COLLEGE STATION – The 20th-ranked Texas A&M Softball team concluded the Aggie Classic with a 15-0 victory in 5 innings over California Baptist Sunday at Davis Diamond. The Maroon & White finished the tournament with a 4-1 record.
The Aggies got out to an early nine-run lead in the first and added three runs in the second and third innings. Kelbi Fortenberry and Payton McBride each blasted the first home runs of their career to drive home a combined six runs. Texas A&M’s offense relied on timely hitting as they scored 11 of their 15 runs with two outs.
Payton McBride and Kendall Potts combined to throw the first shutout of the season. McBride earned the win, only allowing one hit and no runs while fanning five in three innings of work. Potts allowed one walk and three hits to close out the final two innings of the game as she made her debut in an Aggie uniform.
The Maroon & White outscored their opponents 53-14 in the Aggie Classic, the largest number of runs produced by the Aggies in the first five games of a season since 1993.
Nine Aggies batted above .500 this weekend, highlighted by McBride, Fortenberry, Haley Lee and Riley Sartain. McBride holds a .750 batting average after going 6-for-8 with a double, home run, six RBI and three runs. Fortenberry went 7-for-12 with a double and homer, while contributing seven runs and seven RBI on the weekend.
Lee batted .545 with two doubles, one home run, three runs and four RBI. Sartain leads the team in multiple categories after blasting three homers, three doubles, and eight RBI to open the 2019 season.
B1| Texas A&M put up a nine-spot in the first beginning with a Fortenberry double and a walk to Sartain. Back-to-back singles to left by Baylee Klingler and Haley Lee plated Fortenberry and Sartain. McBride followed suit with a base hit to left of her own to load the bases before Kelly Martinez earned a walk to push Klingler home. Consecutive wild pitches allowed Lee and McBride to score. Ashlynn Walls earned a walk and Blake-Ann Fritsch reached base on an error as Martinez touched home. Fortenberry cleared the bases with a three-RBI homer over the right field wall to conclude scoring in the first. A&M 9, CBU 0
B2| Kayla Garcia belted a two-RBI double, scoring McBride and Abby Smith, who reached on back-to-back singles. Garcia then took advantage of a throwing error after Walls singled to the shortstop to tack on a run. A&M 12, CBU 0
B3| Madi Jatzlau and Kayla Poynter each earned walks before McBride delivered a blast over the centerfield wall. A&M 15, CBU 0
Top Offensive Players:
Payton McBride | 3-for-3, 3 RBI, HR, 3 R
Kelbi Fortenberry | 2-for-2, 3 RBI, HR, 2B, 2R
Payton McBride (3-0) – W, 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 5 K, 0 BB
Kendall Potts – 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 K, 1 BB
WHAT THEY SAID
Head Coach Jo Evans
On bouncing back from last night…
“That was really important. After not feeling great about that loss and seeing if we’re resilient and can manage this, I thought we did a great job. When I showed up to meet with our team, I was walking down the hall and I could hear them clearly just cutting up and getting loose which is what I wanted to see.”
On Payton McBride’s performance…
“I’ve always felt like Payton’s [McBride] just going to get better and better offensively. I’ve always liked her swing and felt like she could help us, but it’s always tricky because we’ve used her in different relief situations. You don’t want to have her bat and not have her to pitch. She’s just had a great weekend, getting more and more comfortable at the plate. You see her at bats today just got better and better, showing us power we haven’t seen, and she’s got a sweet swing. On the mound, I thought she was really great this weekend and the most consistent we had out there. If you had to give an MVP, she’s the kid I’d give the ball to at the end of this because I thought she did a lot of things really well.”
Junior OF Kelbi Fortenberry
On her power…
“[Keith] Stein and I were working on it, because I like to hit gap-to-gap, but he said every once and a while we like to pull out the power when we’re all in. So we’ve really been working on that and staying on my legs during the offseason. The pitch was high and inside, kind of in my wheelhouse, but I didn’t really know it was gone right off the bat. I was going no matter what, but when it went over I was like, ‘ok, that felt nice’.”
Junior Pitcher Payton McBride
On her hitting…
“It’s not really easier or harder, I think I’m more relaxed and confident. I feel like everything’s working out for me and I’m seeing the ball really well. It’s just out of confidence, really. I’m just working on my mechanics right now and seeing the ball. This weekend it just felt like I was really seeing the ball, and hopefully that will carry onto other tournaments and SEC play.”
The Aggies return to action as they face Prairie View A&M in a midweek contest on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Davis Diamond.
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