Honolulu, Hawai'i - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball teams season got off to a rocky start on Thursday night, losing to No. 10 Stanford by a 10-2 final in five innings. It was the Islanders first game in Hawaii's Paradise Classic with games against McNeese State and host Hawai'i on tap Friday.
It was the first game of the season for both teams as TAMUCC opens 0-1 on the season while Stanford begins 1-0 this year. Addie Tallman was tagged with the loss, surrendering eight runs, six of them earned, on 10 hits in just two innings against one of the top teams in the country.
Stanford looks to be a strong team once again this year after advancing to the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament last season. The Cardinal were led by Alissa Haber, a three-time All-American outfielder that has led her team in nearly every offensive category the last three years.
In the first inning, the Islanders Hannah Schwarz led off the game with a bunt single and advanced to second on a stolen base. Schwarz was unable to make it around the bases however as the next three Islanders went down in order. In the bottom half of the inning, the Cardinal exploded for four runs on four hits and three errors as early game jitters got the best of the Islanders.
Stanford followed up the first with two runs in both the second and third innings to take an 8-0 lead after three innings. Tallman was knocked out of the game after 2.1 innings and was replaced by Elena Crabtree in her first action as an Islander.
TAMUCC broke through in the top of the fourth inning, scoring a pair of runs to cut the lead to 8-2 and get on the scoreboard for the first time of the season. After Margo Hurdt drew a walk to start off the inning, Kyrie Panter came on to pinch-run and advanced to second on a passed ball. Brittany Tucker then drew another walk with Alejia Cain coming in to pinch-run for her. Panter advanced to third and Cain was thrown out at second when Kacie Smith reached base on a fielder's choice.
After Smith advanced to second on a wild pitch, Lauren Dodson came through with an RBI fielder's choice to get the Islanders on the board, scoring Panter from third. Megan McKinney was responsible for the second run, knocking an RBI single into center field to cut the deficit to 6-2 while scoring Smith.
It was as close as they would get as Stanford scored two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to go up 10-2 and end the game early due to the mercy rule.
Tallman went 2.0 innings, giving up six earned runs on 10 hits while striking out one Cardinal player. Crabtree went 2.1 innings, giving up two runs on four hits while walking one. Crabtree gave up clinching runs on a two-run home run by Jenna Rich in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Islanders must quickly put this game behind them as they prepare to face conference rival McNeese State in their first game on Friday at 5 PM followed by their second game of the day at 9 PM when they take on Hawai'i.