College Station, TEXAS -- The Texas A&M softball team lost to LSU 2-0 in the College Station regional in the NCAA Softball tournament. LSU advances to the championship round. The Aggies will play an elimination game tonight at 7:00pm against Texas State.
LSU pitcher Rachele Fico threw a complete game shutout striking out six batters. Mel Dumezich was in the circle for the Aggies. She gave up two runs on five hits and struck out six batters.
This was only the third time this season that Texas A&M has been shutout.
Texas A&M Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Jo Evans
“Definitely a disappointing loss for us. We didn’t take care of business in the first inning. LSU did a good job to jump out early and put some pressure on us. We just didn’t handle that well. We had the opportunity to get out of the inning and didn’t make a play. I felt from that point we let the game speed up in our heads. We didn’t do a good job of taking a step back, gathering ourselves and relaxing to play the game. [Rachele] Fico did a nice job out there.”
On her message to the team after the first inning…
“I said, ‘Calm down. Let’s slow the game down here. There’s no need to panic.’ I have a lot of confidence in our hitters, and our ballclub. We have given up runs in the first inning before and we managed it really well. Our kids just need to slow everything down, and we didn’t do a good job of that. Offensively, we needed to be more aggressive early in the count, and I didn’t think we did that. My message was the same as it is every game. ‘We’ve got this. Slow the game down. Let the game come to you and we are going to be just fine.’ I felt like we would, but I could sense our kids just couldn’t get themselves to slow it down.”
On not getting the big hit today…
“We set the table. I don’t know if we were trying to get up there and hit a home run. I told our team we don’t want to live and die by the home run. We want to live by putting hits together, and we’ve been that team. I am surprised somewhat by our inability to calm ourselves down; it is very atypical of our ballclub. It’s certainly not something I am worried about, we are the ballclub that we came here as and we will get ourselves back together.”
On not hitting the ball today…
“I give [Rachele] Fico a lot of credit. I think she is a very good pitcher. It is a good lesson for pitchers to learn that you don’t have to have a ton of movement if you are precise in your location. You see that a lot in baseball. Fico is one of those pitchers who will move the ball a little bit, but more so she will be precise with her location. Her change in speeds helps as well. I give her a lot of credit, but I am disappointed in our approach at the plate.”
On her gameplan for the rest of the tournament…
“We talked about a few things we could different from that game, but mostly we have to just play one game at a time. It is absolutely critical that we don’t think, ‘We have to win three games, or we have to win two tomorrow.’ We have to condense it down to we have an opponent who we are going to play, and we need to be on top of our game. Our kids understand you can’t get ahead of yourselves. We are focused on the next game.”
Junior Pitcher Mel Dumezich
On pitching in the first inning…
“My ball wasn’t really moving in the first inning. The ball was slipping out of my hand and I didn’t have good control. After the first inning, I went inside and got a towel so my hand would stay dry.”
Sophomore Third Baseman Amber Garza
On facing Rachele Fico…
“She really hit her spots. When she would get ahead of us she would throw junk pitches and we chased them. We helped her out a lot. We weren’t hitting the pitches that she was giving us to hit.”
On the next game…
“There is a little bit of pressure, but nothing more than usual. We know Texas State is a good team. We have to go out there, play our game, get our at bats, and control the game.”
LSU Postgame Quotes
Head Coach Beth Torina
“I was excited about the way our team came out today. We carried some of the momentum from the seventh inning of the Texas State game into today. We did exactly what we planned. We attacked early in the count, and pitched the way we had talked about. We handled their offense exactly the way we talked about. They have only been shut out three times so a lot of credit goes to Rachele Fico today. She did a great job, and I was really proud of our offense.”
On her gameplan moving forward…
“We are in a really good spot. We are getting out of the heat, and are able to rest. We will have a good meal today and be ready tomorrow. I like our options with our pitching staff. We have two solid pitchers that I’m confident in. Without question that helps us down the road in this tournament. Knowing that they are going to have to beat two very different, very tough pitchers if they are going to win this tournament definitely works in our favor.”
On not building on their lead…
“There were a couple innings where we didn’t have quality at bats. For the most part I thought we kept attacking and [Mel Dumezich] made some good adjustments on the mound to keep us off balance. She is talented, and she gets credit for making those adjustments. We continued to stay aggressive; we had runners on all day. If we can continue to do that we will be successful. I feel confident when we give this pitching staff a lead. Statistically, given our ERA, you will find us winning a few if you give our staff a lead.”
On Brittany Mack being ready to pitch…
“They are always warm. Whichever one is on the mound the other is in relief, so they are always ready for anything. I think [Brittany] was even ready in the first inning. Usually they are ready just in case something happens. I haven’t had to make many tough decisions on pulling pitchers this year. They have really spoiled me, because they are so talented. Whoever we give the ball to I am really confident in.”
Junior Pitcher Rachele Fico
On her performance today…
“Today we had a good mix of pitches. We were working all four quadrants of the strike zone. I walked too many batters, but we were able to work around it. My defense came up big making plays when we needed to. Other than that we had better break points on the ball today; that is what made us really effective.”
On her gameplan for facing A&M’s lineup
“My plan is always to stay within myself, and work with my strengths. I just take it one pitch at a time, and try to make my next pitch my best pitch.”
Sophomore Infielder Allison Falcon
On scoring in the first inning…
“We definitely carried over the momentum from the last inning against Texas State; the transition was pretty smooth. Coach told us to stick within our plans, to be confident, and not be afraid. We had nothing to lose really.”
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