The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team got off to a fast start and beat the Centenary Ladies by an 11-1 score in the first game of the day and won by a 6-5 score over the Boston College Eagles in the second game of the Islander Invitational presented by Holiday Inn Emerald Beach.
The Islanders improved to 4-3 on the season after the pair of wins. Centenary falls to 0-2 while Boston College dropped their opener to go to 0-1 this year. Elena Crabtree picked up the victory in the first game and the save in the second to improve to 3-0 on the year while Addie Tallman beat BC to move to 1-2 this season. The win was the first-ever for the Islanders over an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) school and makes them 1-3 all-time against the BCS conference.
The top hitters of the day were Hannah Schwarz and Kacie Smith. Schwarz did the bulk of the damage in the first game, going 3-for-4 with a single, double and triple to go along with her five RBI. Smith was 2-for-3 in each game with one RBI in the first and three RBI in the second game.
In game one, the Ladies opened the scoring with an unearned run on an error to take a 1-0 lead. The Islanders responded emphatically by scoring nine runs of their own in the bottom half of the opening frame. Schwarz started it off with a bunt single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Cassie Redman followed with a single to move Schwarz to third and a stolen base to put two runners into scoring position.
Caley Jeter put the first Islander run on the board with a single to center field to score Schwarz and advance Redman to third. After Jeter stole second, Alaina Byars doubled down the left field line to score both runners and make it a 3-1 lead. Smith followed with another double to score Byars but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
With a 4-1 lead and the bases empty, TAMUCC went back to work offensively, scoring five more runs on one more hit, the big one coming on a bases loaded triple by Schwarz to score three Islanders. Once the dust settled, it was a 9-1 lead after one inning.
TAMUCC tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on back-to-back singles by Smith and Margo Hurdt. Schwarz eventually brought them both home on a 2-RBI double to make it an 11-1 score. Crabtree once again shut down Centenary in the top of the fifth to end the game on the mercy rule and collect her third win.
Crabtree pitched all five innings, giving up one unearned run on just one hit while walking one and striking out five batters. Schwarz had three hits against the Ladies while Redman, Byars, Smith and Lauren Dodson each picked up two in the game. Schwarz had five RBI, Byars picked up two while Jeter and Smith each had one apiece.
In the second game, the Islanders and Eagles played a much tighter contest with the outcome in doubt until the final play of the game.
In the bottom of the first, TAMUCC opened up with a pair of runs to take an early lead. With two outs and the bases empty, Jeter started the rally with a single to center field. Freshman Meagan McKinney singled to the shortstop and advanced all the way to third base on an error by the first baseman that allowed Jeter to score. Smith followed the play up with a double to bring McKinney home and stake her team to a 2-0 lead.
The Eagles broke through in the top of the fourth, doing all their damage with two outs in the inning. Back-to-back doubles by Amy Tunstall and Brittany Wilkins scored the first run and a single by Blair Destito brought home Wilkins to make it a 2-2 ballgame.
The Islanders quickly responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead. Dodson walked and Kyrie Panter came on to pinch run, advancing to third on a Landry Moore double. Redman drove in the run with a single through the right side to give TAMUCC a 3-2 advantage.
The Islanders scored two in the fifth and each team scored a run in the sixth inning to make it before a dramatic seventh inning closed the game with the potential tying run being thrown out at home plate. Crabtree, who came on in the sixth inning, recorded the first out and then ran into trouble. A walk and a pair of singles loaded the bases before a Nicole D'Argento sacrifice fly made the score 6-4 with two runners in scoring position and two outs. Irene Delagrammaticas singled to bring home one run but Alison Kooistra was thrown out at home by McKinney while trying to score from second base to end the game.
Tallman picked up her first win while Crabtree picked up the first Islander save of the year. Tallman went 5.1 innings, giving up three runs, all earned, on seven hits. She walked none and struck out two Eagles batters. Smith did the most damage from the plate in the second game, going 2-for-3 with three RBI. Jeter picked up three hits while Redman recorded a pair.
Islander Invitational play resumes at 10 AM with Centenary and Boston College facing one another. The 12 PM game features Centenary and Southern (La.) while the Islanders play just once, a 2 PM contest against Southern (La.) in the final game of day two of the tournament. Live stats and webcasts will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com. Fans using Internet Explorer 8 will need to use compatibility mode on their browser to properly view the live stats.