The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team started the day off with an 11-5 win over North Dakota and finished it up with a dramatic, come from behind 7-6 win over Louisiana-Monroe on the second day of the Holiday Inn Emerald Beach Invitational. The Islanders had to overcome a deficit in both games to extend their winning streak to nine games, dating back to the final game of the Paradise Classic in Hawaii.
"This is why you set the schedule with teams that can beat you and right before conference play," said head coach Jake Schumann. "They are like every team we are going to play in the Southland.
"Any games we get to play this close right before conference is a bonus."
The Islanders improved to 10-3 on the season with the pair of wins. Addie Tallman pitched the first game, going seven innings, giving up five runs, four of them earned, on 11 hits and two walks while striking out four batters to improve to 4-2 on the season. Elena Crabtree pitched the second game, improving to 6-0 on the season after throwing seven innings, giving up six runs, five earned, on seven hits. She walked five while striking out four batters.
Against ULM, the Islanders opened the scoring with four runs in the bottom of the third inning. Lauren Dodson and Cassie Redman hit back-to-back singles and advanced on a wild pitch to put runners on second and third with two outs. Caley Jeter stepped to the plate and hit an RBI-single to left field that drove in Dodson and allowed Redman to score on an error by the left fielder. Jeter then stole second and Meagan McKinney was hit by a pitch to put another pair of runners on. After a Kacie Smith walk loaded the bases, Brittany Tucker singled to right field to bring home two more runs and make it 4-0 in favor of the Islanders.
The Warhawks answered back in the top of the fifth inning where they eventually took the lead on a three-run home run that made it a 5-4 score. The Islanders answered back in the bottom half of the inning with a single run when McKinney reached on a throwing error and was eventually driven in by Tucker for her third RBI of the game.
With the score tied at 5-5, the Warhawks picked up a run in the top of the seventh to hold the lead heading into the final half-inning. The Islanders led off their half of the inning with McKinney reaching on an error once again. Smith came up with a game-tying double to left center to knot the game at 6-6 with no outs in the inning. The next two batters were retired to put TAMUCC down to their final out of the inning but the suspense was soon lifted when Dodson singled to right center field to score Smith and end the game.
Redman hit safely in both games to extend her hitting streak to nine games while the Islanders extended their winning streak to nine as well.
In the first game, Smith did the most damage offensively, hitting a three-run home run off the top of the left field fence to give the Islanders some breathing room in the bottom of the sixth inning. She finished 1-for-1 with three RBI.
Tallman struggled early but battled the entire game after giving up four runs in the opening inning. She gave up just one more the rest of the way as the Islander bats picked up three runs in the second inning, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and five in the sixth inning.
Hannah Schwarz finished 3-for-3 with three RBI, Jeter was 1-for-3 with two RBI and Sandy Schumann went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Landry Moore also picked up an RBI in the game.
Tucker finished the day with three RBI and three walks while throwing out four runners in the two games to end scoring threats.
"Tucker is a huge weapon, that is why she is player of the year in junior college last year," said Schumann. "She played big today and was a big part of our wins today."
The Islanders play a single game against North Dakota at 2 PM on Saturday and a game against UL Monroe at 12 PM on Sunday. Action at the invitational starts back up at 10 AM tomorrow with Houston Baptist taking on UND and is followed by a 12 PM game between HBU and ULM.
Live stats and video will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.