April 2, 2011

Islanders split doubleheader against Northwestern State

NATCHITOCHES, La. - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team picked up its 30th win of the season in game one with a 12-4 victory, but they were unable to sweep the doubleheader as they lost a 4-2 final in game two. The final game of the series is on Sunday with a 12 p.m. start time.

The Islanders are now 30-10 overall and 14-3 in the Southland Conference. Northwestern State improves to 20-15 this season with a 6-8 league record. The 30-10 start is the second best in school history for Texas A&M - Corpus Christi.

Constance Brandenburg picked up the win in game one after coming on in relief to pitch three and two-third innings while giving up no runs and just one hit while striking out three to improve to 4-0 this season. Greta Cecchetti started the game but lasted just three and one-third innings as she gave up four runs on seven hits and one walk. In game two, Vianca Pesina pitched a complete game to fall to 9-2 overall with four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out two batters.

In game one, the Islanders started out quickly as the first five batters picked up a hit to stake their team to an early lead. Hannah Schwarz laid down a bunt single and was followed by a Lauren Sanders single through the left side to put runners on first and second. Caley Jeter drove in the first run with an RBI double down the right field line to make it a 1-0 game. Kacie Smith drove home Sanders and was then followed by a Lauren Dodson single that made it a 3-0 score. Brittany Tucker hit a sacrifice fly to center field that brought Jeter home and finished the scoring at 4-0 after the top of the first inning.

The Lady Demons picked up a run of their own in the bottom of the first to get within 4-1 after one full inning and added another single run in the bottom of the third to make it a 4-2 ballgame.

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi added three more runs in the top of the fourth to extend their lead to 7-2. In that inning, it was much the same as the first with the four batters in-a-row getting hits to add to the advantage. Schwarz and Sanders started it off with singles while Jeter followed with a run-scoring single to center to make it 5-2. Smith then followed with a two-RBI double to score Sanders and Jeter to extend the lead to 7-2 after four and one-half innings.

NSU got back two of the runs in the bottom half of the inning to chase Cecchetti from the game and bring Brandenburg into the game as they closed the gap to 7-4 after four innings.

The Islanders put the game away in the top of the seventh however, scoring five runs on six hits to stretch the lead to 12-4. Dodson started things off with a single through the left side and was pinch run for by Sandy Schumann. Tucker followed with her first hit of the day, a run-scoring double to right center that scored Schumann all the way from first. After Meagan McKinney came on to pinch run for Tucker, Cassie Redman walked and Laura Phillips singled to load the bases.

Jamise Jackson stepped to the plate and blasted a double to the center field wall that scored McKinney and Redman with still just one out in the inning. Schwarz then singled to bring home Phillips and move Jackson to third.

The next play saw Sanders reaching on a fielder's choice and moving to second while Schwarz moved all the way from first to third when Jackson was caught in a run down between third and home. The catcher tagged her out but the play resulted in two runners in scoring position. That allowed Jeter to drive in a run when she hit a pitch back up the middle that ricocheted off the pitching rubber for an infield single to score Schwarz from third and make it a 12-4 score.

Brandenburg shut down the Lady Demons in the bottom half of the inning for her fourth win of the year.

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi scored 12 runs in total on 17 hits to tie their season-high as a team.

In game two, the Lady Demons jumped out to a lead in the bottom of the second, scoring three runs on three hits for a 3-0 advantage.

The Islanders picked up a single run in the top of the third when Jackson walked and was sacrificed over to second by Schwarz. After a Sanders groundout advanced Jackson to third, Jeter singled through the left side for score Jackson and make it a 3-1 game.

They picked up another run in the top of the fourth when Schumann started the rally with two outs in the inning. Phillips then walked to move Schumann to second and Jackson followed with her second double of the day, bringing Schumann home while Phillips was thrown out trying to score from first to make it a one-run game at 3-2.

The team threatened in the top of the sixth when Smith led off with a walk but was part of a hit-and-run that turned into a double play. With two outs, Tucker and Schumann had back-to-back singles followed by a Phillips walk to load the bases. Jackson hit a fly ball to center but it hung up just long enough for the centerfielder to get underneath it for the third out of the inning.

Northwestern State added a run in the bottom of the sixth to extend the margin to 4-2 with the Islanders coming up in their final at-bat.

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi was unable to complete the comeback to fall by a 4-2 final on the road.

Live stats for the final game of the series will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.