ISLANDERS FALL TO LONGHORNS IN PAIR OF HEARTBREAKERS
Austin - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team lost a pair of one-run games against the #22 Texas Longhorns on Thursday afternoon, falling by a 6-5 score in game one and dropping a 4-3 decision in eight innings in the nightcap.
The Islanders fall to 14-27 on the season while the Longhorns improve to 29-11 on the year. Addie Tallman started game one for Islanders, going the whole way in the circle to take the loss and fall to 11-11 on the season. Margo Hurdt started game two for the Islanders, going the farthest she has all year as she threw every pitch for the Islanders while falling to 0-2 with the loss.
"We're playing good enough to be really good right now," said head coach Jake Schumann. "We just don't have the killer instinct we need right now.
"Physically we have the ability; we just aren't there mentally where we need to be to win most of these close games."
In the first game, the Islanders quickly jumped out in front, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning to take a quick 4-0 lead. Cassie Redman led the inning off with a walk and was followed by Larissa Martin grounding to third base, as the fielder threw to second to try to get the lead runner, the ball sailed past the player and went into centerfield, allowing Redman to reach third base while Martin reached on the fielder's choice and advanced to second on the error.
Stephanie Estrada followed with a single through the left side to plate Redman and put the Islanders on the board first at 1-0. Alaina Byars came to plate and hit the first pitch she saw to right centerfield to plate Martin and advanced Estrada to third, making it 2-0 Islanders. Hurdt came up and reached on a fielder's choice as Estrada scored and Byars was thrown out at second base for the first out. After Kim Connelly reached on a fielder's choice while Hurdt was put out at second base, Andrea Simancas came to plate and drove a 1-0 pitch to left field, allowing Connelly to advance to third. Sandy Schumann pushed across the final run of the inning when she singled to the shortstop to bring in Connelly, making it 4-0.
The Longhorns answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning to make it 4-2. Desiree Williams reached on a single to lead off the inning and Amy Hooks reached after getting hit with a pitch to put runners on first and second. Nadia Taylor followed with a double to right centerfield allowing both runners to score. The Longhorns added another run in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI-single by Courtney Craig to make it 4-3 Islanders.
The Islanders added a single run in the top of the fifth inning when Estrada lifted a 3-2 pitch over the fence in left field to put the Islanders ahead by two runs at 5-3.
The Longhorns answered back in the bottom half of the fifth inning with a pair of runs to knot the score at 5-5. The game remained tied until the bottom of the seventh inning, when Brittany Barnhill hit a 1-0 pitch over the left centerfield wall to give the Longhorns the victory at 6-5.
Leading the Islanders offensively in the first game were Martin, Estrada and Simancas, with each collecting a pair of hits. Byars and Schumann added one hit apiece for TAMUCC. Estrada led the Islanders with two RBI in the game while Byars, Hurdt and Schumann added one each. Tallman went the distance for the Islanders, pitching into the seventh inning, giving up six runs, five of them earned, on 14 hits and one walk while striking out two Longhorn batters.
In game two, the Islanders fell behind after the first inning, allowing a single run in the bottom half to go down 1-0. TAMUCC would answer back in the top half of the third inning with a single run to tie the game at 1-1. Simancas led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Schumann. Redman then reached on a throwing error by the second baseman, allowing Simancas to score all the way from second base before Redman was thrown out trying to advance to second base to end the inning.
TAMUCC took its first lead of the game in the top of the fifth inning at 2-1. Connelly led off the inning by reaching on an error by the third baseman, followed by a Simancas single through the left side to put runners on first and second. Schumann put down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Moore came to the plate and hit into a fielder's choice, reaching base as the Longhorns were able to throw Connelly out at the plate to keep the game tied while Simancas moved over to third. Redman came to the plate and hit the ball to the third baseman, forcing her into a second error on the inning that allowed Simancas to cross the plate to put the Islanders up 2-1.
After Texas answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the score at 2-2, the Islanders came back with one of their own in the top half of the seventh to reclaim the lead at 3-2. Simancas led off the inning with a single to second base but was cut down at second when Schumann followed by hitting into a fielder's choice. Redman advanced Schumann over to second by singling to the shortstop. Martin followed with a single to left field, bringing in Schumann from second base to break the tie.
The Longhorns came back with a single run of their own in the bottom half of the inning to knot the score at 3-3. The Islanders were unable to bring the runner home from second base in the eighth inning, advance Estrada to third after she was placed on second to begin the inning. In the bottom half of the eighth inning, the Longhorns were able to bring in a run on a single to centerfield with one out and a runner on third base to put the final at 4-3.
"We come into these games and we are play well," said head coach Jake Schumann. "We know it will be a close game, when we have the lead we just have to do whatever we can to get those final three outs."
Offensively for the Islanders, Simancas was the only player with more than one hit as she went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Redman, Martin, Estrada and Byars added one hit apiece as the Islanders collected six hits total in the game. Martin had the only RBI for TAMUCC in game two. Hurdt went the distance for the Islanders, pitching 7.1 innings, giving up four runs, just two of them earned, on 12 hits and five walks while striking out three Longhorn batters.
The Islanders now return home to face off against the McNeese State Cowgirls in a Southland Conference series at Chapman Field on Saturday and Sunday. First pitch for game one on Saturday is set for 1:00 PM and first pitch for the single game on Sunday is also set for 1:00 PM.