COLLEGE STATION – The No. 17 Texas A&M Aggies got a complete-game shutout from Trinity Harrington and a late rally to spoil and otherwise stellar pitching effort from Tayler Atkinson and Sam Houston State’s upset bid with a 2-0 win on Wednesday at the Aggie Softball Complex.
Atkinson twirled a gem through 5.2 innings before the Aggies (5-0) mounted a two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth and that proved to be just enough as Harrington did the rest, allowing just one hit with eight strikeouts for Texas A&M.
Sam Houston managed just three base runners on the night, but had a golden scoring opportunity in the bottom of the fifth before Harrington managed to snuff out the threat with three straight strikeouts.
After Atkinson had kept the Aggies scoreless for the first two frames, a leadoff single by nine-hole hitter Erica Russell got things going for Texas A&M. The junior centerfielder promptly swiped second base to get into scoring position, but Atkinson was able to bear down and retire the top third of the Aggie lineup, including a strikeout of Keeli Milligan, to keep the game scoreless.
Sam Houston did not get a runner on against Harrington in the first four frames, but got something cooking quickly in the fifth. Megan Crosby reached on an Aggie error and Kaitlynn Dawson followed that by lacing a 3-2 pitch into the left-center field gap to give the Kats runners on second and third with nobody out. But Harrington responded with strikeouts of the next three Bearkats she faced to keep Sam Houston off the scoreboard.
The Bearkats were just one out from keeping things scoreless going into the seventh before the Aggies mounted a two-out rally to take the lead. Tori Vidales opened it up with a line-drive single to center field, followed by a walk to Ashley Walters and an infield single by Kristen Cuyos to load the bases. Sarah Hudek then delivered the game’s big blow with a single to left field, plating a pair and providing the difference for the Aggies.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Atkinson fell to 0-3 on the year, but allowed just four hits and two runs with five strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work. Dawson collected the lone Bearkat hit on the night with a double in the top of the fifth to set up Sam Houston’s lone scoring threat in the game.
The Bearkats will have a week off before returning to action, hosting a doubleheader against UTSA on Feb. 22 in its home opener.