AUBURN, AL — Texas A&M Softball fell to No. 20 Auburn, 7-6, in the series opener Friday at Jane B. Moore Field.
Trailing by four in the seventh, the Aggies (16-4, 1-3 SEC) mounted a comeback and cut the lead to one on a Baylee Klinger three-run homer, her second of the season. Texas A&M got the tying run into scoring position with two outs, but a strikeout ended the Aggie threat.
Klingler led the Aggie offense with a season-high four hits and drove in five RBI. The freshman plated the first two runs for the Maroon & White with a pair of RBI singles. Kelbi Fortenberry extender her on-base streak to 17 as the junior went 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Blake-Ann Fritsch and Dani Elder each recorded two hits.
In the circle, Kayla Poynter was saddled with the loss to move to 3-4 on the year. The sophomore allowed 11 hits, seven runs and four walks in six innings. Auburn’s (24-4, 1-0 SEC) Makayla Martin earned the win after giving up six runs on 12 hits with two walks and nine strikeouts.
T1| Kelbi Fortenberry led off the game with a single to center and moved to second on a passed ball. After moving to third on a Riley Sartain infield single, the junior touched home on a Baylee Klingler single up the middle. A&M 1, AU 0
B1| Auburn responded with three runs in the bottom half on a RBI single from Alyssa Rivera and a two-run homer from Kendall Veach. AU 3, A&M 1
B2| The Tigers added to their lead with a Casey McCrackin RBI double down the right field line. AU 4, A&M 1
T3| Fortenberry recorded a one-out single and advanced to second on a Blake-Ann Fritsch base hit to center. The pair moved into scoring position on a wild pitch before Klingler drove in Fortenberry on a single to left. AU 4, A&M 2
T4| Kelly Martinez landed on second as the Auburn left fielder committed an error on a popup and advanced to third on Gabby Moreno sacrifice bunt. Dani Elder roped a single through the left side, plating Martinez. AU 4, A&M 3
B5| Justus Perry extended the Auburn advantage to four with a three-run homer off the scoreboard in left. AU 7, A&M 3
T7| Fortenberry tallied her third hit of the game with a single before Sartain walked. Klingler blasted her second dinger of the season on a 1-2 pitch to cut the lead to three. AU 7, A&M 6
Top Offensive Players:
Baylee Klingler | 4-for-4, HR, 5 RBI,
Kelbi Fortenberry | 3-for-4, 3 R
Dani Elder | 2-for-3, RBI
Blake-Ann Fritsch | 2-for-4
Kayla Poynter – 6.0 IP, 11 H, 7 ER, 4 BB
The Aggies and Tigers return to Jane B. Moore field Saturday for game two of the series at 4 p.m. The game can be seen on SEC Network.