The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team got two huge wins Saturday afternoon at Chapman Field during the Corpus Christi Invitational. The Islanders beat Creighton 3-2 in the first game and had a dramatic extra-innings victory over Indiana State by an 8-7 final.
The Islanders improve to 4-6 on the year while Creighton finished the day at 2-2 and Indiana State finished at 2-1. Stacie Tassin started the first game and got the victory to go to 2-4 on the year. Addie Tallman started game two and eventually got the win to improve to 2-2.
"We hit the ball better today and executed our offense today." said Head Coach Jake Schumann. "I was really proud of the way they fought and refused to lose."
In the first game for the Islanders, they fell behind early but came back late for a 3-2 victory. In the second inning, Creighton's Sara Loeffeholz started off the inning with a double and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Loeffeholz then stole home to give the Bluejays a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Loeffeholz started the action once again by drawing a walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. After reaching third of a fly out, Loeffeholz scored on a Lauren Larson single to put Creighton up 2-0.
The Islanders would respond right back though, scoring two runs in the bottom half of the inning to tie the score. Kim Connelly opened the inning with a single, followed by a Sandy Schumann walk to put two runners on. Landry Moore laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Alejia Cain reached on an error by third baseman and scoring Connelly for the RBI while Schumann scored by result of the error to tie the game at 2-2.
"We made out adjustments and let the pitching start to come to us." said Schumann. "That inning she came to us and that was all it took."
The very next inning, the Islanders would score the eventual winning run when Larissa Martin walked and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Margo Hurdt. Stephanie Estrada then reached on a bunt single while Martin advanced to third. Connelly came up and got the game winning RBI by laying down a perfect sacrifice bunt to score Martin and give the Islanders a 3-2 lead.
The Islanders shut the Bluejays down the final two innings to earn their third victory of the season. Estrada led the Islanders with two hits while Lauren Sanders, Cassie Redman, Martin, Connelly and Cain each had one. Connelly and Cain each had one RBI for the Islanders. Stacie Tassin started the game and went the whole way, giving up two runs, both earned, on just three hits while walking two and striking out none.
In the second game for the Islanders, they took on the Indiana State Sycamores in a thrilling eight-inning game where they trailed by multiple runs in the final two innings but never gave up.
In the first inning, the Islanders struck first when Sanders led off with a single. Redman followed with a walk to put runners on first and second. Martin put down a sacrifice bunt and moved the runners over to second and third. Sanders proceeded to score on a wild pitch to put TAMUCC up 1-0 after one inning.
The score would stay the same until the fifth inning when the Sycamores would answer back with two runs to go up 2-1. TAMUCC would answer quickly, scoring a run in the bottom half of the fifth to tie it at 2-2. Sanders reached on an error and then stole second base. Redman grounded out to advance Sanders to third base. Martin followed with a single to score Sanders and knot the game at 2-2.
In the seventh inning, it looked bleak for the Islanders. With the score tied, the Sycamores scored three runs to take a 5-2 lead. In the bottom half of the inning, the Islanders were down to their last two outs when they started a rally. Andrea Simancas singled and advanced to second when Sanders reached on a fielder's choice. Redman got a big hit and singled up the middle to score Simancas and advance Sanders to third while Redman advanced to second. Martin followed with a single up the middle to score Sanders and Redman to tie the game at 5-5, forcing extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, the Islanders fell behind again while ISU scored two runs to take a 7-5 lead. The Islanders kept fighting and came through with a dramatic finish to the game. With Estrada placed on second as part of the tie breaker rule, Connelly came up and sacrifice Estrada over to third. Alaina Byars came up with a big hit, singling through the right side to score Estrada and make it 7-6 ISU. Melissa Casey came in and pinch ran for Byars and advanced to second when Simancas reached on an error. Sanders reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases for Redman. Redman once again came through with a clutch hit, hitting a single to center field and score Casey and Simancas to give the Islanders a dramatic win.
"It was an ugly softball game that showed we have a lot of heart." said Schumann. "We had out backs against the wall and came through whenever we needed it most today. We could have quit when we were down but refused to do so today."
The Islanders were led offensively by Redman and Martin in the game, with each having two hits and three RBIs. Sanders, Estrada, Byars and Simancas each had one hit for TAMUCC while Byars also had one RBI. Tallman started the game and later came back in to get the win for the Islanders, pitching a total of 5.1 innings, giving up two unearned runs on two hits and four walks. Tassin came in during the middle of the game and pitched 2.2 innings, giving up five runs, three of them earned, on five hits and three walks with two strikeouts.
The Islanders finish out the tournament on Sunday with one game against Detroit Mercy. The other games scheduled are Creighton vs. North Texas at 9 AM, Indiana State vs. North Texas at 11 AM and Indiana State vs. Detroit Mercy at 1 PM.
The other results on Saturday were North Texas over Detroit Mercy 6-0 and Creighton over North Texas 5-1.