As a 10-year-old Riley Sartain was in the stands watching as the Texas A&M softball team advanced to the finals of the Women's College World Series (WCWS). She and her dad Chris, a 1991 A&M graduate, made the journey.
Now, continuing the style of play that helped the Aledo Ladycats win a state championship in 2014 and be one of the nation's top high school softball teams, Riley found herself back at the WCWS, playing for the Aggies.
Sartain, a sophomore infielder, led the Aggies (47-13) to a berth in the NCAA championship tournament by leading the team with a .350 batting average, 57 hits, .446 on-base percentage and 49 runs batted in.
On the Aggies web site, Sartain is quoted as saying, "I’ve been coming to football games since I was old enough to walk and because it felt like home."
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Sartain also hit 13 home runs, 11 doubles, had a .656 slugging percentage, and 107 total bases.
She earned second-team All-Southeast Conference and third-team National Fastpitch Coaches Association honors.
This was the Aggies' eighth trip to the WCWS and first since going back-to-back in 2007-08. Sartain hit a three-run home run as the Aggies wrapped up their World Series spot with a come-from-behind 5-3 win over Tennessee. She also had a clutch double and RBI in a 6-5 win over the Lady Vols to force a third game in their super regional final.
As a freshman, Sartain started in all 59 games at third base. She batted .259 with six home runs and 26 RBI.
Her first college hit was a home run against UCLA, ranked seventh in the nation. She also hit a pair of grand slams against Alabama and Texas State.
▪ Ashleigh Erb, Henderson State, sophomore, infield: Batted .225 in 54 games started, hitting two home runs, 10 doubles and driving in 19 runs for the Reddies (23-33).
▪ Rhylie Makawe, University of North Texas, sophomore, utility: Batted .152 in 43 games with six RBI for the Mean Green (25-31).
▪ Lauren Craine, UNT, sophomore, pitcher: Had a 5-6 record, 6.34 ERA, 36 walks and 34 strikeouts.
▪ Ashton Askins, Southeast Oklahoma State, sophomore, utility: Batted .153 in 41 games with seven RBI for the Savage Storm (18-34).
▪ Haley Hardison, Lubbock Christian, junior, infield: In helping the Lady Chaparrals (40-19) to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Tournament, she batted .287 with a home run and 28 RBI in 52 games.
▪ Dustin Williams, Oklahoma State, senior, first base/outfield: Batted .184 with three home runs, 15 RBI and 28 walks for the Cowboys (43-22), who reached the NCAA Tournament.
▪ Randy Crevier, McMurry University, sophomore, outfield: Posted a batting average of .306 in 23 games played with three home runs and nine RBI for the War Hawks (13-27).
▪ Cody Bradford, Baylor, freshman, pitcher: Had a 5-5 record with a 5.52 ERA in 73.1 innings, along with 20 walks and 43 strikeouts for the Bears 934-23) who finished in the Houston Regional of the NCAA Tournament.
▪ Nick Cheema, Arizona State, freshman, catcher: Batted .286 in limited action with a double, home run, eight RBI and a .571 slugging percentage for the Sun Devils (23-32).
▪ Reed "Taco" Anderson, Brown, junior, pitcher: Posted a 1-4 record with a save and a 5.80 ERA in 40.1 innings for the Brown Bears (13-24).
▪ Wade Raburn, Odessa College, sophomore, outfield: Batted .402 in 58 games played with a .502 on-base percentage, a .614 slugging percentage, 10 doubles, seven triples, five home runs and 52 RBI for the Wranglers (46-13), who advanced to the National Junior College Athletic Association Region V Tournament.
▪ Garrett Uhl, University of Texas-Dallas, sophomore, first base/pitcher: Batted .267 in 20 games with two home runs and 16 RBI for the Comets (33-11).
▪ Isaac Hale, Arkansas Tech, sophomore: pitcher: Finished 4-5 with a 4.17 ERA, 29 walks and 38 strikeouts in 49.2 innings for the Wonder Boys (34-21).
▪ Jacob Ashkinos, Cisco, freshman, pitcher: Had a 1-1 record, 13 walks and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings for the Wranglers (34-22).
▪ Mike Novak, Howard Payne, freshman, catcher: Played in 29 games, batting .241 with five doubles, one home run and 13 RBI for the Yellowjackets (18-22).
▪ Cara Tolar, Arkansas Tech, freshman, pitcher: Posted a 5-6 record with a 2.01 ERA, 42 walks, 55 strikeouts and five complete games for the Wonder Girls (37-22). At the plate she batted .266 with seven doubles and 16 RBI.
▪ Travis Gough, McGough, McMurry, senior: Finished season 7-12 in singles and 4-15 in doubles.
▪ Cheyenne Knight, Alabama, sophomore: Capped her second stellar season as a Women's Golf Coaches Association All-American and the Southeast Conference Player of the Year, along with being first-team All-SEC. For a second straight season she was the team's low scorer at the NCAA Championships, shooting 223 (seven over par), tying for 10th in the overall field. She tied for second at the Athens Regional, shooting five-under-par 211, and tied for fifth at the SEC Tournament with the same score. Her team posted a record 13-under-par 275 on the second day of the SEC Tournament, finishing second overall. Her stroke average of 70.29 topped the team, ranking third nationally in the regular season, and she had a low score of 65. Her season included 10 top-10 finishes with two victories in the Darius Rucker Invitational (minus 11 205) and the Mason Rudolph Championship, where she set a school record with a 14-under-par 202.
MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD
▪ Carl Williams, Oklahoma, junior: Tied for second in the high jump at the Big 12 Conference Championships, clearing 6 feet, 11 inches. He had six top-10 finishes, including three runner-up performances. He tied for fifth at the Big 12 Indoor Championships, clearing 6-9, the same height he had to win the Sooner Opener, two of four top-10 finishes.
WOMEN'S TRACK AND FIELD
▪ Danielle Trought, University of Texas-El Paso, sophomore: Had a best perormance of 14.33 seconds for third place in the 100-meter hurdles at the Hamilton Meet.
▪ Megan Wood, Texas Tech, junior: Finished ninth in pole vault at the Big 12 Championships.