Lake Charles, La. - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team split a pair of games against McNeese State here on Saturday afternoon, losing game one 5-4 and coming back for an 11-2 victory in the second of the day.
In the first game, it was tied at 4-4 from the third inning until the bottom of the seventh when the Cowgirls hit a one-out walk-off home run to win a 5-4 game that saw the Islanders allow four unearned runs. The Islanders atoned for the miscues in the second game, scoring 11 runs on 14 hits to take an 11-2 win to split the Saturday games.
"We're not quitters, we're always going to go out and work hard," said Schumann. "If something bad happens like a walk-off home run we're always going to keep battling."
The Islanders are now 28-18 overall and 10-13 on the season in the Southland Conference. McNeese State improved to 24-22 on the year and 10-10 in the Southland. Elena Crabtree went the distance and took the loss, going to 14-10 on the year in game one. Addie Tallman pitched a complete game in the second to improve to 10-6, allowing just six hits and two runs, only one of them earned, while walking two and striking out one.
In the second game, the Islanders struck first when Margo Hurdt doubled to center field to score Caley Jeter from first base and take a 1-0 lead. The Cowgirls responded with an unearned run in the bottom half of the inning to knot it at 1-1.
In the top of the fifth, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi exploded for five runs on just two hits and one Cowgirl error. Cassie Redman started the rally with a single and advanced to second on Hannah Schwarz's infield single. Jeter walked to load the bases ahead of Hurdt, who took a pitch off the elbow to bring home Redman and make it 2-1 Islanders. Brittany Tucker then walked to force in another run and make it 3-1. Lauren Dodson reached on an RBI fielder's choice to score Jeter while Hurdt was thrown out at third. Kyrie Panter pinch ran for Tucker and the runners advanced to second and third on a passed ball. The final two runs came when Meagan McKinney reached base on an error by the shortstop to make it 6-1 for the Islanders.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi added a single run in the fourth when Alejia Cain led off the inning with a double and came home to score on an Alaina Byars ground out while she was pinch hitting.
McNeese State scored a single run in the fifth to cut the deficit to 7-2 before the Islanders put the game away in the top of the seventh. Tucker led off the inning with a single to left field and McKinney followed with a home run over the scoreboard to make it 9-2 in favor of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Cain followed the homer with a single and stole second base and moved to third on a Redman single. After Redman stole second, Schwarz singled and advanced on an error to score both runners and make it 11-2. Tallman got the final three outs on four pitches in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win for the Islanders.
Schwarz and Cain each had three hits for the team while Hurdt and McKinney each had two RBI. Schwarz, Byars, Tucker and Dodson each had one RBI. Redman and McKinney also notched two hits for the Islanders.
"We did a good job adjusting to their last three pitchers," said Schumann. "I'm happy about it.
"Tomorrow is the rubber match, we'll have to come out and do it again."
In game one, the Islanders took a 2-0 lead in the first when Redman reached base and moved to second on a Schwarz sacrifice bunt. Hurdt hit a two-run home run that hit the top of the scoreboard in left field to put the Islanders on the board.
The Cowgirls scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first to cut the lead to 2-1. Dodson put the Islanders up by two once again when she led off the second inning with a solo home run to center field to make it 3-1 in favor of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
McNeese State took the lead in the bottom of the second with three unearned runs following an error on a popup that allowed Whitney Corbello to reach base. They eventually took a 4-3 lead before the Islanders got out of the inning.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi tied it up in the top of the third when Redman started the inning with a single and stole second base. She advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Schwarz and scored on an RBI single to center field by Jeter to make it 4-4.
The score would remain the same until the bottom of the seventh when the Cowgirls shortstop Molly Guidry hit a pitch over the scoreboard to give McNeese State the 5-4 win.
The final game of the series will be played at Cowgirl Diamond with a 12 PM start. Fans can follow the action through live stats and audio on www.GoIslanders.com.