Monroe, La. - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team was stung by the big inning on Wednesday afternoon, falling by scores of 6-1 and 7-6 in a two game set with the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks of the Sunbelt Conference.
The Islanders fall to 11-21 on the season while the Warhawks move to 10-18 on the year. Addie Tallman started game one and was tagged with the loss to fall to 8-7 on the year. In the second game, Stacie Tassin came on in relief and recorded the loss to fall to 3-12 on the season.
In the first game, the Islanders fell behind 1-0 after three innings when Brianna Love singled and stole second base, advanced to third on a groundout and came home on a wild pitch. The Warhawks got an additional five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 6-0 lead.
The Islanders broke through with a single run in the top of the seventh but could not come up with any more as they fell by a final of 6-1. Sandy Schumann reached base on a walk, followed by a Lauren Sanders single. Schumann advanced to second on the single and to third on an error by the shortstop. Larissa Martin brought Schumann home with a single to put the Islanders on the board. With runners on first and second the Islanders were unable to get any more runs as the game ended on a hard line drive back to the pitcher off the bat of Stephanie Estrada.
Martin led all hitters in the first game with a perfect 4-for-4 performance and the only RBI for the Islanders. Sanders, Estrada, Andrea Simancas and Schumann each had one hit for TAMUCC.
"We swung the bats well today," said head coach Jake Schumann. "We just weren't able to capitalize on the opportunities we had to score some runs."
In the late game, the Islanders were once again bitten by the big inning. TAMUCC gave up seven runs in the bottom of the fourth to turn a 4-0 lead into a 7-4 deficit. The Islanders were never able to get back to level with ULM and fell by a final of 7-6. Margo Hurdt started the game in the circle for the Islanders but would get a no decision.
The Islanders took an early 1-0 lead after the second inning when Simancas singled up the middle and advances to second when Cassie Redman reached on a fielding error. Landry Moore followed by reaching on a fielder's choice while Simancas was cut down at third base. Redman and Moore advanced to second and third on a passed ball to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Alejia Cain then reached on an error by the second baseman to bring Redman in to put the Islanders up 1-0.
The Islanders added to the lead in the top of the third with three runs to extend it to 4-0 Islanders. Martin led off the inning with a single and proceeded to steal second base. Alaina Byars moved Martin to third on a groundout to the third baseman before a Hurdt single up the middle brought in Martin for the first run of the inning. Simancas doubled to right field to put runners on second and third. Redman then hit a ball to the pitcher, who made a throwing error to allow Hurdt and Simancas to come all the way around to score to make it 4-0.
The Warhawks stormed back with seven runs in the bottom half of the fourth inning to take chase Hurdt from the game and take the lead away from the Islanders. ULM pushed across its seven runs on the back of eight hits, including a two-run homer by Megan Miller to get the inning going for the Warhawks. The Islanders made some costly miscues in the inning to extend the at-bat for the Warhawks.
"We had the same things happen to us in that inning that happened the day before against LaTech," said Schumann. "We have to make the most of our chances and not give the other team as many opportunities."
The Islanders were able to respond with two runs of its own in the next half-inning. Estrada led the fifth off with a double and advanced to third on a Byars single through the left side. Hurdt came up with a run-scoring double to bring Estrada home while advancing pinch-runner Melissa Casey to third base. After Simancas reached on a fielder's choice, Redman brought Casey home on a single to right field. TAMUCC was unable to push any more runs across however, as the final two batters of the inning struck out to end the threat with runners on second and third.
The Islanders were unable to get any closer as the game went scoreless over the final two innings to give the Warhawks the victory over the Islanders by a 7-6 final.
Estrada, Hurdt and Simancas collected two hits apiece to pace the Islanders in game two. Martin and Byars each had one hit to round out the offense. Hurdt recorded two RBI while Redman got the other Islander RBI on the night.
Hurdt went three and one-third innings, giving up four runs, all earned, on five hits. She walked two batters while striking out one. Tassin came on in relief and pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up three earned runs on fours hits with no walks or strikeouts. Tallman came on in relief and pitched the final two frames for TAMUCC, giving up just one hit while striking out one and walking none.
"We tried to bring Margo along slowly and let her hit as well tonight," said Schumann. "Addie pitched well in the second game, she just could not get the feel of some of her pitches in game one."
The Islanders conclude their seven game road trip tomorrow afternoon with a 2 PM start in Shreveport, La. against Centenary. After the long road trip, the Islanders will return home to Chapman Field on Saturday and Sunday to face Stephen F. Austin in a Southland Conference series.