March 17, 2009

ISLANDERS LOSE HEARTBREAKER TO SPLIT GAMES WITH LATECH

Ruston, La. - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team got a win and a heartbreaking loss on Tuesday to move to 3-1 after the first four games of its seven game road trip. The Islanders beat Louisiana Tech by a 5-1 score in the first game and lost the second game by a 9-8 score after leading 8-1.

The Islanders move to 11-19 on the season now while the Lady Techsters fall to 13-12 on the season. Addie Tallman started game one for the Islanders and got the complete game win to improve to 8-6 on the season. Stacie Tassin started the second game, throwing four plus innings for the Islanders before Morgan Seals came on in relief. Seals gave up the tying and winnings runs to fall to 0-1 on the year.

In game one, the Islanders and Lady Techsters played to a 0-0 stalemate through the first three innings. In the fourth inning, the Islanders were able to break through and put a pair of runs on the board. Margo Hurdt led off the inning with a single to left center and advanced to third when Kim Connelly put down a sacrifice bunt and reached first on an error by the third baseman. Connelly then stole second to put both runners in scoring position. Cassie Redman moved the runners with a single up the middle to score Hurdt from third and advance Connelly while Redman moved to second base. Lauren Sanders followed up with another single to plate Connelly and put the Islanders up 2-0.

Tech responded with a run of its own in the bottom half of the fourth inning to make it 2-1 TAMUCC. The Islanders came right back over the top with two more runs to take a 4-1 lead. Larissa Martin started the inning with a double down the left field line. Stephanie Estrada reached on an error by the second baseman to advance Martin to third. After Estrada stole second base, Alaina Byars doubled to left center field to score both Martin and Estrada to extend the lead to 4-1.

TAMUCC added an insurance run in the top of the sixth inning when Redman started the action with a triple to right field with one out. Sanders followed with a single to plate Redman to move the score to 5-1. Tallman shut down the Techsters over the final two innings to preserve the lead.

Tallman allowed only three hits on the day while giving up just one unearned run in the fourth inning. She pitched all seven innings, giving up two walks and striking out none. Sanders and Redman led the Islanders with two hits apiece in game one while Sanders and Byars each recorded two RBI. Martin, Estrada, Byars and Hurdt each had one hit and Redman recorded one RBI for TAMUCC.

"We swung the bats really well today," said Islander head coach Jake Schumann. "The past four games we have done really well offensively."

Game two played out in a tough fashion for the Islanders. After taking an 8-1 lead, the Islanders struggled late in the game, giving up eight runs in the final two innings to fall by a 9-8 score.

TAMUCC got on the board right away, scoring two runs in the first inning to take early control of the game. Sanders started off the game with a single to first base and came around to score when Estrada doubled down the left field line while Estrada advanced to third on an error by the left fielder. Byars followed up with a single to plate Estrada, making it 2-0 early on.

The Islanders kept pouring it on in the second inning, pushing across another three runs to take a 5-0 lead after two. Redman started off the inning with a single but was caught stealing at second base. Undeterred, Sandy Schumann singled to third base and advanced to second when Alejia Cain followed with a single to center field. After an out and a Martin walk to load the bases, Estrada came through with a huge double to plate all three runners with two outs in the inning.

LaTech pushed across their first run in the bottom of the third inning as Danielle Sheridan reached on a fielder's choice and came all the way from first to score on an Amberly Waits double to center field to make it 5-1 TAMUCC.

The Islanders scored three more runs in the top of the fifth inning, started off by a Byars single. Melissa Casey came on to pinch run for Byars and advanced to second on a stolen base. Connelly singled up the middle and advanced to second while Casey advanced to third and scored on an error by the Tech center fielder. Redman followed with another single to plate Connelly while Redman advanced to second. Redman advanced to third on a Schumann groundout and scored on a Cain single up the middle to finish the top half of the inning with an 8-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Lady Techsters exploded for seven runs to tie the game at 8-8. The inning started with a walk and a pair of singles to load the bases for Sheridan, who walked to force in the first run on the inning. Waits followed with a grand slam down the right field line to clear the bases and force Tassin from the game. Morgan Seals came on to pitch for the Islanders, giving up three more hits and two more runs to knot the game at 8-8.

"We lost focus for one inning and gave LaTech about seven outs," said Schumann. "We made some mistakes but we just have to put it behind us."

The Islanders were unable to push across any runs in the top half of the sixth inning, setting up the deciding run for LaTech in the bottom half of the inning. Sheridan singled up the middle and advanced all the way to third on a wild pitch. The next play saw another Islander wild pitch to score Sheridan for the final run of the game, tilting the scales in favor of the Lady Techsters at 9-8.

Tassin pitched four innings, giving up six runs, three of them earned, on six hits. She walked three batters and struck out four. Seals pitched the final two innings, giving up three runs, all of them earned, on four hits. She walked none while striking out one Lady Techsters batter. Estrada led the Islanders with four RBI in the second game while Byars, Redman and Cain each added one. Redman led the Islanders in hits with three with Estrada, Byars and Cain added a pair each. Sanders, Andrea Simancas, Connelly and Schumann each had one hit.

The Islanders continue on the road with two more games on Wednesday in Monroe, La. where they will take on the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. The doubleheader is set to begin at 4 PM.

"We can't turn one bad game into several bad games," said Schumann. "They have to have a bad memory heading into tomorrow; they can't dwell on what happened in the fifth inning tonight."