Aggies Top No. 4 Alabama in Series Opener, 3-2
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Senior Mel Dumezich pitched a full game and hit the game-winning, two-run home run as the No. 9 Texas A&M softball upset defending National Champion Alabama, 3-2 on Friday in the first game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at the Aggie Softball Complex.
A program fourth-best crowd of 1,927 were in attendance for the top-10 thriller as A&M (28-5, 5-4 SEC) stretched to a 1-0 series lead over Alabama (30-5, 6-4 SEC). With the win, the Aggie softball team became the fourth A&M team to beat a defending national champion this year. The teams will rematch tomorrow at 4 p.m. Central in front of a sold-out crowd.
The Aggie defense was efficient against the Crimson Tide. Dumezich tossed six strikeouts on the night and left the rest to her teammates as four Alabama players were left on the bags on the night.
A&M got on the board early when junior Cassie Tysarczyk pounded a one-out laser over the wall in right-centerfield for a solo home run in the bottom of the second.
The Tide answered in the top of the fourth on a first-pitch solo shot over left to tie the game at 1-1. An RBI groundout in the top of the fifth gave Alabama its first lead of the night as the game entered the bottom of the frame with a 2-1 UA advantage.
In the bottom of the sixth, junior Nicole Morgan was hit by a pitch and replaced on the base paths by junior Allison Garrett before Dumezich hammered a two-run jack over the 220 mark in dead-centerfield for the 3-2 lead.
A leadoff single in the top of the seventh put one on base for Alabama. With a runner on first, UA first baseman Leona Lafaele bounced a pitch high over the head of Aggie third baseman Amber Garza. Garza jumped, snagged the ball and zipped it to second baseman Jenna Stark who tagged second before turning a double play with a big throw to first.
The crucial double play set the table for the A&M win as Dumezich caught the final batter looking to end the game in a 3-2 Aggie victory.
Dumezich (19-3) allowed just two runs on four hits and one walk on her way to the fourth conference win of her SEC career. Crimson Tide All-American Jackie Traina moved to 14-3 on the year with the loss after giving up three earned runs on four hits and three walks.
The Aggies and Crimson Tide will rematch in a sold-out contest tomorrow at 4 p.m. Central. The series finale between A&M and Alabama is set for noon on Sunday. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.