WACO, TX -- The Aggies took 10 hits off of two pitchers as the 14th-ranked Texas A&M softball team (28-11, 8-3 Big 12) earned a 3-0 shutout victory Tuesday at No. 23 Baylor (26-14, 3-8 Big 12).
The game at Getterman Stadium was the second matchup of the three-game conference series between the Aggies and the Lady Bears. The series finale will be back in College Station on Tuesday, April 24. With tonight’s win, the Aggies are guaranteed a series victory and are 4-for-4 in Big 12 series this season.
“I’m pleased with the way we’re playing the game,” head coach Jo
Evans said. “When you’re on the road and you can take one from somebody, that’s great. I like the way our team is playing together right now. I love the cohesion and the chemistry. Right now, everyone is playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played. I’m really proud of our ballclub right now.”
After a three fruitless innings for both sides, the Aggies got on the board with a run in the top of the fourth. Sophomore Nicole Morgan sent a single just over the first baseman’s head down the right-field line to reach base. A second single, through the right side by junior Brittany Walker, put two runners on before sophomore Kaydee Rayburn entered to run at second base.
A slow-rolling ball down the third base line forced a no-out fielder’s choice that loaded the bases before a base hit into the gap in left field by sophomore Taran Tyler sent Rayburn home for the 1-0 lead.
“Taran Tyler has been due for a hit and she got up there and got the RBI,” Evans said. “I thought our kids just hit through the lineup.”
In the top of the fifth the Aggies pulled out to a 3-0 lead. A first-pitch single by sophomore Emily Albus and a base hit pounded up the middle by junior Meagan May.
“Albus has been struggling a little bit,” Evans said. “She made a good adjustment. Now I feel like, OK now let’s go. You’re out of your slump.”
With two on and no outs, sophomore Cassie Tysarczyk sliced a double into shallow centerfield that scored Albus and sophomore Allison
Garrett, who was pinch running for May. Tysarczyk took third on a groundout and was set to score but a line drive by junior Mel Dumezich was caught in an impressive play by Baylor third baseman Megan Turk.
A&M got into a bind in the bottom of the fifth when Baylor loaded the bases on a pair of singles, a fielder’s choice and an error, but a groundout ended the inning with the Aggies still ahead, 3-0.
The Aggies had a pair of base hits in the top of the sixth but couldn’t find a way to cross the plate and entered the bottom of the seventh with a 3-0 lead. Baylor used a base hit and a stolen base in the final half-inning to put a runner on second but Dumezich struck out two batters before a groundout ended the game with a 3-0 shutout win for A&M.
“I thought our kids played really well,” Evans said. “Mel did a great job on the mound, Meagan did a good job behind the plate, and I liked seeing our hitters get up there and get some hacks. They didn’t get cheated today. It’s all about making plays and giving yourself a little bit of a lead and I thought our kids did that well.”
Dumezich (20-8) earned her second complete-game conference shutout of the season, spending seven innings in the circle. The right-hander fanned eight batters and allowed no runs on just four hits while walking one. Baylor’s Liz Paul also threw seven innings, giving up one earned run on seven hits for the loss.
“Mel looked really good tonight,” Evans said. “Baylor was getting some good hacks up there. Talk about not getting cheated. I thought we did a good job of keeping their speed off the base paths. Mel just knows how to play the game. I just loved her presence out there. Our kids really wanted this win and they worked really hard.”
A&M now leads the series with Baylor, 2-0. The third and final game will be played at the Aggie Softball Complex on Tuesday, April 24.
The Aggies return home to host No. 6 Oklahoma this weekend at the Aggie Softball Complex in a three-game conference series. Game one is set for 7 p.m. Friday, followed by game two on Saturday at 3 p.m. and the series finale at noon on Sunday. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com or follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.