COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M softball Head Coach Jo Evans earned her 600th victory at A&M as the No. 21 Aggies (12-6) swept day one of the Texas A&M Invitational and extended their home winning streak to 34 games.
A&M earned its second shutout victory of the season with the 6-0 win over Nebraska (10-8) as Evans reached the 600 win mark with the Aggies in her 16th season at the helm. A 3-2 walk-off win over Texas State (9-10) rounded out a 2-0 record for A&M on the day.
“Our kids did a great job to step up there and fight and take some walks,” Evans said. “It was really unselfish play. I’m perfectly thrilled with two wins against quality opponents. Our kids will find a way to win and I love that they just believe it.”
The Aggies took advantage of an early error in the first inning as sophomore Emily Albus, who reached on a bunt single, flew home from second for the 1-0 lead.
A one-run second inning expanded the A&M lead to 2-0. With one out, sophomore Nicole Morgan Drew a walk and was followed onto the base paths by Albus who also walked. A single up the middle by junior Brittany Walker put runners on every bag before a bases-loaded walk by senior Natalie Villarreal forced Albus across the plate.
The bottom of the third also proved productive as A&M stretched to a 5-0 lead. Another bases-loaded walk, by senior Kelsea Orsak, pushed in the first run of the inning before Albus sent a two-RBI single through the left side for her second base hit of the day in as many at bats.
Junior Sydney Shannon bunted in the bottom of the fourth and beat the throw to first for a single. Sophomore Cassie Tysarczyk, pinch running for Shannon, took second on a walk by Junior Mel Dumezich before a single through the right side by Nicole Morgan scored her for the 6-0 run.
The Huskers couldn’t respond, getting only two hits on the game as they dropped to 10-8 on the season.
Dumezich improved to 6-4 on the season and picked up her second shutout victory with the win after spending seven complete innings in the circle. The junior struck out six batters and gave up just two hits while walking five. Nebraska’s Ashley Hagemann (6-6) threw two innings and gave up two earned runs on two hits while walking five for the loss.
Texas State got the first look in game two, scoring in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly out to take a 1-0 lead but the Aggies responded with a solo home run by Dumezich in the bottom of the second to tie the game.
The Bobcats loaded the bases in the top of the fourth with just one out, threatening to regain their early lead. Quick-handed sophomore Amber Garza snagged a sharp line drive down the left field line and tagged third, however, to end the inning with a double play.
An RBI single by Texas State in the top of the sixth gave the Bobcats their second one-run lead of the game, but they didn’t hold it for long. In the bottom of the inning, Shannon singled to center field and was replaced at first by freshman pinch runner Brittany Clopton. With two outs and Garza on first after drawing a walk, Orsak placed a ball in center field to give Clopton time to fly home from second for the 2-2 run.
“I love that [Kelsea Orsak] kept her wits about her [after not playing in the first game] and got up there and got a huge RBI,” Evans said. “When it came right down to it, she was able to get a big RBI there.”
Dumezich moved into the circle and fanned shut down three consecutive batters for a quick top-of-the-seventh.
Villarreal and sophomore Taran Tyler each drew walks in the bottom of the inning and a fielder’s choice by Shannon produced no outs. With bases loaded, Dumezich waited through a full count and drew the RBI walk as Villarreal was pushed home for the walk-off win and the Aggies’ 34th-straight home victory.
Dumezich (7-4) earned her second victory of the day after throwing one inning, facing just three batters and fanning two. Texas State’s Crystal Alaniz (0-1) suffered the loss, giving up one earned run on two walks in 1/3 innings of work.
The Aggies continue tournament play tomorrow with a 3 p.m. game against Houston and a 5:15 rematch with No. 24 Nebraska. Both games will be broadcast
live on Sports Radio 1150 AM. Log on to AggieAthletics.com for more information on Texas A&M Softball.