The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team got a big boost to it's post-season hopes this weekend, as they took the final game of the Southland Conference series between the Islanders and the McNeese State Cowgirls by a 2-0 score. The win gives the Islanders a 2-1 series win over the Cowgirls, who came into the weekend in second place in the SLC standings.
The Islanders improve to 16-28 overall and 7-13 in SLC games while the Cowgirls fall to 20-21 on the season and 12-6 in SLC action. Addie Tallman got the win for the Islanders, throwing a complete game shutout of McNeese, giving up just two hits over seven innings while walking one and striking out two. Tallman improves to 13-12 on the season with the victory.
"It was a good series, the first and third games were really good, first game they broke through and got the hits and today it was us," said head coach Jake Schumann. "That middle game we just swung the bats unbelievably well."
Early on, neither team could get much going, with the first base runner of the game not coming until there were two outs in the top of the fourth inning. McNeese's Dani Price was hit by a Tallman pitch to reach base, and moved to second on a Molly Guidry single, one of just two McNeese hits on the day. Tallman quickly ended the threat by getting the next batter to hit into a fielder's choice while Guidry was forced out at second base for the final out.
In the bottom half of the fourth inning, the Islanders did their damage. Cassie Redman and Lauren Sanders led the inning off with back-to-back bunt singles to put runners on first and second. The runners advanced to second and third on a passed ball, followed by Alaina Byars hitting into a fielder's choice, as the shortstop for McNeese fielded the ball and tried to tag out Sanders, who safely retreated back to second. After missing the tag, the shortstop tried to throw home but it was too late, the Islanders had scored the first run on the game as Redman crossed the plate for a 1-0 lead. Byars was also safe at first on the play and was pinch-run for by Melissa Casey. With Sanders still at second and Casey at first, Larissa Martin stepped to the plate with two outs and hit a 1-2 pitch up the middle into centerfield, allowing Sanders to come around all the way from second to score the second run, putting the Islanders up 2-0.
The two runs is all the Islanders would need, as Tallman would make the lead hold up, as she worked out of a situation in the sixth. After giving up a leadoff triple to Liz Morvant of McNeese, Tallman worked her way out of the jam without giving up a run, getting a foul out and strikeout before hitting a McNeese batter with a pitch. With runners on the corners, Tallman induced an inning-ending flyout to centerfield with no damage done. In the seventh inning, Tallman walked the first batter but got the next three outs to complete the shutout. Her final line was seven innings pitched giving up two hits, no runs, one walk and two strikeouts.
"We're going to go as Addie goes, she has been pitching well the last three weeks, we just haven't been getting her enough help," said Schumann. "We picked it up this time.
"Addie is good, she's really good, her record doesn't show how good she has done for us this year, we just have to help her out a little bit more."
Offensively for the Islanders, Sanders was 2-for-3 with a run scored while Redman had a hit and a run scored as well. Martin was 1-for-2 with an RBI while Byars did not get a hit but did get the game-winning RBI.
The Islanders now move on to face UT Arlington in two weekends on April 18-19 in another SLC series. TAMUCC will take to the road, traveling to Arlington for a Saturday doubleheader with a start time of 2:00 PM and a single game on Sunday starting at 1:00 PM.
"We just have to keep getting wins now," said Schumann. "We'll see what happens over the next three weekends."