COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The ninth-ranked Texas A&M softball team (16-0) downed Purdue (6-8), 6-1, before squeezing out a 6-4 victory over UTSA (7-7) on the second day of the Texas A&M Invitational.
Senior Mel Dumezich moved to 10-0 on the year and earned her second save of the season, while going 4-for-6 from the plate for the Aggies. The Whiting, Ind., native also scored two runs and earned three RBI.
The Aggies wasted no time putting runs on the board as leadoff hitter Emily Albus scored on a triple to right field by junior Cassie Tysarczyk in the bottom of the first. Albus reached on an infield single and ended the play on third after a fielding error. Tysarczyk also scored in the first, crossing home when senior Mel Dumezich singled up the middle for the 2-0 lead.
Purdue narrowed the lead in the top of the third when a pair of singles scored one run.
Ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the inning, A&M pushed to a more comfortable 5-1 lead. Junior Nicole Morgan drew a walk before Dumezich hit a two-out double to put the pair in scoring position. Junior Amber Garza followed suit in the next at-bat, doubling down the right-field line to pick up two RBI as she sent Morgan and Dumezich home. An RBI single by freshman Cali Lanphear plated Garza for the 5-1 run.
The Aggies' last run of the game came on a Breanna Dozier base hit. With two outs in the frame, Albus reached on a throwing error from third base that gave the speedy junior time to reach third. Pinch hitting for A&M, Dozier stepped in and placed a ball in right-center field. The freshman picked up the first RBI of her career on the unearned run.
Purdue put three runners on base in the top of the seventh, but a groundout ended the game with A&M earning its 15th-straight victory at 6-1.
Dumezich (10-0) threw seven complete innings, allowing no earned runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out seven. Purdue's Lexy Moore (1-4) suffered the loss after giving up five earned runs on nine hits and one walk. The Boilermaker hurler also fanned seven batters.
A&M got out to another 2-0 lead against the Roadrunners in game two, but was forced to battle as UTSA put up a four-run fight.
In the bottom of the third inning, junior Taran Tyler singled to reach base before taking second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Meagan May. A bunt single by Albus put two on the bags as Clopton sent Tyler home on an infield single. A throwing error in the same play gave Albus time to score and put Clopton on second.
UTSA grabbed four hits off of A&M pitcher Lauren Ainsley in the top of the fourth, including a two-RBI double that tied the game, before the Aggies retired the final two batters.
The Aggies were quick to respond, using a four-run effort in the bottom of the inning. Garza led off in the fourth with a single and didn't have to wait long for her second run of the night as Dumezich pounded a home run over left-center in the next at-bat.
Junior Jenna Stark got her first hit of the weekend after Dumezich's long ball, sending a single to centerfield. Her work was rewarded when May went yard over left field, after fouling a series of pitches over the wall, for the 6-2 lead.
The Roadrunners clawed their way back to within two runs of the Aggies in the top of the sixth when they scored a pair of unearned runs on an error and a wild pitch.
Dumezich entered the circle to relieve Ainsley with A&M in a 6-4 lead and retired six straight batters to end the game. The senior tossed three strikeouts through two innings for her second save of the season.
Ainsley (6-0) earned the win after throwing three strikeouts and giving up two earned runs on nine hits through five innings of work. UTSA's Alyssa Vordenbaum (1-3) was handed the loss, pitching 3.1 innings and giving up five earned runs on seven hits.
No. 9 A&M will end tournament play tomorrow with a single game against Southeastern Louisiana (10-4) at 12:15 p.m. Fans will have one last chance to get their Texas A&M Invitational card stamped at that game. Cards with four stamps will be entered into a drawing for several great prizes, including a signed softball and a signed football. Winners will be drawn during the A&M-SELU game tomorrow.
To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.