COLLEGE STATION, Texas — In its19th consecutive win at home, No. 22 Texas A&M (33-11, 5-4 Big 12) completed a two game sweep of No. 12 Nebraska (31-8, 3-5 Big 12) with a 5-1 victory Sunday at the Aggie Softball Complex.
The Aggies wasted no time bouncing back from a 1-0 deficit after a hit Nebraska batter scored the first run of the game in the top of the third. In the bottom of the inning freshman Cassie Tysarczyk led off with an infield double. The hit flew high just in front of the circle and the NU infielders were unable to decide would make the play as the ball hit the ground and Tysarczyk reached second, never pausing at first.
With two outs on the board, freshman Amber Garza put a base hit through the right side that scored Tysarczyk to tie the game.
A&M stretched to a 3-1 lead in the fourth. Senior Kelsey Spittler led off with her second single up the middle of the day and scored on a long double to left field by sophomore Brittany Walker. The laser hit the top of the wall in left and bounced in as Spittler flew home. Walker took third on the throw from left that was an attempt to get Spittler out at the plate.
“I thought Spittler was a real catalyst for us today,” head coach Jo Evans said. “I thought she was a real spark plug getting up there like, `hey I can hit this’. I thought she really set the tone for us. We hit throughout the lineup. Every one of our kids had a hit, except for [senior] Rhi [Kliesing], and she got a big RBI for us. I’m just really pleased with the way we were patient at the plate. Ten hits – that’s a good day right there.”
Redshirt junior Natalie Villarreal drew a walk and took second on a passed ball before Tysarczyk picked up her second hit of the game, a single through the right side, that scored Walker. Villarreal crossed home, unearned, on a sacrifice fly to left by Kliesing for the 4-1 lead.
The Frisco, Texas, native scored again in the top of the sixth on a groundout by sophomore Mel Dumezich. Villarreal led off with an infield single to second and took second when Tysarczyk took a pitch to the body to reach first. Both runners advanced when Kliesing grounded out to the first baseman, unassisted, and Villarreal came in to give A&M a 5-1 advantage when Dumezich was thrown out at first.
In the top of the seventh with a runner on first and one out, Garza caught a lined hit and powered it to first for a double play that ended the game with the Aggies ahead for the two-game series sweep.
Dumezich (19-7) earned her second win of the weekend, fanning 10 batters and giving up no earned runs on three hits in seven complete innings. Nebraska hurler Ashley Hagemann (22-7) suffered a second loss on the series, giving up four runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings in the circle.
“[Mel] gave their hitters fits,” Evans said. “That’s tough, back-to-back days, when they’ve seen you, they know what they want to key on, and yet she’s able to throw strikes on both sides of the plate. That’s really critical, so they can’t guess. She had them guessing a lot today.”