COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Junior Allison Garrett used a single to shallow-centerfield by freshman Cali Lanphear and an error by the Razorbacks to score the 2-1, walk-off run as the No. 5 Texas A&M softball team topped Arkansas in game one of the Aggies first-ever home Southeastern Conference series at the Aggie Softball Complex on Friday.
The Aggies (24-2, 2-1 SEC) and Razorbacks (19-8, 0-1 SEC) played in front of a crowd of 1,051 and will rematch in game two of the three-contest series tomorrow at 4 p.m. The broadcast of that game will be available locally on Sports Radio 1150 AM, and worldwide on AggieAthletics.com.
A pitchers’ duel that produced nine strikeouts by Aggie senior Mel Dumezich was determined by Garrett’s walk-off run in seven innings. Dumezich (17-1) allowed four hits on the night, but just one earned run for her 17th victory of the season and second in SEC play. Arkansas reliever Kimmy Beasley (3-4) pitched just 0.1innings, but gave up a hit and an unearned run to take the loss.
A&M’s first run of the game came in the form of a first-inning home run over left-centerfield by Meagan May. The at-bat was the senior’s first since taking an eight-game sabbatical for a hand injury.
Arkansas didn’t take long to respond to the Aggies’ 1-0 lead, sending a runner across the plate on an RBI double in the top of the second. The Razorbacks continued to put runners on base with four walks and four hits, but the game remained locked in a 1-1 tie.
The Hogs loaded the bases in the top of the fifth, but Dumezich convinced the final batter to swing to end the inning with runners at every spot.
The top of the seventh also had a dramatic ending as a pair of two-out singles put runners on for the Razorbacks. Leadoff runner Devon Wallace attempted to take two bags on Stephanie Canfield’s base hit to right field, but sure-armed Aggie right fielder Cassie Tysarczyk accepted the challenge and nailed the glove of third baseman Amber Garza who completed the tag-out to close the frame.
A&M struggled to get runners on base, but in the bottom of the seventh, junior Nicole Morgan sat back and took a four-pitch walk before she was replaced by Garrett. A sacrifice bunt by Dumezich sent the pinch runner to second before freshman Cali Lanphear picked up just the second hit of the day for the Aggies with a single lobbed into shallow right field.
The base hit sent Garrett to third, and she was waved as the throw from right field flew past the catcher toward the third-base dugout. Garrett scored on the throwing error and the Aggies took game one of the series, 2-1 in walk-off fashion.
The Aggies and Razorbacks will meet again tomorrow at the Aggie Softball Complex at 4 p.m. CDT. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.