May 27, 2011

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Post-Game News Conference

TEMPE, Ariz. - Come-back home runs by freshman Amber Garza and sophomore Mel Dumezich were unable to give the No. 16 seed Texas A&M softball team (44-14) the boost it needed as the Aggies fell to top-seeded Arizona State (54-6), 3-2 Thursday in game one of the best-of-three Tempe Super Regional. The game was played in front of a crowd of 2,037 at Farrington Stadium and was televised nationally on ESPN2.

"I know my kids are really disappointed right now, but all I'm talking to them about is having composure," head coach Jo Evans said. "Having confidence is what brought us here. I know everybody expects us to come here and lose, but we really expect to come here and win. That's who we are as a team. We believe in ourselves, so tomorrow's going to be the same. We're going to put ourselves in a position in the seventh inning to win the ballgame, and then we just need to take care of business."

Arizona State started out strong as hurler Dallas Escobedo fanned nine batters for each out of the first three innings. The ASU offense grabbed the first run of the game on a double to left field by Sam Parlich in the bottom of the second.

The Aggies redeemed themselves on Garza's bomb in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 1-1. The home run came with two outs and no runners on base.

A&M got runners as far as second in the fifth and sixth innings but were unable to get a run across. In the top of the fifth senior Rhi Kliesing walked and was replaced at first by classmate Andrea Tovar. The pinch runner took second on a sacrifice bunt by Dumezich. Redshirt junior Natalie Villarreal drew a walk in the sixth and was left at second when freshman designated player Taran Tyler took first on a ball four.

Still in a draw in the top of the seventh, Dumezich lasered a pitch over the fence in dead center and pushed the Aggies out to 2-1 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, ASU pinch hitter Lucy Aubrecht drew a walk and was replaced by pinch runner Michelle Nulliner, who took second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Katelyn Boyd walked and was followed on base by Lesley Rogers who was hit by a pitch. Kaylyn Castillo grounded to short and was granted a two-RBI single when Nulliner and and Boyd scored for the walk off.

Boyd stepped in front of A&M shortstop Brittany Walker and stopped as the ball came toward them, but there was no call for interference as the Sun Devils walked off the field ahead in the game count, 1-0.

Dumezich (30-9) suffered the loss, striking out three batters while walking six and allowing three earned runs. Escobedo (31-3) fanned 15 and allowed two runs on two hits for the win.

"We're going to come back and fight tomorrow," Dumezich said. "We came here to win. We didn't just come here to sit back and be proud because we came here. We came here to win. We're going to fight back tomorrow."

The teams will rematch on ESPN tomorrow at 8 p.m. CST. If necessary, a third game will follow at 10:30 p.m. CST on ESPN2. For more information on Aggie softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com.