The No. 14 Texas A&M softball team closes out the regular season with a three-game Southeastern Conference series vs. Mississippi State at the Aggie Softball Complex this weekend. The Aggies (37-13, 8-12 SEC) and Bulldogs (31-19, 7-14 SEC) will face off in game one at 7 p.m. Friday, followed by game two at 4 p.m. Saturday. The series finale is slated for noon on Sunday. All times are Central.
Fans can catch all the action this weekend via AggieAthletics.com, which will feature live video, live audio and live stats. Local listeners can tune in to Sports Radio 1150 AM to hear each game.
The Aggies’ final weekend of play in the regular season is packed with promotions, leading up to the Senior Day celebration after the game on Sunday. To see a complete list of promotions and to claim special discounted tickets, click here. This weekend, fans will have a chance to win several great prizes including $100 iTunes gift cards, $100 Visa gift cards, an iPad Mini, lower-level Houston Astros tickets and lower-level Texas Rangers tickets. Fans can enter their names in the drawings once per day. The more games you attend, the better chances you have of winning! The drawing will take place after Sunday’s game.
Honor Roll Night: Honor roll students receive one free ticket with the purchase of a regular-priced adult ticket. Faculty/Staff Appreciation Night: Two complimentary tickets for A&M faculty and staff. Tickets for both promotions must be claimed here.
Camp Day: All campers who attended Aggie Softball Camps will be admitted FREE by wearing their camp t-shirt. The first 200 kids will receive a FREE hacky sack. Military Appreciation Day: Active duty and former military members will receive two FREE tickets to the game, and may purchase additional tickets for $4 each.
Sunday is Senior Day and Cinco de Mayo – Members of the Class of 2013 get in FREE by wearing their 2013 class shirt. Mother’s Day Recognition: Current players’ mothers will be recognized on the field prior to the game. 12th Man Rewards Bonus: The first 500 fans to have their 12th Man Rewards Card stamped or scanned will receive a FREE koozie.
Aggie seniors Mel Dumezich, Meagan May and Sydney Shannon will be playing in their final regular-season game on Sunday. To honor their hard work, talent, spirit and dedication over the last four years, a special Senior Day celebration will take place on the field after the game. Fans are encouraged to stay after the final out to take part in the festivities.
LAST TIME OUT
The Aggies broke out of a conference slump with a 2-1 series win at Ole Miss last weekend. A&M had suffered a six-game SEC losing streak and a 7-game conference losing streak on the road before Saturday’s 8-4 win over the Rebels. The team reached the 85-home-runs mark at Ole Miss, setting a new program record for homers in a season. The previous record was 81, set in 2011. The team also turned an impressive three double plays through three games with the Rebels.
SCOUTING MISSISSIPPI STATE
The Bulldogs are 31-19 this season, and 7-14 in conference play to rank sixth in the SEC Western Division. Sam Lenahan is leading the team with a .326 average at the plate, 12 doubles, 39 RBI, 32 runs and 45 walks. She has also contributed nine home runs and three stolen bases in as many attempts. The Bulldogs have swiped an impressive 110 bases in 141 attempts through 50 games. In the circle, Allison Owen (15-10) and Stephanie Becker (10-7) have done most of the work for MSU. Owen’s 1.92 ERA is a team best, as are her 217 strikeouts. Becker has fanned 150 hitters and owns a 3.52 ERA.
The all-time series between the Aggies and Bulldogs is tied at 3-3, with A&M winning two of the last three meetings. The teams last played in a 7-3 MSU victory in Starkville, Miss., in 2011.
MORGAN AT ASA/USA WNT TRYOUTS
Junior Nicole Morgan has been invited to the ASA/USA Softball Selection Camp, set for June 9-13. If chosen for the national squad, Morgan will travel to and play in several exhibition and international events this summer, culminating in the 2015 Pan Am Games and 2014 World Championship qualifiers August 5-18 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Mel Dumezich threw three no-hitters over the span of 11 days for the Aggies, earning USA Softball National Player of the Week and SEC player of the Week honors on Feb. 26. The senior threw her career-first no-hitter against Stephen F. Austin (Feb. 20) and added a second vs. Southeastern Louisiana (Feb. 24) the same week. Dumezich’s third no-hitter in less than two weeks came against Illinois State and was her first seven-inning effort as the Aggies run-ruled SFA and SELU. Marking another milestone, Dumezich tossed her 100th career victory, against LSU, on April 12.
The Aggie defense has turned 15 double plays this season, including three last weekend at Ole Miss and seven in the past two weeks combined. Of the 15 two-out plays this season, 11 have been vs. SEC opponents, and all but two were against ranked teams.
GRAND SLAMS GALORE
The Aggies have proven to be a threat at the plate with bases loaded, pounding six grand slams this season. Junior Nicole Morgan leads the way with three of her own. Morgan’s first four-RBI homer came early in the season as she topped the fence with three on base against Cal State Bakersfield on Feb. 9 for her second long ball of the game. On Feb. 17, Morgan plated four against Stephen F. Austin before clearing the bags at Missouri on March 9. Junior Amber Garza joined Morgan in the grand slam club with a four-RBI homer against Texas State on March 26 before adding her second and the team’s sixth against LSU on April 12. Junior Cassie Tysarczyk created the fifth grand slam for the team when she went yard with bases loaded vs. Colorado State on April 5.
