Kansas Surrenders Two Hits in Loss to No. 18/16 Texas A&M, 3-0
May 4, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Freshman pitcher Alicia Pillecarried a no-hitter into the bottom of the fifth, but two home runs marked the only hits the No. 18/16 Aggies would need to take the first of a three-game series, 3-0, Friday evening at the Aggie Softball Complex.
For the fifth time this season, Kansas (31-18, 6-15) out hit a top-25 opponent and did so again against Texas A&M (34-16, 14-8) on Friday. The Jayhawks collected three hits compared to the Aggies' two in a game that shaped up to be a hard-fought pitcher's duel.
Aggie ace Mel Dumezich (25-11) threw her Big 12-best 34th complete game of the season. The junior right-hander threw seven scoreless innings, striking out nine, walking none and stranding six Jayhawks.
Opposite her in the circle, the Jayhawks threw an ace of their own in Pille (17-11). The rookie did not allow an Aggie hit until the bottom of the sixth, struck out four and left seven Aggies on base. A two-run shot in the fifth and a solo homer in the sixth marked the only hits she allowed all night.
"Great effort all around," head coach Megan Smith said. "Alicia Pille and Kristin Martinezboth pitched extremely well. We got runners on base, we just couldn't get that big hit. I'm proud of our effort and we played extremely hard. We had some great defensive plays by our outfielders today, which also helped our pitching. It was a great effort, hopefully we can come out tomorrow and see the same - only with some of those key hits."
The Jayhawks kicked off the top of the first with a pair of singles, but couldn't find a way on the scoreboard. Meanwhile, Texas A&M put runners on via walks in the first and second innings, but also came up empty handed facing Pille.
Pille worked around four walks in the first three innings and was confronted with another unfamiliar problem as she was flagged for four illegal pitches in the bottom of the second - the most she's been charged with in a game. Disregarding walks and illegal pitch calls, Pille kept the nationally-ranked Aggie lineup quiet until the decisive fifth inning.
She didn't do it alone. The Jayhawk defense was superb in the series opener. Sophomore second baseman Ashley Newman knocked down a scorching lined shot with her glove hand and snagged it in the air bare-handed to end the third inning. In the Aggies' next at bat, junior left fielder Maggie Hull tracked back-to-back long fly balls at the left field wall, while sophomore centerfielder Elsa Moyermade a sprinting over-the-shoulder catch to keep Pille's no-hit bid night rolling in the bottom of the fifth.
Following Moyer's catch, however, Pille would walk Big 12 walk's leader, catcher Megan May, and was one out shy of carrying her no-hitter into the sixth inning. With one swing, right fielder Cassie Tysarczyk changed the game. Her seventh homer of the year broke up Pille's no-hitter and handed the Aggies the 2-0 lead.
Dumezich helped her own cause in the bottom of the sixth, lifting her team-best 13th homer of the year to lead off the Aggie half of the frame. The late run support would be all she needed. Although redshirt senior singled to center to put two Jayhawks on in the top of the sixth, Dumezich retired the next four batters in order to seal the win.