Cyclones resume Big 12 play against A&M

Dan Cole

The ISU softball team resumes Big 12 play against Texas A&M this weekend in Ames.

The Cyclones (11-22, 0-6 Big 12) are coming off a 6-3 victory against Creighton on Wednesday but are still searching for their first conference win of the season.

This weekend will mark the final Big 12 series between the Cyclones and Aggies (25-10, 5-2) since the Aggies are moving to the Southeastern Conference next season. A&M has dominated Iowa State in the past, leading the all-time series between the two teams 35-6.

“They’ve always been a good team, a good school,” said ISU junior Tori Torrescano.

A&M junior pitcher Melissa Dumezich is one of the top pitchers in the Big 12. Last season, she pitched a five-inning, one-hit shutout against the Cyclones in College Station, Texas.

“I’ve seen her two years in a year now,” Torrescano said. “We know her really well, so that’s an advantage.”

In 22 starts this season, Dumezich boasts a 17-7 record to go along with her 1.99 ERA. She embodies what it means to be a ‘workhorse,’ ranking first in the conference in complete games with 18, wins with 17, innings pitched with 162.0 and second in strikeouts with 192.

Opponents are batting just .196 against the A&M pitching staff this season.

“Dumezich is a great pitcher,” said ISU coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler. “I think that they are very sound offensively, just like all the teams in the Big 12. We just need to come out and attack and give it the best shot.”

In the batter’s box, Dumezich also leads the Aggies in home runs with nine and RBIs with 31.

In the Cyclones’ victory against Creighton on Wednesday, Torrescano and sophomore Taylor Smith showed up in big ways. Torrescano went 2-for-3, drove in five runs and belted her ninth and 10th home runs of the season. In the pitcher’s circle, Smith went 5.2 innings and allowed only two runs.

Torrescano ranks in the top 10 in the conference in home runs, RBIs, total bases and slugging percentage.

The Cyclones want to keep a “business as usual” mindset alive going into this weekend.

“Same thing as every week,” said ISU sophomore Sara Davison. “We don’t really approach any game differently. It’s all about individual at bats and individual plays.”

Despite Texas A&M’s high RPI ranking, they rank in the bottom half of the Big 12 in both team batting and team pitching. As a team, they are batting .277 at the plate and own a 2.49 ERA in the circle.

This weekend’s games are slated for 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday at the Southwest Athletic Complex in Ames.