COLLEGE STATION, TX -- A home run by sophomore Cassie Tysarczyk broke up a Kansas no-hitter as the No. 16 Texas A&M softball team (34-16, 14-8 Big12) shutout Kansas (31-18, 6-15 Big 12), 3-0 on Friday at the Aggie Softball Complex.
The Aggies and Jayhawks will resume play tomorrow with game two at 3 p.m. and will close out the three-game conference series on Sunday at 11 a.m. A&M leads the series 1-0.
Tysarczyk’s bomb came in the bottom of the fifth with junior Meagan May on first and gave the Aggies a 2-0 lead. May had reached on her third walk of the day on 12-straight balls thrown.
“Cassie did a great job,” head coach Jo Evans said. “The time before, she hit a laser to the second baseman, who made a play on it. It was hit right to her. I got Cassie after that and said, ‘Hey, listen. You’re hitting the ball on the screws. You’ve got to remember what success is. It’s a quality at bat. Don’t talk yourself into being in a funk right now because you’re not.’ And the next time she got up she just drove the ball and went yard. I just love her maturity out there, understanding to stay in the process and not get ahead of herself. She hit that ball really hard.”
Kansas pitcher Alicia Pille was recording a no-hitter when the game reached the bottom of the fifth. The Aggies reached base six times before Tysarczyk’s long ball, each time on a walk.
“That was the craziest tempo of game,” Evans said. “It was just a really slow, slow game. I thought early on we sort of let that get in our heads and let it break our concentration, our focus a little bit. This was like a basketball game where somebody slows down the tempo and you’ve got to deal with it. I felt like we tried to settle ourselves in a little better after that.”
In the bottom of the sixth, junior Mel Dumezich hammered a pitch over the fence in left field for a leadoff solo home run and a 3-0 lead.
“Mel did really nice job a just getting a good pitch to look at and drive,” Evans said. “That pitch was down in the zone and she just went and got it.”
The Jayhawks were unable to answer in the final two innings and the Aggies took their sixth conference shutout of the season.
Dumezich (24-11) now owns five of the Aggies’ six Big 12 shutouts. The right-hander threw seven complete innings, giving up just three hits and never walking a batter while striking out nine. Pille (17-11) suffered the loss after giving up three runs on two hits, walking seven hitters and striking out four.
“I thought Mel was terrific, really,” Evans said. “I liked the way she threw tonight. Her ball was really moving and they were using both sides of the plate, they were changing planes. I thought Mel was very very good. In the one inning where we made a couple of errors, Mel just really kept her composure out there and kept throwing more outs and more outs. They hit the ball hard probably twice in the whole game. She did a good job of keeping them off-balance and I don’t think they saw every pitch she has, so that makes me feel good about our ace and how she’s throwing the ball right now.”
The Aggies and Jayhawks will continue the three-game Big 12 series tomorrow with a 3 p.m. game. First pitch for the series finale is set for Sunday at 11 a.m. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com or follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.