The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team split a pair of Southland Conference games against Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday, winning the first by a 3-0 final before falling short by a 6-4 score in the second half of the twin bill.
The Islanders move to 21-30 on the season and 10-15 in SLC play. The Lady Lions are now 19-29 overall and 11-15 in SLC games. The loss eliminates the Islanders from contention for the final spot in the SLC softball tournament.
In the first game, the Islanders got on the board in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Larissa Martin reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second when Stephanie Estrada reached on an error by the second baseman. Following an Alaina Byars walk to load the bases, the Lady Lions got Margo Hurdt to hit into a fielder's choice and threw Martin out at home to keep the game scoreless. The run finally came across when the SELA pitcher threw a wild pitch, allowing Estrada to come home from third, making it 1-0 TAMUCC.
The Islanders added another run in the bottom of the third when Estrada led off the inning with a single and advanced to second when Byars reached on an error by the first baseman. After Alejia Cain came on to run for Byars, Andrea Simancas put down a sacrifice bunt to move Cain and Estrada over to second and third. Kim Connelly then hit a ball to the shortstop, who committed an error to allow Estrada to score from third to add to the Islander lead at 2-0.
The final run came in the bottom of the fourth when TAMUCC was able to add another single run to their total to make it 3-0 Islanders. Cassie Redman led off the inning with a bunt single and advanced to second on a Lauren Sanders groundout and to third base on a Martin groundout. Estrada came through with an RBI-double to score Redman and finish the scoring at 3-0.
Offensively for the Islanders, Sanders, Estrada and Redman had two hits apiece with Estrada notching the only RBI of the game. Addie Tallman pitched well for the Islanders, giving up no runs on just four hits during the game with two walks and six strikeouts. She pitched the whole way for the Islanders, recording her 21st complete game of the year.
"We could have busted the first game open, we just didn't get hits when we needed to," said head coach Jake Schumann. "That carried over to the second game and we were unable to overcome it again."
In game two, the game was close with the Lady Lions holding a 1-0 lead from the first inning until the top of the fifth, when they scored five runs, including three unearned runs on an error by the Islanders to make it a 6-0 advantage. The Islanders would answer back with four runs in the bottom half of the inning. Connelly started off the inning by walking and advanced to second after Sandy Schumann singled to left centerfield. Redman loaded the bases when she reached on an error by the Lady Lions shortstop. Sanders singled through the left side to bring home Connelly for the first run of the inning, followed by a Martin single to plate Schumann for another Islander run. Estrada singled, closing the gap to 6-3 when she added a third-straight single to score Redman. Byars singled on a 3-2 count to drive in Sanders for the final run of the inning for the Islanders.
"Addie had one bad inning, she walked some people and we didn't make some plays we should have," said Schumann. "The difference in the game was one sequence when we threw the ball away and allowed three unearned runs to score."
TAMUCC was unable to get any more runs and finished the game at a final of 6-4 to split the doubleheader. Offensively for the Islanders, Sanders, Martin, Estrada, Byars, Simancas, Connelly, Schumann and Redman had one hit apiece. Sanders, Martin, Estrada and Byars each had one RBI as well. Tallman went the distance once again, picking up her 22nd complete game after going seven innings, giving up six runs, three of them earned, on seven hits and four walks.
"That was the difference in the game, Southeastern La. did a great job of getting timely hitting and getting on base," said Schumann. "They never hit it really hard but they had seven hits and scored some runs."
The Islanders will not look to win the series with the game on Sunday against the Lady Lions. Game time is set for 12:00 PM and the Islanders will host their annual senior day ceremony before the game. TAMUCC will be honoring seniors Stephanie Estrada, Andrea Simancas, Larissa Martin and Kim Connelly for their contributions to the Islander program in their time at the university.
"We still have an opportunity to win the series," said Schumann. "We have won four of our last five series, that says a lot about how well we have played the last six weeks."\
"We have a chance to finish on a good note and build for next year with all the young players returning."