The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team will travel to Arizona for its biggest challenge of the young season when they take part in the Hillebrand Invitational, hosted by the No. 2 Arizona Wildcats in Tucson. The team will play two games against Arizona and one each against Drake, Pacific and Kennesaw State.
The Islanders are 4-1 on the season after winning the Best Western Marina Grand Invitational, picking up a pair of victories over both Loyola Chicago and UT Arlington. Jordan Trujillo and Vianca Pesina each recorded two wins while Constance Brandenburg had two saves and Great Cecchetti had one.
Lauren Dodson and Brittany Tucker led the team with six RBI apiece while Kacie Smith was close behind with five on the weekend, including a grand slam in the first game of the season. Tucker had a double and a home run to go along with six walks while Dodson had three doubles and two free passes in the five-game tournament.
Arizona won 5-of-6 games at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. last weekend and moved down one spot to No. 2 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball national rankings. They are also ranked No. 4 in the nation by the USA Today/NFCA poll. It looks to be the toughest challenge of the year for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, as the Wildcats have made 21-straight Women's College World Series' and have won eight national titles since 1991.
The rest of the teams the Islanders face will be no easy task though, as the other three teams come into the tournament with unbeaten records after the first week of play.
Drake is 4-0 after sweeping the Ramada UNI-Dome Classic with wins over South Dakota, North Dakota, Green Bay and UTEP.
Kennesaw State is also 4-0 on the year, with a two wins each against Central Arkansas and Southern Mississippi in the Southern Miss Mizuno Classic.
Pacific is 2-0 on the season after starting the 2011 campaign with a two-game sweep against Saint Mary's on the road.
The first game of the tournament for the Islanders will be against Drake on Friday evening at 5 p.m., with a nightcap at 7 p.m. against the host Wildcats. On Saturday, they play Pacific at 11 a.m. and do not play again until 7 p.m. against Kennesaw State. In the only game on Sunday for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, they will once again play the host team Arizona Wildcats in a 12 p.m. contest.