Honolulu, Hawai'i - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team run-ruled the McNeese State Cowgirls in the late game after playing a close game against the No. 10 Stanford Cardinal on the final day of the Paradise Classic. The Islanders beat McNeese for the second time in as many days, winning 10-2 in five innings, while losing a 5-2 decision to the Cardinal in the second game the two teams have played against each other in the tournament.
"I'm pretty happy with the way we played today," said Schumann. "There are some little things we need to clean up but I'm happy with the way we progressed through the weekend."
Megan McKinney and Lauren Sanders were named to the Paradise Classic All-Tournament Team at the conclusion of the days games. McKinney finished the tournament hitting .333 with a double, two home runs and six RBI to lead the team. Sanders hit .500, going 5-for-10 and scoring two runs over the weekend.
The Islanders improve to 2-3 on the season while Stanford leaves the tournament at 4-1 and McNeese State departs with a 1-4 record.
The second game of the day saw the Islander offense break out of it shell, scoring 10 runs on 14 hits in just five innings to dominate Southland Conference rival McNeese by a 10-2 score in the two teams final game of the tournament.
"They played really relaxed, really good out there today," said head coach Jake Schumann. "We had 23 hits today, our hitters did a great job of knowing how the pitchers were going to attack them and did a great job of attacking the pitchers.
"Elena Crabtree did a good job of holding McNeese down."
In the first inning, Hannah Schwarz led off with a single and advanced all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt by Lauren Sanders that allowed Sanders to reach on an error and move to second base. McKinney brought Schwarz home on an RBI groundout to give the Islanders the early lead.
After McNeese tied the score at 1-1 in the bottom half of the inning, TAMUCC retook the lead in the third by a 3-1 score. Caley Jeter started the action with a double and came in to score when Kacie Smith reached on an error. Smith then stole second base ahead of a Brittany Tucker single to bring her home.
The Islanders scored another run in the top of the fourth before adding six more in the top of the fifth to end the game. Tucker opened the scoring in the fifth with a solo home run followed by a Margo Hurdt double. Lauren Dodson followed with a single to left field, advancing Hurdt to third. Cassie Redman hit an RBI ground out to score Hurdt.
Dodson advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a Schwarz single. Sanders singled and Jeter walked to load the bases. McKinney came up and hit a two-RBI double to center field to score Schwarz and Sanders. Smith followed with a single up the middle to score pinch-runner Sandy Schumann and make it the 10-6 final score. The Islanders held the Cowgirls scoreless in the bottom half of the fifth to put the mercy rule into effect.
Tucker finished 3-for-3 with two RBI while McKinney was 1-for-4 with three RBI. Schwarz went 3-for-4 and picked up an RBI as well. Redman, Smith and Jeter also added an RBI in the game. Crabtree went to distance for TAMUCC, pitching five innings and giving up two runs on six hits while walking three and striking out four. She improved to 2-0 on the season.
In the first game against Stanford, after falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, the Islanders responded back in the top of the third to cut the deficit to one run. Hurdt started the inning by reaching on an error. With one out, Cassie Redman singled to the shortstop and advanced to second while Hurdt moved up to third base. Hannah Schwarz followed with a single to left center field to put the Islanders on the board.
The Cardinal answered back with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to put the score at 5-1 heading into the fourth. McKinney led the top of the inning off with a home run, her second of the tournament, to make it 5-2 with three innings left. Neither team was able to add any offense with the two teams going scoreless the rest of the way
"We left nine on and had a lot of opportunities," said Schumann. "We left the bases loaded a couple of times but weren't able to put the ball in play.
"I'm really proud of the way Margo and Addie finished game and we showed today that we can play with anybody in the country."
Schwarz led the team offensively, going 3-for-4 with one RBI. McKinney also picked up another RBI while Lauren Sanders went 2-for-4 against Stanford.
With the season-opening tournament in Hawai'i finished, the Islanders return home for the next two weekends to host a pair of tournaments of their own. Next weekend features Centenary, Southern (La.) and Boston College in the Islander Invitational: Presented by Holiday Inn Emerald Beach.