ISLANDER SOFTBALL SPLITS PAIR WITH MCNEESE STATE

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi played a pair of dramatically different games on Saturday, falling in game one of a doubleheader by a 2-0 score while coming back and winning game two 9-1 in five innings over McNeese State.

The split moves the Islanders record to 15-18 on the season and 6-13 in Southland Conference play while the Cowgirls are now 20-20 on the year and 12-5 in SLC action. Addie Tallman started both games for the Islanders, taking the loss in game one and picking up the complete game victory in game two to move her record to 12-12.

The player of the day was Margo Hurdt, as she had a massive three-run homer off the scoreboard in the second game to give the Islanders a 9-0 lead and went 2-for-3 with four RBI in the game.

"I've only see two balls come close to that scoreboard and even into the wind she still was able to hit it," said head coach Jake Schumann. "I would have been afraid for the scoreboard if the wind wasn't blowing."

After falling 2-0 in game one, the Islanders came out swinging in the second half of the twinbill. TAMUCC opened the game up in the bottom of the first inning with a pair of runs to take an early 2-0 advantage. The first three batters for the Islanders, Cassie Redman, Lauren Sanders and Stephanie Estrada walked to load the bases with no outs in the inning. Alaina Byars came to the plate and hit a 1-0 pitch over the head of the third baseman to plate the first run of the game, as Redman came in to score while Sanders and Estrada advanced to second and third to keep the bases loaded. Hurdt got her first RBI of the day when she singled through the right side to bring in Sanders for the second run of the game, while Estrada advanced to third but was thrown out at home plate trying to score from second base. Byars advanced to third while Hurdt moved up to second. The Islanders were unable to get anymore runs in the inning and came away with a 2-0 lead after one full inning.

After holding the Cowgirls scoreless in the top of the second inning, the Islanders broke the game open with a seven-run second inning. Alejia Cain and Melissa Casey led the inning off with back-to-back singles and Redman reached on an error by the right fielder to load the bases for the Islanders. Sanders brought the first run home with a single to centerfield to bring Cain home and make it 3-0 TAMUCC.

The Cowgirls changed pitchers but were not able to change the momentum, as the new pitcher walked Estrada to bring in Casey. Byars came to the plate and then hit a two-run single down the left field line to put the score at 6-0 Islanders. That is when Hurdt stepped to the plate and finished off the scoring for the Islanders with a towering blast off the scoreboard in left field. Hurdt worked the count full to 3-2 before taking the payoff pitch over the wall to give the Islanders a 9-0 lead after two innings.

"Margo has been swinging the bat really well," said Schumann. "She has been locked in over the last week."

The Islanders held the Cowgirls scoreless until the final inning as McNeese was able to push across one run on two hits in the top of the fifth but were unable to get anymore, with the game being called after five due to the run-rule that is in effect for SLC games.

Offensively, Hurdt was 2-for-3 with four RBI while Byars was 3-for-3 with two RBI to lead the Islanders. Redman, Sanders, Landry Moore, Sandy Schumann, Cain and Casey each had one hit for TAMUCC. Sanders and Estrada had one RBI apiece for the Islanders. Tallman pitched all five innings, giving up just one unearned run on seven hits while walking two and striking out one.

In game one, the Islanders struggled offensively, as they were only able to get a pair of hits from Estrada while the Cowgirls got two runs in the top of the sixth inning, the only two runs in the game, to take a 2-0 victory. Tallman pitched 4.1 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and six walks. Hurdt pitched in relief, totaling 2.2 innings pitched while giving up just one hit and striking out two batters.

"We chased a lot of balls out of the strike zone in first game," said Schumann. "We were able to take more pitches and make better decisions at the plate in the second game."

The two teams play the final game of the series at Chapman Field on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1:00 PM.