Islanders offense powers sweep of UTSA in Southland Conference series
CORPUS CHRSTI, Texas - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team saw both its offense and the UTSA Roadrunners offense come alive on Wednesday, but the home team prevailed by outscoring the Roadrunners by a 9-6 final for the series sweep. It is the first-ever series-sweep of the Roadrunners since the Islanders joined the Southland Conference in 2006.
The team improves to 13-5 overall and are now 3-0 in Southland games for the first time since joining the league. UTSA falls to 2-12 on the season and 0-3 in league play.
Jordan Trujillo picked the win to improve to 7-2 on the season. She did it in an unconventional way, as she pitched the first four innings before giving way to Constance Brandenburg. When Brandenburg struggled, Trujillo came back in with two outs in the fifth to finish the game. In all, she pitched 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on three hits while walking three and striking out nine batters.
Brittany Tucker exploded for three hits and five RBI while Laura Phillips added two hits and three RBI as the duo powered the Islanders offense.
UTSA, who had an 18-inning scoreless streak against Texas A&M - Corpus Christi dating back to last year, broke that streak in the first inning with a single run to take a 1-0 lead. The Islanders quickly answered back though, scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning and grabbing a lead they would not relinquish.
Caley Jeter started the rally with two outs in the inning by lining a single through the middle of the infield. Kacie Smith followed with another single to put runners at first and second before Lauren Dodson hit a third-straight single to score Jeter and knot the game at 1-1. Tucker singled to load the bases before Phillips had the fifth consecutive single in the inning, scoring Smith and Dodson to make it a 3-1 advantage.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi scored another pair of runs in the third as Hannah Schwarz singled and advanced to second when Smith walked. Dodson moved the runners to second and third on a sacrifice bunt and Tucker followed with a double down the left field line to score both runners and make it 5-1 in favor of the home team.
The Roadrunners scored two runs on a home run in the top of the fourth to cut the lead back to two runs at 5-3. The Islanders answered back with four runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 9-3 lead. Schwarz singled before two strikeouts put the Islanders down to their last out of the inning. Just like in the first inning, they did all of the damage with two outs as Smith singled and Dodson walked to load the bases for Tucker. The catcher for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi shot another double, this time to left center field, scoring all three runners. They were not done as Phillips doubled to left, scoring Tucker and extending the lead to 9-3 after four innings.
The six-run advantage allowed Trujillo to give way to Brandenburg beginning in the top of the fifth, but she was unable to make it out of the inning, as Trujillo came back in with the score 9-6 and two outs in the inning. She was able to get the final out and shut down the UTSA offense the rest of the way to secure the win for the Islanders.
In addition to Tucker and Phillips multi-hit games, Schwarz, Jeter, Smith and Lauren Sanders had two hits apiece in the game. Dodson had one hit to complete the 14-hit attack for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi. Dodson also had the only other RBI for her team.
Next up for the Islanders is a weekend Southland Conference series against Southeastern Louisiana at Chapman Field. The two teams will play twice on Saturday and once on Sunday.