Thibodaux, La. - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team fell in a pair of closely contested games against the Nicholls State Colonels on the first day of a three-game Southland Conference series.
The Islanders move their record to 7-13 on the year and 0-5 in SLC games while the Colonels improve to 15-5 overall and a perfect 5-0 in SLC match ups. Stacie Tassin took the loss for the Islanders in the first game, falling to 3-8 on the year. Addie Tallman started the second game and was tagged with the loss to go to 4-5 this season.
The Islanders started the day with a 1 PM match up with the Colonels. Freshman Stacie Tassin got the start for the Islanders and went five innings, giving up three hits and one run while walking five and striking out four. The teams were deadlocked in a 0-0 tie heading into the bottom half of the fifth inning. Tassin was her own worst enemy as she walked four batters in the inning, including the one run she gave up on the afternoon.
"We made some good plays that inning defensively." said Head Coach Jake Schumann. "We got some big plays to get out of the inning without too much damage."
The Islanders threatened in the top half of the sixth, as Lauren Sanders reached on an error and advanced to second base. After a Stephanie Estrada strikeout, Larissa Martin singled to advance Sanders to third. Martin then stole second base but neither runner was able to score as the inning ended on an Alaina Byars flyout.
The Colonels added three more runs in the bottom half of the sixth when Margo Hurdt came on in relief for the Islanders. Hurdt walked four Colonels batters as well, walking in a run before an error and a single led to two more Nicholls runs to make it 4-0.
"We lost focus and gave up a big inning." said Schumann. "We should have been out of the inning but we were unable to get the outs when they were there for us."
The Islanders were unable to get anything going in the top of the seventh and fell by a 4-0 final. Martin, Andrea Simancas and Sandy Schumann had one hit each for the Islanders, with Simancas accounting for the only extra-base hit on the day, a double in the seventh inning.
In game two, the Islanders showed more fight and had the early lead, holding the advantage from the second inning until the fifth. In the second inning, Byars singled and was followed by a Landy Moore single, advancing Byars to third with Moore moving to second on the throw. After an Alejia Cain single to load the bases, Schumann reached on a fielder's choice, recording an RBI while scoring Byars to make it 1-0 TAMUCC. Schumann was thrown out on the play after reaching base.
"We fought harder the second game." said Schumann. "We just were not able to string together enough hits to have the big inning."
The score would remain 1-0 until the Colonels were able to post four runs in the bottom half of the fifth on four hits and an error by the Islanders to make it 4-1 in favor of Nicholls State.
The Islanders tried to mount a rally in the top of the sixth, scoring one run but they were unable to get any more. Simancas led off with a double and was brought around to score on an RBI single by Sanders to make it 4-2. Martin followed with a groundout to move Sanders to third base, but the next two batters were unable to bring her home before ending the inning.
Neither team would score again as the Colonels took a 4-2 decision to sweep the first day of the series. The Islanders finished with seven hits, with Sanders going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate. Simancas, Byars, Moore and Cain each had one hit for TAMUCC. Sanders and Schumann each had one RBI for the Islanders. Tallman went all six innings, giving up four runs, three of them earned, on seven hits and one walk while striking out four Colonels batters.
Tassin will start the final game of the series on Sunday for the Islanders, scheduled for 12:00 PM.
"We will start Stacie but throw more than one pitcher." said Schumann. "We just have to come out and play to our strengths and try to pick up the final game."