COLLEGE STATION, TX -- Junior Mel Dumezich hit a two-run home run as the 19th-ranked Texas A&M softball team (21-8, 1-0 Big 12) upset No. 10 Missouri (22-4, 3-1 Big 12) and snapped the Tigers’ 17-game winning streak Friday.
The victory at the Aggie Softball Complex was in the Aggies’ conference opener. Big 12 teams will play three-game series this season, with Missouri and A&M meeting again on Saturday and Sunday.
“Missouri is a good team,” head coach Jo Evans said. “They have a lot of hits, you can see they drive the ball well. They have a lot of doubles on the season and they did it again tonight but we did a good job of getting out of jams. We had five strikeouts against Chelsea Thomas and that’s not very many against an All-American. I was really proud of our kids’ approach at the plate and the way they stood in there.”
A&M only had three hits on the night, but one was all it took as Dumezich’s long ball gave the Aggies their only runs of the night.
The Aggie defense came out of the locker room ready to play. Starting in the circle, Dumezich caught the first batter swinging and also sent the next two Tigers back to the dugout.
“I thought Mel had total focus,” Evans said. “You could just see it on her face. She was out there ready to win a ballgame. You come into a game like this, and obviously Missouri is favored to win. Mel knows that and just steps in there and takes care of business.”
A&M’s offense was also ready for action, jumping out to a 2-0 lead over Mizzou. Junior Meagan May drew a walk and waited at first as Dumezich slammed a ball over right field for a pair of RBI as she pushed May home.
“Mel was great, of course in that at bat, going with the ball,” Evans said. “She’s just a catalyst for our team. She’ll get up there and take care of business at the plate and help herself out and take a little pressure off of herself.”
The two runs were the first allowed by Mizzou hurler and All-American Chelsea Thomas in 45.1 innings of work (since Feb. 26). Thomas had only allowed five earned runs before tonight and the Aggies are only the second team this season to score earned runs with her on the rubber.
The Aggies continued to shut down the side until the top of the fourth inning when a pair of doubles gave Missouri its only run of the game. The Tigers had another double in the sixth and a single in the seventh, but both hits led nowhere as A&M secured the 2-1 victory in game one of the three-game conference series.
Dumezich (13-5) threw seven complete innings, striking out seven batters and walking none while giving up one earned run on four hits. Thomas (11-2) suffered just her second loss of the season after giving up two earned runs on three hits and one walk, while striking out five.
The Aggies and Tigers will rematch tomorrow at 3 p.m. at the Aggie Softball Complex before finishing the three-game series with a noon game Sunday. Both games will be broadcast on 95.1-3 The Zone HD. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com or follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.
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