Bearkats hang tough, lose to Texas A&M 7-4 in softball action

The Sam Houston State softball team didn’t get a win over Texas A&M on Tuesday night at the Aggie Softball Complex, but they did show signs that good times are in the near future.The Bearkats rallied from a 4-0 deficit after the first inning to tie the game at 4-4 in the fifth inning, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to the Aggies 7-4 at the Aggie Softball Complex. The loss drops Sam Houston to 0-1 as they prepare to host a four-team tournament this weekend in Huntsville. The Aggies improve to 2-1.Bearkat head coach John Garris said he was pleased his team didn’t quit after the four-run first inning by Texas A&M.”We didn’t get off to a good start at first, there was maybe a little nervousness,” Garris said. “But we didn’t get discouraged, didn’t give up and we played hard. I was really pleased with the team’s effort.”Sam Houston cut the lead to 4-1 in the second inning when Lindsay Kaltwasser hit an RBI single into right field, scoring Natalie Pruitt. Pruitt finished 2-for-3 at the plate on the afternoon, drawing praise from Garris after the game.Bearkat centerfielder Ashlye Hylton began the fireworks in the fifth inning when she knocked in Rachel Atzenhoffer and April Bardwell on a hard-hit ball up the middle. Hylton reached second on the throw and was later knocked in by second baseman Deven Mikulin. Hylton finished the evening 2-of-4 from the plate, a performance Garris said he expects from the senior.The Aggies would go on to score three runs in the sixth inning to provide the difference. Sam Houston did have a chance in the top of the seventh and final inning with the bases loaded and two outs, but couldn’t capitalize.Aydrien Guajardo pitched the first five innings for the Bearkats, striking out two and giving up nine hits. Atzenhoffer came on to finish the game. Aggie reliever Lindsay Wilhelmson got credit for the win.This weekend’s tournament–McKenzie’s Valentine Classic Tournament–will be an important one for the Bearkats. Garris said he is excited about the field, which will include Buffalo, Texas Southern and Illinois. According to Garris, Buffalo will be flying in for the tournament and Illinois is a first-year program that will provide a stiff challenge for his team. “Texas Southern ran away with the SWAC last year,” Garris said. “We won all four of our games against them last year, but they were all nailbiters. I should be a good contest.”Games begin Friday at 9 a.m.

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