May 17, 2011
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Four members of the 17th-ranked Texas A&M softball team earned Big 12 postseason awards, the conference office announced Tuesday.
Redshirt junior Rhi Kliesing was selected to the All-Big 12 second team.
Villarreal (Frisco, Texas) is a rare left-handed second baseman who started in all but one of A&M's games in 2011. She was also named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and garnered All-Big 12 second team honors the same year. Missouri senior Megan Christopher also received co-defensive honors for 2011. This season Villarreal had 74 putouts and 78 assists while turning five double plays from the middle infield. The second baseman leads the A&M defense in allowing only 112 runs scored by opponents, as opposed to 300 scored by the Aggies.
The redshirt junior also headed the offense this season in the leadoff position, posting a .346 overall batting average while topping team stats in runs (43), hits (53) and doubles (13) and stealing 10 bases. She is tied for second in the Big 12 for conference-only games in doubles with six. Villarreal rode a 16-game hitting streak earlier this season and recorded 11 multiple-hit games and seven multiple-RBI games, including two four-RBI games that featured a grand slam by the second baseman.
Dumezich (Whiting, Ind.) received All-Big 12 second team honors last season and was named to the 2010 Big 12 All-Tournament team. The right-handed utility pitcher holds a sharp 1.76 ERA overall and has started in 32 games, completing 31 for 12 solo shutouts. In 214 2/3 innings in the circle she has thrown 235 strikeouts while allowing only 54 earned runs. She leads the Big 12 for overall stats in complete games and ranks second in shutouts, while topping conference opponents in Big 12-only games in both categories and ranking second in conference wins (12) and opponent batting average (.186). From the plate, Dumezich has slugged four doubles, a triple and nine home runs, including a grand slam. She ranks 14th in the nation in victories and 10th in shutouts.
Spittler (Caldwell, Texas) led the Aggie bats through Big 12 play, averaging .354 in conference with eight runs on 17 hits, including two doubles and two bombs, to earn 10 RBI. The senior was 6-for-7, hitting .857, in the conference sweep vs. Kansas to collect Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the first time in her career. Spittler ended the regular season ranked 10th in the league for individual batting in conference.
Kliesing (Pearland, Texas) is a three-time All-Big 12 selection, earning first team honors in 2009 and 2010. The senior led the team with 16 home runs this season to rank third in the conference and 19th in the nation, while sitting at 31st nationally in home runs per game. Kliesing closed out the regular season with 33 runs on 48 hits and a team-leading 49 RBI, 104 total bases, 37 walks and nine pitches to the body.
The No. 16 seed Aggies will host LSU, Sacred Heart and Syracuse in the NCAA Softball College Station Regional this weekend at the Aggie Softball Complex. A&M takes on Sacred Heart Friday at 7 p.m., while LSU and Syracuse will face off at 4 p.m. For more information on Aggie Softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com.