COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Despite a late rally, the No. 9 Texas A&M softball team fell to No. 4 Alabama, 4-1 in the Southeastern Conference series finale, Sunday at the Aggie Softball Complex.
The Crimson Tide (32-5, 8-4 SEC) earned the series victory, 2-1, winning games two and three after the Aggies (28-7, 5-6 SEC) took game one.
A&M senior Mel Dumezich scored the Aggies’ only run of the day on a first-pitch, leadoff home run in the bottom of the seventh.
The Aggies put a runner on base in the bottom of the first when junior Nicole Morgan drew a full-count walk. Morgan was left stranded in the half-inning, but A&M recorded two perfect defensive innings against the Crimson Tide.
Alabama put two runs on the board in the top of the third. A pair of leadoff singles put runners on first and second when a batter hit a ground ball to Aggie junior Jenna Stark at second base. Stark reached to tag the runner advancing to second and then threw to first, but both runners were deemed safe. A bases-loaded base hit plated one run before a sacrifice fly sent the 2-0 run home.
Junior Amber Garza had the Aggies’ first hit of the game when she singled down the right-field line in the bottom of the third. In the next at-bat, Garza slid under a leaping shortstop for a stolen base, but was called out on the play.
Morgan took first on another walk in the bottom of the fourth, but was again left stranded at the end of the inning.
A two-out walk and an RBI double by the Tide in the pushed the Alabama lead to 3-0 in the top of the fifth before a first-pitch, leadoff home run in the top of the sixth gave the visitors their fourth run of the day.
Alabama loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh, but the A&M defense held the runners at bay to maintain the 4-0 score.
Ready to rally in the final half-inning, Dumezich took to the first pitch and sent the ball screaming over left field for a solo home run just as a storm rolled into the stadium. Stark waited patiently in gusting wind to draw a one-out walk and was replaced at first by junior Allison Garrett. A groundout sent Garrett to second, but the pinch runner was marooned on the bags as Alabama earned the 4-1 win.
Dumezich (19-5) took the loss after giving up seven hits and four earned runs while walking four and striking out two in seven innings. Alabama ace Jackie Traina (15-3) had the win, allowing one earned run on two hits as she walked four and fanned seven.
The Aggies will host Colorado State in a three-game non-conference series next weekend. Game one is set for 7 p.m. Friday, followed by games two and three on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at noon, respectively. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.