samantha Pierannunzi opened the first game of the series on Friday batting two for three.

Senior Kylie Kleinschmidt pitched a solid game with five strikeouts. However, the strong outing did not last the entire game and the Jackets lost 1-0.

After losing the first game in the three-game series, Coach Shelly Hoerner made some adjustments that led the team to a win the next day. Senior Karly Fullem blasted her fifth home run of the year to bring the score to 4-0 for Tech by the beginning of the third inning.

In the bottom of the third, Tori Vidales responded with a two-run home run and brought the score to 4-2 for the Aggies. Neither team had any successful runs for the next three innings, but in the seventh inning, the Aggies played hard to bring the score up to a tie.

Tied in the top of the eighth, freshman Kelsey Chisholm hit an RBI single that gave fellow freshman Draven Sonnen the chance to run home from second, a run that would bring the final score up to a 5-4 win for the Jackets.

Responding to their loss, the Aggies came out on the field with no intention of losing the final game in the series.

In the bottom of the first inning, the Aggies already had six runs while the Jackets had none. The next three innings were just as successful for the Aggies, and by the bottom of the fifth the Aggies had gained five more runs to bring the score up to 11-0. Unable to chip away at the score at all, the Jackets lost the game 11-0.

The loss of the third and final game in the series brought the Jackets to an overall 14-25 record. With time left in the season, and lots of talent available for dynamic lineups, the Jackets can be expected to continue to improve their overall record as the season progresses.

Senior Katie Johnsky leads the Jackets in both batting average (.356) and hits (32). Junior Courtney Ziese leads in RBI (26), and Kleinschmidt is at the top of the list for ERA (4.18).

Overall, with a roster full of talented players, softball has all the makings for impressive lineups game in and game out. Coach Hoerner likes to keep things interesting and give all the Jackets playing time and a chance to improve: 30 different lineups have been used through 38
different games.

With such a flexible team, Hoerner is able to tailor her lineups to specific opponents, and the players are able to easily adapt in order to gain victories.

Six wins away from a .500 record, Hoerner looks forward to bringing in more victories. The Jackets have plenty of opportunity to break even with ten games left before the ACC Championship tournament in Blacksburg, Virginia, this May.

The team will be traveling to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, this weekend for a three game series against the Tar Heels, ranked No. 18 in the nation.