Islanders split games on first day of Hillenbrand Invitational
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi added a win and a loss on the first day of the Hillenbrand Invitational after a 2-0 win against Drake in the early game and a 15-0 loss in five innings to the No. 2-ranked Arizona Wildcats in the nightcap.
The Islanders are now 5-2 on the year after the first day of the tournament. Jordan Trujillo improved to 3-0 on the season with her win against Drake while Vianca Pesina fell to 2-1 after the loss to No. 2 Arizona.
In the first game, the Islanders and Bulldogs were locked into a pitching duel between Trujillo and Brynne Dordel. Trujillo gave up just two hits, one each in the first and fourth innings, while shutting down the Drake offense. Dordel was nearly as effective, giving up just three hits in the first five innings. It was the sixth inning that put Texas A&M - Corpus Christi and gave them all the runs they would need as Kacie Smith singled with one out in the inning.
Brittany Tucker stepped to the plate with two outs in the frame and hit a 2-1 pitch over the centerfield wall for the only two runs of the contest. The Bulldogs were able to get two runners on through walks in the bottom of the seventh, but Trujillo was able to get the final batter to strike out swinging to give the Islanders the victory.
Smith was 2-for-2 in the game while Hannah Schwarz and Lauren Sanders had one hit apiece. Tucker had one hit and the only two RBI in the game.
Game two saw Texas A&M - Corpus Christi fall behind early, giving up six runs on five hits and two walks in the bottom of the first inning to the No. 2 Wildcats. Constance Brandenburg came on with two outs in the inning and gave up a hit while a run scored on an illegal pitch to make it 6-0 after the first.
A grand slam by Stacie Chambers followed by a solo home run from Arizona in the bottom of the third inning moved the score to 11-0 in favor of the home team and chased Brandenburg from the game. Greta Cecchetti came in and got the final two outs of the inning without any more damage.
The Islanders threatened to score in the top of the fourth on a Lauren Dodson single, but Caley Jeter was thrown out at the plate by the Wildcats centerfielder.
Another grand slam by Chambers off of Cecchetti in the bottom of the fourth inning finished the scoring at 15-0 in the game. Chambers is the active national leader in career home runs at 70 and is 21 home runs away from setting the new national record.
Cassie Redman, Jeter, Dodson and Lauren Sanders each had one hit for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi as they were never able to string together a rally.
The Islanders will be back in action on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. in a matchup against Pacific. They will have a long layoff during the day before facing Kennesaw State in the final game of the night at 7 p.m. at Hillebrand Stadium.
Live stats will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.