Aggies snag first Big 12 series, 2-1
Sunday victory in extra innings propels A&M over No. 10 Missouri
Published: Monday, March 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07
The No. 19 Texas A&M softball team began Big 12 play with three close contests against No. 10 Missouri this weekend, all of which were decided by one run. The Aggies rode the consistent pitching of junior Mel Dumezich and timely team hitting to clinch the series, 2-1.
Dumezich was the starting pitcher for the three weekend games for the Aggies, splitting Friday and Saturday’s games with a win (2-1) and a loss (5-6). Although she hit the first batter of Sunday’s game and walked another, Dumezich settled down and left two runners stranded in the first inning.
“I felt a lot better [Sunday] out there than [Saturday],” Dumezich said. “I was just trying to go out there and keep us in the game.”
Missouri went back to its ace Chelsea Thomas on Sunday. Thomas lost Friday’s matchup against Dumezich but threw in relief on Saturday to hold off the Aggies in Missouri’s lone win of the weekend. She finished Sunday’s game with 11 strikeouts, more than double her Friday total of five.
Missouri third baseman Corrin Genovese got her team’s first and only hit of the game in the top of the third inning with a double to the gap in left center. A passed ball allowed her to advance to third, but a strikeout and flyout to center fielder Kelsea Orsak ended the inning and left the Aggies unscathed.
The top of the sixth looked promising for Missouri with a leadoff line drive to the outfield, but Orsak’s diving catch saved an extra base hit. Missouri senior Ashley Fleming walked but was quickly thrown out by junior catcher Meagan May as she was trying to steal second.
The Aggies and Tigers finished the seventh inning locked in a 0-0 tie, sending the conference competitors into extra innings.
After holding Missouri to no runs in the top half of the eighth inning, Tysarczyk got on base for a second time in the bottom of the eighth with a stand-up double to center field. Sophomore Taran Tyler then laid down the sacrifice bunt to advance Tysarczyk to third, bringing utility player Jenna Stark to the plate.
The sophomore transfer did not disappoint as she hit a rocket to the right field fence. There was no doubt the hit would be deep enough to score the runner from third, giving the Aggies the game and series win.
“It feels awesome,” Stark said. “My first at bat I didn’t get a hit but I felt like I was really seeing the ball well. I wanted to do it for Mel. When a pitcher throws a one-hitter, you have to back her up. Just that I did it for my team when they needed it felt really great.”
Head coach Jo Evans said she had confidence in the hitters who were due up the bottom of the eighth.
“Jenna did a great job and the first time up to bat she actually struck out. I really thought she looked good in her at-bat even though she struck out,” Evans said. “I love that kid so much and she has been such a huge difference maker in our ball club.”
The Aggies return to the Aggie Softball Complex on Wednesday to host the Baylor Bears at 6:30 p.m.