Shocker softball edges Texas A&M in NCAA Regional opener

No. 23 Wichita State opened the NCAA Norman Regional with a 9-7 win over Texas A&M
No. 23 Wichita State opened the NCAA Norman Regional with a 9-7 win over Texas A&M(Wichita State Athletics)
Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 9:28 PM CDT
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No. 23 Wichita State opened the NCAA Norman Regional with a 9-7 win over Texas A&M Friday night at Marita Hynes Field behind a pair of home runs from senior Madison Perrigan. Wichita State (40-11-1) will now face the winner of No. 1 Oklahoma and Morgan State Saturday at 3 p.m. CT.

The Shockers won their 40th game of the season, marking just the second 40-win season in program history .Bailey Lange (22-6) threw 5.1 innings in the start, allowing four runs on three hits and three walks. Caitlin Bingham threw the final 1.2 innings to secure the win. Perrigan notched her second career NCAA Regional multi-home run game, going 2-for-4 with four RBI. Sydney McKinney drove in a run on a double, going 2-for-4. Addison Barnard recorded three RBI and scored twice. Kaylee Huecker was 2-for-3 with two runs.

Wichita State wasted little time putting some runs on the board. In the bottom of the first, following an Barnard hit by pitch, Perrigan sent the first pitch of the at-bat out of the ballpark to left field, giving the Shockers an early 2-0 lead. Texas A&M cut the lead in half in the top of the second after back-to-back leadoff singles led to an RBI groundout. The Shockers put two more on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second after a bases loaded walk and hit by pitch. Wichita State threatened with a big inning, but couldn’t take full advantage of the bases loaded.

The Aggies came right back with two runs of their own in the top of the third on a two-out, two-run home run, cutting the lead to 4-3. In the bottom of the fifth, Wichita State broke the game open behind five runs, all with two outs. Back-to-back singles from Huecker and Bailey Urban led to an RBI double for McKinney. Barnard, the very next batter, laced a single to right, bringing home two more runs.

The cherry on top was Perrigan’s second two-run home run of the game, putting the Shockers up 9-3.Lange’s night came to an end in the top of the sixth after loading the bases via walks. Bingham entered and limited the damage to just a single run.The top of the seventh didn’t come without some anxiety. Trailing by six, Texas A&M scored three runs and had the tying run at second before Bingham induced a game-ending groundout to first.

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