COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The No. 15 Texas A&M softball team (5-2) earned their first shutout victory of the season with a 1-0 win over North Carolina State (3-3) on day one of the Aggie Classic.
Rain slowed play as the teams took a two-hour hiatus after the third inning, but the game was resumed and played in full.
Junior Mel Dumezich had already thrown four strikeouts in three innings before a steady rain delayed the game. NC State second baseman Toni Ann Williford singled to lead off in the top of the first but was the Wolfpack’s only hit through three innings.
Three Aggies reached on walks in the first two innings but each was left stranded. In the bottom of the third, senior Natalie Villarreal singled to the shortstop and sped to first to beat the throw. A sacrifice bunt by junior Brittany Walker pushed Villarreal to second before she took third on a wild pitch.
With one out, junior Meagan May flew out to right field, giving Villarreal time to tag third and run home to give the Aggies a 1-0 lead just before the rain moved into the area.
“[Villarreal] did a good job to get down the line,” head coach Jo Evans said. “Their shortstop made a really nice play there and Nat just barely beat it out. Brittany did a great job with moving Nat. Then we get a wild pitch and Meagan May just stands there and goes the other way just enough that we can score a run. That’s manufacturing a run. That’s playing small ball. That’s the way you do it. We took advantage of our opportunity.”
When the game resumed the Aggies wasted no time finishing the Wolfpack off. Dumezich (3-1) fanned six more batters for a total of 11 on the day. The right-hander earned her third victory of the season after giving up no runs on two hits and walking one in seven innings of work.
“I thought Mel was terrific,” Evans said. “She just looked so good out there. She was relaxed and her ball was breaking like crazy. She had one walk on the night. I think that’s her best outing so far. She really seemed to control the whole time. Mel is the perfect pitcher to be in that situation because, really, nothing fazes her. She’s one that could warm up really quickly. She doesn’t over-think it. I really like her demeanor on the mound and the way she handles herself.”
In the bottom of the fifth, senior Kelsea Orsak laid down a perfect bunt single at the plate but was thrown out in a fielder’s choice by Villarreal. The Frisco, Texas, native stole second but was stranded there in the end of the inning. Villarreal stole two bases in two attempts on the day.
Sophomore Nicole Morgan was the final player to reach base, drawing a walk in the bottom of the sixth, as the Aggies blanked NC State
Wolfpack pitcher Emily Weiman (3-2) threw six complete innings and gave up one earned run on two hits while striking out eight Aggies and walking four.
A&M’s game vs. Tulsa, originally scheduled for 5:15 p.m. today, has been postponed and may be played later this weekend. Information on that matchup will be announced on AggieAthletics.com and Twitter (@AggieSoftball).
The Aggie Classic continues tomorrow as the Aggies take on UTSA at 3 p.m. and NC State at 5:15 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on 95.1-3 The Zone HD (radio) and AggieAthletics.com (live audio/live video). To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com.