Texas - The Texas A&M softball team will begin its quest for a 12th
straight NCAA Tournament appearance Monday as the Aggies take to the field for
their first practice of the spring.
The Aggies will practice from 3:15-6:15 p.m. and will work
on getting timing and rhythm back in hitting while working on team defense. Practices
this spring will be open to the media.
The No. 10 (RPI Final) Aggies ended last season in the NCAA
College Station Regional with a 41-18 record, making 2012 the team's seventh
40-win season under Head Coach Jo Evans. A 16-8 Big 12 mark put the Aggies in
fourth in the conference in their last season in the league.
A&M enters the Southeastern Conference (SEC) this season
with 15 letterwinners and nine starters from last year's squad. Five newcomers
will also make their SEC debut: Freshmen Alex Masek (Giddings, Texas), Cali
Lanphear (Montgomery, Texas), Breanna Dozier (Rowlett, Texas) and Kristen
Davenport (Deer Park, Texas), and junior transfer Rachel Fox (Sugar Land,
Texas) who will redshirt this season due to SEC rules.
All-American seniors Meagan May and Mel Dumezich highlight
the returners, along with fellow 2012 All-Central Region selections juniors
Cassie Tysarczyk and Emily Albus.
The 2012 Aggies led the Big 12 with seven conference honors
as Dumezich, junior Nicole Morgan and Tysarczyk were selected to the first team
and Albus, May, then-junior Brittany Walker and then-senior Natalie Villarreal
took second-team awards.
The Aggies will play 53 regular-season games in 2013, 29 of
those being in the friendly confines of the Aggie Softball Complex. The team
will also host four SEC series. A&M's challenging schedule includes
matchups against three conference champions, 11 NCAA Regional teams, five NCAA
Super Regional teams and three Women's College World Series (WCWS) teams from
the 2012 season, including reigning National Champion Alabama.
Of the 22 different known teams the Aggies will play in
2013, 10 ended the 2012 season in the top 50 in national RPI standings, six are
in the top 25 and two are in the top five. The average final RPI for the
Aggies' opponents this season is 56, while the average RPI for the SEC teams
A&M will play is 27. Only one SEC school on the Aggies' schedule - No. 92
Ole Miss - did not make the final RPI top 50 in 2012.
The team will start the hunt for a trip to Oklahoma City at
the Stacy Winsberg Tournament in Los Angeles, Feb. 8-10, beginning with games
against a pair of NCAA Tournament competitors in Long Beach State, the 2012 Big
West Champions, and host school UCLA. The Aggies will also play Cal State
Bakersfield and Wright State in L.A. before closing out the tournament with
another game vs. the Bruins.
To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to
AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.