CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team had to rally early and played with a lead in a pair of games against the Houston Baptist Huskies at Chapman Field. The home team won game one 4-2 while shutting out the Huskies 4-0 in the second half of the twin bill.
The Islanders improved to 18-5 with the wins while HBU falls to 9-8 on the season. Jordan Trujillo picked up the complete game victory to move to 9-2 on the year while Vianca Pesina started the second game, pitching five innings to move to 6-1 on the season.
"I think the hardest part of the year is to be focused when you aren't playing conference games when you have already started conference play," said head coach Jake Schumann. "To come out and put a decent day together is just a bonus.
"That's what you take with you from the day."
In game one of the day, Trujillo made an early mistake, giving up a two-run home run in the top of the first inning to give HBU a 2-0 advantage. It would be the only runs she allowed as she gave up two runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in seven innings.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the third inning, with Texas A&M - Corpus Christi plating one run on a Hannah Schwarz single that scored pinch runner Sandy Schumann from third. The Islanders had the bases loaded but were only able to push one across to cut the lead in half.
It was not until the bottom of the fifth inning that they were able to take the lead, scoring three runs on five hits and one error to take a 4-2 advantage. Schwarz started it off by singling on the infield and was followed by a Cassie Redman single through the left side as Schwarz moved to second. Caley Jeter then singled to left field over the glove of the shortstop, causing Schwarz to hesitate as she advanced to third but was thrown out at home by the left fielder. Kacie Smith then singled to load the bases again ahead of a Lauren Dodson single to left that brought home Redman and Jeter as well as allowed Smith to score when the left fielder committed an error on the throw home to make it a 4-2 lead. Trujillo allowed just one hit over the final two innings to close out the game.
Schwarz was the leading batter, going 2-for-4 in the game with one RBI while Dodson was 1-for-3 with two RBI. Stephanie Vead was the only other Islanders player with two hits as Redman, Jeter, Smith, Dodson, Laura Phillips and Jamise Jackson each had one.
In game two, Pesina dominated from the start, allowing just two hits in five innings of work while walking one and striking out four. Greta Cecchetti came on in relief and pitched two innings, giving up no runs while walking two and striking out two.
"We expect the pitchers to come in and do their job when they get in there," said Schumann. "Vianca was rolling but we wanted to get Greta a couple of innings, she had not pitched in a week so we wanted to get her some action to see how she does.
"We have to get Constance (Brandenburg) into the game at some point this weekend. When they come in we expect them to do their job and they all did a good job today."
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi did most of the damage in the third inning, scoring three runs on four hits to take a 3-0 lead. Schwarz started the action by hitting a bunt single and advancing to second on a stolen base. Redman followed with a single to the pitcher and advanced to second as the pitcher was not paying attention and did not make a throw over to second. Jeter followed with a single to bring home both runners. After Smith was called out on a batter's interference, Dodson knocked a double to the left center field wall that allowed Jeter to score all the way from first.
The only other run of the game came in the fifth, when Schwarz led off with a triple and came home to score on a Smith single up the middle to make it a 4-0 lead.
Schwarz was a perfect 3-for-3 in game two while Redman, Jeter, Smith, Dodson and Meagan McKinney each had one hit. Jeter notched two RBI with Smith and Dodson having one apiece.
Next up for the Islanders is a weekend series against Southland Conference opponent Central Arkansas on the road.