Kenton Means, Sports Information Director
KINGSVILLE, Texas – The Cameron University softball team’s magical postseason run ended on Friday with a 6-5 loss to No. 3 Texas A&M-Kingsville in game two of the NCAA Division II South Central Super Regional.
After falling in the opener of the best of three game series on Thursday, the Aggies entered Friday needing a pair of wins over the top seeded Javelinas to keep their season alive.
In the opening frame, it seemed as though CU was on track to force a game three as they scored four runs on four hits in the bottom of the first. Khmari Edwards started things with an infield single and then stole second for her 27th stolen base of the year. Breley Webb then walked putting a pair on for Callie Busby. The CU backstop came through with a double to right center, driving in both Edwards and Webb for the first runs of the game.
Kylie French came up with C. Busby on third, as she advanced on the throw after her double, and bunted her in on a sacrifice squeeze that ended up with her on first base via a fielder’s choice. Yesterday’s top hitter, Abbey Warren, notched her fourth hit of the series with a double to left field to put a pair on again for the Black and Gold. After a Raley Long strikeout, Bethany Hines delivered a clutch infield single that brought home French from third.
The Aggies had a chance for more in the first with the bases loaded and leadoff hitter Brenna Busby coming to the plate, but she flew out to center to end the inning.
Rylee Willmon was rolling in the circle through the first three innings, giving up just one hit and walking one. However, she got into trouble with a walk and back-to-back singles in the top of the fourth that loaded the bases for TAMUK. Designated player Mackenzie Mays came up and unloaded the bases with her third homer of the season, which tied the game up at four runs apiece.
Cameron quickly responded in the bottom of the inning, as back-to-back singles by B. Busby and Edwards resulted them taking back the lead with their fifth run.
The Javelinas came right back in the top of the fifth thanks to a leadoff triple by Lauren Kelly, who scored on a sacrifice fly in the next at bat the knotted the game at five.
In the top of the sixth, TAMUK was able to load the bases with two outs, but Hines got out of trouble, getting Kelly to groundout to end the inning.
Cameron had another solid chance at runs in the bottom of the sixth as back-to-back singles by Hines and Kaylyn Smith put two on with no outs for the top of the order. Kingsville called Breanna Smith in from the bullpen, and the second team all-region pitcher retired B. Busby and Edwards before Hines was thrown out trying to steal third to end the inning.
The Javelinas came up in the top of the seventh and quickly put two a runner on via a one-out walk. After a foul out by Roxy Chapa, Veronica Chavez singled a ball to left field that was mishandled by Long, allowing the pinch runner to score all the way from first and give TAMUK the 6-5 lead.
Smith retired the first two Aggie hitters in the bottom of the inning with ease and then, after French walked, got Warren to groundout and end the game.
Cameron totaled 10 hits and stranded six runners on base in the loss. Edwards ended her impressive freshman campaign with a 3-4 day, scoring a run and driving in another. Hines chipped in two hits and a RBI, while C. Busby drove in a pair of runs.
Willmon gave up five runs on six hits and three walks in her final five innings in the circle for the Black and Gold. Hines allowed just the one runs, which was unearned, on four free passes and one hit for her ninth loss of the season.
The Aggies end their historic season with a 37-18 record, while the Javelinas improve to 48-8 and will move on to the DII Softball College World Series.