March 1, 2011

Islanders shutout UTSA in extra innings to take Southland twin bill

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team used another great pitching effort from Vianca Pesina to shutout UTSA for a second time on Tuesday, taking a 1-0 victory in eight innings for a doubleheader sweep of the Roadrunners on the first day of Southland Conference play. Earlier in the day, the home team shutout UTSA by a 2-0 final behind a complete game from Jordan Trujillo.

The Islanders are now 12-5 overall and 2-0 in league play with the wins. UTSA falls to 2-11 on the year and 0-2 in conference games.

Pesina pitched all eight innings, giving up no runs and just four hits while walking two and striking out five batters. She improves to 4-1 on the season with the win.

Offensively, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi managed just four hits as well, two apiece by Hannah Schwarz and Lauren Dodson, but they were able to produce a single run in the bottom of the eighth to win the game.

"We've been pitching well," said head coach Jake Schumann. "It just goes to show that you can struggle at the plate in a game and still pitch well and win, but you have to pitch well to be able to get a win.

"Hats off to coach (Lisa) Norris so far this season, our pitchers have been listening to her and doing what she is asking of them. The pitchers kept us in the ball game today."

The home team threatened in the bottom of the seventh as Dodson started the inning off with a single through the middle of the infield. Brittany Tucker then sacrificed Dodson to second and pinch hitter Laura Phillips moved her to third on a groundout, but the Islanders were unable to bring the run home as the game went to extra innings.

In the eighth inning, Jamise Jackson reached on an error by the UTSA second baseman and moved to second when Schwarz singled to the pitcher. Cassie Redman moved the runners to second and third on a sacrifice bunt with Caley Jeter coming to the plate. Jeter reached base on an error by the first baseman while driving in Jackson to give the Islanders a 1-0 win and sweep of the opening day of the Southland Conference series. Jeter's RBI was the only one of the game for either team.

"We were able to put ball in play and got lucky with a couple of bounces," said Schumann. "A win is a win.

"We will take them any way we can get them."

The doubleheader sweep gives the Islanders a 2-0 start to Southland Conference play with the final game against UTSA set for 12 p.m. on Wednesday. It is a dramatic change from the past two years when the team has lost 5-of-6 games against the Roadrunners.

"It always seems like we have the three toughest teams to start season," said Schumann. "Two years ago we were 0-9 to start league play.

"To start 2-0 is positive, but we have to keep working hard. "We have been stressing the players to take it pitch-to-pitch and game-to-game so they stay focused."

A win on Wednesday would give Texas A&M - Corpus Christi its first-ever sweep of the Roadrunners since joining the Southland Conference.

"Tomorrow is a new day," said Schumann. "Hopefully we can swing the bats a little better and pitch equally as well.

"We know anything can happen so we have to be focused and prepared."

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