HONOLULU - Junior Mel Dumezich set a personal high for strikeouts as No. 22 Texas A&M (19-8) defeated 18th-ranked Hawaii (23-2) by a 3-1 count at the Chevron Spring Fling Tournament.
“I’m really excited for our kids,” head coach Jo Evans said. “I thought we played really well. First inning, we walk somebody, we hit somebody, we make an error. It wasn’t exactly a stellar start but I did think Mel did well in that inning in terms of her ‘stuff’. She walked off the field and I felt good about what she was doing. I thought she was throwing the ball well.”
Dumezich’s 14 strikeouts broke her personal record, set earlier this season. The junior fanned 10 batters and caught four looking against the Rainbow Wahine. The Aggies are now 3-1 in CSF Tournament play.
“I think that was definitely Mel’s best start of the year,” Evans said. “And Mel and [catcher] Meagan [May] did a really good job of mixing pitches and planes and Mel was ahead for most of the game. I thought she did a really nice job of controlling the at bats.”
The Rainbow Wahine struck early, loading the bases on a hit-by-pitch, a fielder’s choice with an error and a base hit before an RBI walk forced in the first run.
Dumezich worked into a rhythm to end the inning and threw nine strikeouts through the first four innings.
The Aggies brought an offensive rally to the plate as well with a big fifth inning. Sophomore Amber Garza started the rally madness with a leadoff walk and took second on a passed ball. A Kelsea Orsak single to left field sent Garza around third but the Bows’ left fielder made a throw home where Garza was thrown out. Orsak advanced to second on the throw.
With two outs, sophomore Emily Albus put runners on the corners when she chopped an infield single. A third base hit, popped high into shallow left field by junior Meagan May, scored Orsak and Albus before May advanced on a throw and sophomore Kaydee Rayburn entered to run at second base. Dumezich expanded the Aggies’ lead to 3-1 with a double to left field that crashed into the top of the wall and threatened to tumble over. The hit sent Rayburn home as the Aggies finished the top of the fifth with their first lead of the game.
Dumezich continued to dominate in the circle, tying her career best with 13 strikeouts in the bottom of the sixth. The right-handed hurler allowed no hits and walked just one batter in the third-through-sixth innings.
The Rainbow Wahine picked up a hard-hit infield single in the bottom of the seventh, but Dumezich struck out her career-high 14th batter and ended the inning with a groundout for the upset victory.
Dumezich (12-5) walked just two batters in seven complete innings and gave up one unearned run on three hits.
Hawaii’s Stephanie Ricketts (13-2) struck out four batters and walked four while giving up three earned runs on nine hits by the Aggies.