Baylor scored seven runs in its final two at bats to top Texas A&M 9-5 Sunday afternoon at the Aggie Softball Complex and force a second championship game in the NCAA College Station Regional (5:25 p.m., ESPN2).
The Baylor win in game six of the College Station Regional forced a seventh contest for the double-elimination tournament as the Aggies and Lady Bears rematched on ESPN2.
The Aggies couldn’t hold on to the three-run lead that was generated in the top of the second and maintained through the top of the fifth as Baylor took a 9-5 victory in the first game of the day.
Baylor homered over left in the bottom of the first for a 2-0 lead on the Aggies. The lead didn’t hold for long, however as A&M batted through the lineup in the second for a five-run half-inning.
Junior Cassie Tysarczyk led off in the second frame with a high single to left field that dropped perfectly between the Baylor shortstop and left fielder. Senior Mel Dumezich drew a walk before senior Meagan May crossed Tom Chandler Dr. with a long three-run home run to take the 3-2 lead.
A hit-by-pitch put sophomore Brittany Clopton on first before a walk by junior Jenna Stark and a textbook bunt single by junior Emily Albus loaded the bags. With three on base and still no outs, junior Amber Garza sliced a base hit through the right side to score Clopton. Junior Nicole Morgan used a groundout to send Stark home from third, and A&M left the offensive half of the second inning with a 5-2 lead on the Lady Bears.
The Aggies loaded the bases again in the top of the third, but were unable to get a run across to expand the lead. May drew a walk and was followed on by Clopton, who hit an infield single. Stark added a second perfect bunt of the day for A&M when a slow-roller dropped right in front of the plate and three Baylor players collided in the scramble. Stark was at first anyway, and picked up a base hit on the play.
Baylor had two aboard with just one out in the bottom of the inning when Garza snagged a line drive off of the third-base line and zipped it to first to turn the Aggies’ 17th double play of the season and end the fourth with no runs by the Lady Bears.
A&M stranded an eighth runner of the game in the top of the fourth. Morgan reached on a walk and was replaced on the base paths by junior Allison Garrett. Garrett took second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a groundout, but was unable to round to home before the end of the inning.
The Aggie defense continued to work to keep Lady Bear runners at bay, holding two on base in the bottom of the fourth to maintain the three-run lead.
Baylor pulled ahead to a 6-5 lead after the Lady Bears added four runs in the bottom of the fifth. A leadoff double, a walk and a wild pitch put two runners in scoring position before a trio of RBI singles sent four runs home for the designated home team.
The Lady Bears stretched to a 9-5 lead in the bottom of the sixth. A&M couldn’t stop the bleeding as Baylor plated three runs on three hits and an error.
Looking for a miracle in the top of the seventh, the Aggies were unable to produce a comeback run as Baylor earned the win.
Lady Bear reliever Heather Stearns (12-4) took the victory, throwing four shutout innings and tossing four strikeouts for the win. Dumezich (27-8) suffered the loss after allowing eight earned runs on 15 hits and a walk while fanning three.
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