The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team picked up a 4-0 shutout win over the Northwestern State Lady Demons in the first game of the day and added a dramatic 4-3 comeback win in the second game to sweep the opening day of the series at Chapman Field. The two teams will play a single game on Sunday morning beginning at 11 AM to conclude the series.
The Islanders improve to 22-11 on the season and 8-6 in Southland Conference games. The Lady Demons fall to 13-17 on the year with a 3-8 Southland record.
"Our pitching staff held us in there today, the first game we just took care of business offensively and defensively and our pitchers didn't give up anything," said head coach Jake Schumann. "The second game was a little different, they had chances to score.
"We had chances to score but we weren't putting the runs across until the end there."
Hannah Schwarz went a perfect 4-for-4 with four singles in the early game and was 3-for-4 in the second game to raise her average to .427 on the year. Cassie Redman added two hits in the first game and went 4-for-5 with two RBI, including the game winner, in the second contest to raise her batting average to a team-high .432 this year.
"It's kind of cliché but you have to take one pitch at a time," said Schumann. "I like the way they did their jobs, nothing spectacular, nothing flashy except for Hannah's 4-for-4.
"Elena pitched great; anytime we have her pitch like that we're going to have a chance to win."
Elena Crabtree picked up her league-leading 12th and 13th wins of the year to improve to 13-5 on the season. She pitched seven innings while giving up just four hits and no runs as she walked one and struck out four batters in the first game and came on in relief during the second game to pitch three innings, giving up no runs and just two hits while striking out two and walking none.
In the first game, TAMUCC got on the board early, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning when Schwarz and Caley Jeter scored on a Brittany Tucker single that fell between the first and second basemen to take an early 2-0 advantage.
The Islanders added a single run in the third when Redman and Schwarz had back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. On a fly out by Margo Hurdt, the Lady Demons left fielder made a throwing error that allowed Redman to score to make it 3-0.
The final run of the game came in the sixth when Schwarz laid down a bunt single that scored Lauren Sanders and made it 4-0 Islanders.
The Islanders had 10 hits in the game with Schwarz leading the way with four while Redman added two and Jeter, Tucker, Meagan McKinney and Sanders added one apiece.
In game two, NWLA broke their scoring drought with a run in the top of the first off of starter Addie Tallman. The Islanders answered back with a run when Redman reached on a single, stole second base and advanced to third on a Schwarz single before being brought home by a Hurdt single through the right side of the infield.
TAMUCC took its first lead of the game in the fifth inning when Schwarz reached on a single, advanced to second on a ground out and scored on another Hurdt RBI single.
The Lady Demons answered put up two runs in the top of the sixth to take their first lead of the day but the Islanders answered back with a single run in the bottom half to knot the score at 3-3. McKinney reached on a hit-by-pitch and advanced to second on a ground out. That brought up Redman who hit a double off of the shortstop to bring McKinney around to score and even the game.
The two teams played a scoreless seventh and TAMUCC held NWLA without a run in the top of the eighth to setup the winning hit. Kacie Smith singled to lead off the inning and was pinch run for by Alejia Cain. A pair of groundouts by McKinney and Sanders moved Cain from first to third and brought Redman to the plate. Down to the final strike of the inning, Redman hit a 1-2 pitch through the middle of the infield to plate Cain and give the Islanders a 4-3 walk-off victory.
"There was not a doubt in my mind with Cassie and Hannah coming up," said Schumann. "The top of our order has been great this year and I knew we were going to put pressure on them to score and Cassie got that hit."
Game time for Sunday's game is 11 AM at Chapman Field. Live stats and video will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.