HOME RUN HITTERS
A&M has hit a program-best 85 home runs this season after freshman Cali Lanphear’s first-inning long ball against Ole Miss on April 27 broke the previous single-season record of 81, set in 2011. The Aggies have hit 32 homers in SEC play. Lanphear leads the team and the SEC with 18 long balls, followed by Morgan with 15. May broke the program’s career home run record with 57 and reached the 60-bomb mark at Tennessee. Ten different Aggie hitters have gone yard this season, five of them hitting in the double digits and seven hitting nine or more.
The Aggies’ early success in their first season in the Southeastern Conference has shown in the SEC overall statistics. A&M leads the league in home runs and ranks second in the SEC in overall stats in slugging percentage and total bases. Lanphear’s .895 slugging percentage is an SEC best, and her 18 home runs tie for first with Georgia freshman Geri Ann Glasco. Dumezich’s 24 wins are second most in the SEC, and her 36 appearances are tied for second. Dumezich leads the conference with 29 starts in the circle.
VS. THE NCAA
Through games played on April 28, the Aggies hold a No. 17 RPI ranking and are among the best in the nation in several statistical areas. As a team, A&M is second in the country in home runs per game (1.70), fourth in slugging percentage (.579), 21st in scoring (6.26) and 27th in win-loss percentage (.740). Individually, Dumezich is 11th in victories (24), 29th in saves (3) and 31st in shutouts (6). Morgan is 25th in home runs (15), and Lanphear ranks 13th in home runs per game (0.38), seventh in slugging percentage (.895) and 10th in home runs (18).
A&M started the season ranked No. 17 in both national polls and is now sitting at No. 14 in the NFCA/USA Today poll and 21st in the ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25. The team’s No. 4 national ranking on March 19 was the highest since the end of the 2008 season when the reigning national runners-up were second in the final poll.
Individual game and season tickets may be purchased over the phone at 1-888-99-AGGIE OR 979-845-2311, online at Tickets.12thManFoundation.com, or in person at The Zone at Kyle Field ticket office.
Season tickets are currently available for just $125, while individual game tickets for softball are $10 for reserved (sections 4-8) and $8 for General Admission (sections 1-3). Youth GA tickets are available for $5 each. Group rates are also available to groups of at least 20, and cost $8 for reserved seats and $3 for GA.
Junior Aggie Club members are admitted free of charge to all Aggie softball games. Membership to the JAC is just $25, and information is available at www.JuniorAggieClub.com.
The “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” promotion returns in 2013, allowing four (4) kids under 12 to be admitted free on Sundays with the purchase of one adult ticket. All seats in this promotion are General Admission. Children must be accompanied by an adult purchasing a ticket to qualify for the promotion. Everyone, regardless of age, is required to have a ticket in the General Admission section, though GA tickets for children under 2 are free of charge.
Parking for all Aggie softball games is available in Reed Arena lot 100G and Olsen Field lot 100J. Visitors may park for free when there is not a conflict with an A&M men’s basketball or baseball game. This does not include 24-hour numbered, 12th Man or timed spaces. Visit transportation.tamu.edu for more information.
EVERY GAME ON RADIO
All of the Aggie softball team’s games this season will be broadcast by The Zone. Select games will be aired locally on Sports Radio 1150 The Zone, while the remaining contests can be heard on any smartphone or HD radio worldwide via 95.1-3 The Zone HD. Links to the online broadcasts for each game can be found at RadioAggieland.com and AggieAthletics.com.
The Zone’s Program Director, Louie Belina (away), and Tim Schnettler (home) will be calling the pitch-by-pitch, with David Batson providing color commentary. Former Texas A&M softball Director of Operations Stephen Grove will add analysis in select games as well.
WATCH THE AGGIES ONLINE
For the 10th straight season, 12th Man TV will bring Aggies around the globe live video of Texas A&M softball. Fans will be able to watch all non-televised Aggie home games, along with select road games, through the all-new 12th Man TV. Subscription packages start at $11.95/month and include exclusive live and on-demand content not found anywhere else. For more information log on to AggieAthletics.com.
AGGIES ON THE TUBE
At least three Aggie softball games will be played on national television this season. A&M’s April 13 home game vs. LSU was aired on ESPN, while the Sunday, April 14, game between the two schools was broadcast live on FSN. ESPNU televised the A&M-Tennessee matchup on March 23 in Knoxville, Tenn. In addition to the three regular season games, the ESPN Network will show the entire SEC Tournament nationwide, including the two play-in games. All times are Central.
This weekend’s series will determine the Aggies’ seeding in the SEC Tournament, slated for May 8-11 in Lexington, Ky. After the league championship, the Aggies will learn their fate for the postseason as the NCAA Division I Softball Selection show airs on ESPNU at 10 p.m. Central on May 12. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.