ARLINGTON, Texas - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team needed a championship performance on Sunday and they got just that from starter Greta Cecchetti as she pitched a one-hit, complete-game shutout against UT Arlington to take a 2-0 win. The victory secured the regular-season Southland Conference Championship for the Islanders.
It is the first Southland Conference title for the Islanders softball program and the first for head coach Jake Schumann in his head coaching career.
They finished the regular season with a 38-17 record and win the league with a final mark of 21-9 in league play. The Mavericks finish in second place with an overall record of 33-23 and finished one game back at 20-10 in Southland Conference games.
Cecchetti pitched masterfully in giving up just one single and two walks while striking out four Mavericks batters. She improved to 8-4 with the win and dropped her ERA to a 1.61 mark with her fourth shutout of the season.
With Cecchetti shutting down the Mavericks, the offense came through with a pair of runs in the third inning for the only scoring in the game. The inning started with Cassie Redman reaching on a throwing error by the third baseman and advancing to second. Sandy Schumann put down a sacrifice bunt to move Redman to third before Hannah Schwarz reached on a fielder's choice to put runners on first and third.
Lauren Sanders drove in the first run of the game with a single through the right side to make it a 1-0 game with runners on first and second with one out. Caley Jeter then singled to the pitcher to load the bases for catcher Brittany Tucker. The senior lined a single over the head of the drawn-in infield to bring home Sanders and make it a 2-0 score.
It would be all the runs Texas A&M - Corpus Christi would need as Cecchetti gave up just a single to UTA and a pair of walks while never allowing a runner to get past second base.
The win clinched the championship and the #1 seed in the upcoming Southland Conference Tournament that will take place next week in Huntsville, Texas on the campus of Sam Houston State. The Bearkats did not make the tournament and the field will include the Islanders, UTA, Texas State, McNeese State, UTSA and Northwestern State. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will play the winner of the game between McNeese and UTSA in the final game of the opening day next Thursday.