The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team split a pair of Southland Conference games against first-place Stephen F. Austin on Saturday afternoon at Chapman Field. The Lady Jacks won game on by an 8-2 score while the Islanders won game two by a 7-3 margin.
The Islanders move to 12-23 on the year and 3-10 in SLC games while the Lady Jacks go to 18-15 on the season and 8-3 in SLC play. Addie Tallman started both games for TAMUCC, getting both a win and a loss to go to 9-9. Monika Covington started game one for SFA and got the win to improve to 12-7 on the year. Lauren Luetge started game two and took the loss to fall to 6-7 on the season.
The Islanders started off the day slow, dropping an 8-2 decision in game one to the Lady Jacks but came back strong in the second contest of the day, pushing across seven runs to take a 7-3 decision.
TAMUCC started off the second game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning to go up 2-0 early on. Lauren Sanders started off the inning by reaching on an error, followed by a Larissa Martin single to right field. Stephanie Estrada got the second hit of the inning for the Islanders, a single to right field to score Sanders, while Martin advanced to third and Estrada moved over to second on the throw home. After Martin was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch, Alaina Byars singled down the left field line to bring Estrada home and make it 2-0.
The Islanders broke through with four more runs in the bottom of the third to take a 6-0 lead. After Cassie Redman led off with a bunt single, Sanders reached on a fielder's choice while Redman was thrown out at second base. Martin followed with a single through the left side to advance Sanders to second. Estrada got on with a bunt single to load the bases for TAMUCC. A Byars single to left brought in Sanders from third and moved the runners over to keep the bases loaded. Margo Hurdt was next up, hitting a sacrifice fly to right field, allowing Martin to score from third. With runners on second and third, Andrea Simancas came to the plate and knocked a base hit through the left side, knocking in Estrada while Byars eventually came around to score on the play as well.
The Lady Jacks got single runs in the top of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to make it 6-3 Islanders, but the Islanders got an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth to put the game away. Sanders came up with two outs and hit a ball in the right center field gap, stretching the hit all the way into a triple. Martin came up to the plate and singled to the shortstop, allowing Sanders to score to make it 7-3. Martin's final hit gave her a perfect 4-for-4 day at the plate to go along with one RBI. Tallman set SFA down in order in the top of the seventh to secure the win for the Islanders.
"We played our game in the second game, whoever makes least amount of mistakes is going to win it," said head coach Jake Schumann. "We made the plays we needed to and got a big win."
Martin was the top hitter at the plate in game two, collecting four hits in as many trips to pace TAMUCC. Sanders, Estrada and Byars each had two hits while Simancas and Redman collected on apiece. Byars had two RBI while Martin, Estrada, Hurdt and Simancas each had one. Tallman pitched a complete game, going seven innings while giving up three runs, two of them earned, on seven hits and three walks while striking out two.
"We swung the bats better in the second game," said Schumann. "More importantly, we made the plays we needed to and didn't give them extra outs.
In the first game of the day, the Islanders struggled defensively, committing three errors that led to three SFA unearned runs.
In the first inning, TAMUCC gave up four runs, two of them unearned on four hits and an error. In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Islanders cut the lead in half with a pair of runs. Alejia Cain led the inning off with a single and moved to third on a Byars double to right center field. After Martin came on to pinch run for Cain at third, Hurdt lined a double to right, scoring Martin and Byars to make it 4-2.
The Islanders were unable to push any more runs across, as the Lady Jacks scored four more runs in the top of the sixth to finish the scoring at 8-2.
Hurdt led TAMUCC in game one with a pair of hits while Sanders, Cain and Byars each had one. Hurdt also had the only two RBI for the Islanders. Tallman pitched six innings, giving up eight runs, five of them earned, on 10 hits and three walks while striking out two batters. Hurdt came on in relief and pitched one inning, giving up no runs while allowing just one hit and one walk.
The Islanders and Lady Jacks will conclude the series on Sunday afternoon with a game start time of 1 PM.