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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Quiet leader drives success

 
 

The No. 5 Texas A&Msoftball team has lost just twice and started the season with a 19-game winning streak. A part of this success can be credited to senior pitcher Mel Dumezich, a four-year competitor who has established herself this season behind three no-hitters.
Up until this season, Dumezich had never pitched a no-hitter. She pitched her first career no-hitter Feb. 20 in a 3-0 victory over Stephen F. Austin. Senior catcher Meagan May said she didnt know Dumezich hadnt ever pitched a no-hitter, because Dumezich had always been so consistent.
“We were not entirely aware that she hadnt had a no-hitter until this year,” May said. “I guess shes just had a lot of one-hitters that weve forgotten about because it feels like shes been throwing no-hitters for four years.
To Dumezich, each no-hitter was just another win for the team.
“(The no-hitters) are just another win,” Dumezich said. “As long as we win, its good. As long as were doing good, Im good.”
Dumezich, a senior sports management major, grew up the younger sister of three athletic brothers in northern Indiana. Her brothers played football, basketball, and baseball in addition to wrestling, and the competition carried over to Dumezich.
“Everything was a competition, Dumezich said. Thats where my competitive nature comes from.
However, her competitiveness leads to a composed face on the field. Many teammates look up to Dumezich and her quiet confidence to lead the team, saying her presence is enough to inspire great play.
First baseman Cassie Tysarczyk said Dumezich drives the softball team with her competitive nature.
“She has a calm presence about her when shes fired up,” Tysarczyk said. “Its very confident, not cocky. Shes never cocky. Shes one of the most confident people that really drives our ball club.”
Despite her humble demeanor, Dumezich holds an 18-1 record while on the mound while also contributing .292 batting average, good for seventh on the squad. May said Dumezich is very much respected by the rest of the team.
“Mel is pretty quiet. She is one of those people that when she opens her mouth, you listen, May said. She gets really fired up for games, but not in a way that she gets really loud. You can just feel it with how she is with her presence.”
Several members of the team credit her success partly to her preparation habits. Dumezich spends several hours watching film on opposing hitters and May said teammates have to be her sedative for off-the-field studying.
“She will go find something on every person in your line-up,” says May. “If theres a YouTube video out there somewhere of that person hitting, shes going to find it. Shes always stressing about anything that could possibly be stressed about.”
A&M softball stands at 26-2 overall and 4-1 in Southeastern Conference play after a series sweep of Arkansas during the weekend. It will visit No. 6 Tennessee for another series Friday through Sunday.

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