Islanders split doubleheader to clinch postseason appearance
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team split a pair of games on Saturday against McNeese State, losing game one by a 5-3 final in 11 innings before taking a 4-1 victory in the second game of the day. The win clinched a spot in the Southland Conference Tournament for the home team.
The Islanders move to 36-15 overall and are now 19-7 in the Southland Conference. The Cowgirls are now 23-23 overall with a 13-10 mark in league play.
Jordan Trujillo was the pitcher in game one, going all 11 innings and giving up five runs, just two of them earned, on seven hits while walking one and striking out eight to fall to 13-6 on the year. Vianca Pesina picked up the win in game two as she improved to 12-4 after tossing seven innings and giving up just one run on four hits while walking three and striking out one Cowgirl batter.
In the second game of the day, the Islanders picked up their first lead in the bottom of the first when Caley Jeter walked with two outs, stole second base and then came home to score on a Jamise Jackson single through the left side for a 1-0 advantage.
MSU tied the score with a single run on back-to-back hits in the top of the third inning for a 1-1 score.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the sixth when Sandy Schumann delivered a big two-run, two-out double to give her team the lead on what would be the game-winning hit.
Jackson started things off by drawing a two-out walk and then advanced to third on a Lauren Dodson single down the right field line. Schumann then stepped to the plate and fouled off several pitches before placing a 2-2 pitch into left center field for a two-run double and a 3-1 lead. Cassie Redman followed with a single to right that allowed Dodson to come around and extend the score to a 4-1 Islanders lead.
Pesina shut down the Cowgirls in the top of the seventh to pick up her 12th win of the season.
Schumann finished the game with a 2-for-3 performance to go along with two RBI. Jackson and Redman each finished with one hit and one RBI apiece as the Islanders won their 19th Southland Conference game.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi was not quite as fortunate in the first game as they fell by a 5-3 final in extra innings.
The first run of the game came in the top of the third when McNeese State used an Islanders error and a pair of hits to bring home an unearned run for a 1-0 lead.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi broke up McNeese's no-hit bid in the sixth when Jeter walked and stole second before coming home on a Jackson double to left center that scored Jeter to make it a 1-1 game with no outs. Jackson moved to third on a wild pitch, but was unable to score after a strikeout and then being caught in a run down for the second out of the inning.
In the top of the 10th inning, the Cowgirls picked up another unearned run when the home team committed an error with two outs to allow the international tiebreaker runner to score from third to make it 2-1 McNeese.
The Islanders managed to tie the score in the bottom of the 10th when Meagan McKinney came on to pinch run for Brittany Tucker as the tiebreaker runner and moved to third when Redman reached on an error. After a lineout double play, the team was down for to its final out when Hannah Schwarz put down a bunt single with McKinney beating the throw home for the tying run.
The Cowgirls came back with three runs in the top of the fifth to take a multi-run advantage at 5-2.
In the bottom of the 11th, the Islanders threatened by loading the bases with one out as Schwarz moved to third on a Jackson single and Dodson followed with a walk to put the bags full. Schwarz would come home to score, making it 5-3 with two outs as Schumann reached on a hit-by-pitch, but they were unable to get anymore as the next batter grounded out to end the game.
The two teams will wrap up the three-game series on Saturday with a 12 p.m. first pitch at Chapman Field. Five seniors players; Brittany Tucker, Kacie Smith, Lauren Dodson, Caley Jeter and Lauren Sanders will be honored for Senior Day before the start of the game.
Live stats and video will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com