The 14th-ranked Texas A&M softball team begins their run at the SEC Tournament with a first-round matchup with the Mississippi State Bulldogs Wednesday at the Mizzou Softball Stadium.
The Aggies head to Columbia coming off a 40-15 campaign in which they finished 6th in the SEC with a 13-11 record in conference play. Last time out, the Aggies dropped a three-game set against Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
The Maroon & White are led offensively by Tori Vidales, who was named to the All-SEC First Team by the league’s coaches Tuesday. The honor marks the second first-team all-conference recognition for Vidales who tops the Aggies in RBI, home runs, batting average and slugging percentage. The senior was also named to the all-defensive team along with three other Aggie teammates, Ashley Walters, Erica Russell and Sarah Hudek. In the circle, the Aggies feature three nine-game winners in Lexi Smith (9-2, 1.50 ERA), Trinity Harrington (13-4, 1.79 ERA) and Samantha Show (11-5, 2.35).
Mississippi State (35-20, 7-17) is led by SEC Freshman of the Year Mia Davidson, who boasts a .384 average on the season to go along with 18 home runs, the most in the SEC. Davidson also tops the conference in total bases (137) and slugging percentage (.797). In the circle, the Bulldogs feature senior Holly Ward, who recorded a 1.34 ERA for the season with a 14-7 record over 156.2 innings pitched with 158 strikeouts. As a team, the Bulldogs posted a 2.03 ERA and 390 strikeouts across 365.1 innings.
The Aggies are set to make their fifth all-time appearance at the tournament, most recently falling to Alabama in a 10-inning affair in the quarterfinals last season.
The winner of Wednesday’s contest moves on to face South Carolina in an 11:00 a.m. quarterfinal game on Thursday.
Adam Amin (play-by-play), Amanda Scarborough (color) and Laura Rutledge (sideline) call the action on the SEC Network. Authenticated subscribers can access the streams through WatchESPN and the ESPN app on their computers, mobile phones, tablets, smart TVs and other connected devices.
Zach Taylor and Evan Roberts bring the action to listeners on Willy 1550 AM in the Bryan-College Station area and online at www.12thMan.com/showcase.