February 21, 2009

ISLANDERS BREAK EVEN ON DAY TWO OF TOURNAMENT

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team split another pair of games in the second day of the Islander Invitational. They beat Dayton 8-0 in six innings due to the mercy rule in their first game while dropping a 7-0 decision to Pittsburgh in the nightcap.

The Islanders move to 7-8 on the year. Stacie Tassin started the first game for the Islanders, going the distance to improve to 3-5 on the season. Addie Tallman started the second game and was tagged with the loss, falling to 4-3 on the year.

In their first game of the day, the Islanders took on Dayton in the 1 PM game of the tournament. The Islanders held the Flyers scoreless, winning 8-0 in six innings due to the mercy rule.

"We did some good things on the offense against Dayton." said Head Coach Jake Schumann. "We were able to string together some hits and get our offense going."

The Islanders got on the board first in the bottom of the third inning when Lauren Sanders reached on a fielder's choice and stole second base. Larissa Martin followed with a single to plate Sanders and put TAMUCC up 1-0.

They added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Martin led off with a single and was brought around to score on a Stephanie Estrada double while Estrada advance to third on the play. Margo Hurdt followed that up with a groundout to the shortstop, allowing Estrada to score from third and put the Islanders up 3-0.

TAMUCC would land the knockout punch the very next inning. Kim Connelly led the inning off with a single followed by her stealing second base. Landry Moore followed with a walk. Melissa Casey came in to pinch-run just before an Alejia Cain single to center. On the single, Connelly came around to score while Casey moved to third and Cain took an extra base on the throw.

Andrea Simancas put down a sacrifice bunt while reaching on a fielder's choice and moved all the way to third on an error by the third baseman that allowed Casey and Cain to score, making it 6-0. Sanders put down another sacrifice bunt while the catcher failed to record an out, scoring Simancas.

The final run of the game would come after Martin singled to advance Sanders to second, followed by an Estrada fielder's choice that cut down Sanders of the base path. Hurdt the grounded out to allow the runners to move to second and third ahead of a Alaina Byars double that would end the game, scoring Martin and giving the Islanders an 8-0 victory.

"We know we were able to stay in close games from earlier in the season." said Schumann. "I was proud to see us have that killer instinct against Dayton to go out and finish them off."

Martin went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored. Cain delivered two hits for the Islanders to go along with one RBI. Estrada, Hurdt, Byars, Connelly and Simancas each had one hit for TAMUCC. Sanders, Martin, Estrada, Hurdt and Byars also added one RBI each.

In the second game of the day, the Islanders took on Pittsburgh, losing by a 7-0 score. The Pitt Panthers scored single runs in the first and second, three runs in the third and four in the fourth to quickly take control of the game. The Islanders tried to fight back, but could never plate any runs to cut into the lead.

"It was like a tale of two cities today." said Schumann. "The first game we pitched, played defense and hit the ball well while not being able to put that together for the game against Pittsburgh."

In the second game, Sanders and Hurdt each collected two hits while Estrada, Byars and Simancas added one apiece.

In the other action during the day, Minnesota took on Loyola-Chicago, beating them by a 1-0 score in the 9 AM game. Minnesota took back-to-back games to start the day, beating the Pittsburgh Panthers 4-1 in the second game of the day. The fourth game of the day, being played at 3 PM, pitted Dayton and Loyola-Chicago, with Loyola-Chicago winning 8-2 for the final game played at Chapman on the day.