RAGIN' CAJUNS INVITATIONAL
MARCH 2-4 • University of Louisiana • Lafayette, La.
Game 1: Friday, March 2 • 1:30 p.m. | Kentucky vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
Game 2: Friday, March 2 • 4 p.m. | No. 12 Louisiana vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
Game 3: Saturday, March 3 • 8:30 a.m. | Nicholls State vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
Game 4: Saturday, March 3 • 6:30 p.m. | Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs. Stephen F. Austin
Game 5: Sunday, March 4 • 12:30 p.m. | No. 12 Louisiana vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team will travel to Lafayette, La. to compete in the Ragin' Cajuns Invitational at Lamson Park this weekend. No. 12- ranked Louisiana, Kentucky and Southland foes Stephen F. Austin and Nicholls State will join the Islanders for the three-day event. The Islanders will face each team once with the exception of host Louisiana, who the Islanders will play twice for a total of five games. The Islanders are looking to pick up their first road victory of the season and second victory at a neutral site after sealing their first home victory last weekend against Ole Miss. The Islanders enter play with a 2-7 overall with six of the losses coming against teams ranked in the Top 25.
The Islanders split last weekend in the first day of the Islanders Classic. After dropping a 2-0 decision to North Dakota the Islanders topped Ole Miss 7-4. The two remaining days in the Classic were canceled due to wet conditions.
The Islanders started the season 1-3 after competing in the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic and then followed it with a tough 6-5 loss in Austin to then No. 13/19 Texas before dropping two to Baylor.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is 17-34 against Louisiana, Kentucky, Stephen F. Austin and Nicholls State, the four opponents they will play this weekend.
LAST TIME OUT
After splitting games on the opening day of the Best Western Marina Grand Islanders Classic, the Islanders were forced to cancel the remaining two days due to wet conditions.
The Islanders dropped the first game 2-0 to North Dakota to open play. The two teams were held scoreless through six innings of play until the Sioux's Brittany Baker homered over the right field fence on the opening pitch of the top of the seventh frame. The Islanders bounced back to win 7-4 over Ole Miss (5-4) to garner their first home victory of the season and split on the opening day of competition. The Islanders were powered behind 12 hits including doubles by Karissa Haleman and Sandy Schumann.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
No. 12 Louisiana: Host Louisiana enters Friday's games against the Islanders with a perfect 11-0 record and sits at 7-0 at home. Christi Orgeron leads the Ragin' Cajun with a .525 batting average and 21 hits. Ashley Brignac leads Louisiana in the circle with a 1.50 ERA and a 5-0 record in seven appearances. The Islanders are 2-8 against Louisiana with the Islanders sealing two victories in 2004.
Kentucky: The Wildcats hold a 7-6 record and are 1-4 on the road and 6-2 at neutral sites. Kara Dill leads Kentucky with a .419 batting average and has 18 hits. Chanda Bell is the Wildcats leading pitcher. She holds a 1.69 ERA and is 3-1 in 20.2 innings pitched. The Islanders first game on Friday will mark just the second meeting between the Wildcats and Islanders. The Wildcats garnered a 10-0 victory in 2007 to hand the Islanders their first loss of the season.
Stephen F. Austin: The Ladyjacks enter Friday's games with a 5-11 record with a record of 0-1 on the road and 5-9 at neutral sites. Cadie Weaver leads Stephen F. Austin with a .357 batting average and has 15 hits and 10 RBIs. Kaitlyn Mixon dropped her second game in the circle on Wednesday when the Ladyjacks fell to Louisiana Tech. Stephen F. Austin holds the 11-14 advantage over the Islanders. Saturday's game will mark the 16th meeting between the two schools. Last season in Southland Conference play, the Islanders took two out of the three games against the Ladyjacks.
Nicholls State: The Colonels enter play on Friday with a 4-11 record and sits at 1-1 on the road and 2-9 at neutral sites. Ashley Ray leads Nicholls State with a .422 batting average and has tallied 19 hits and 13 RBIs this season. Katie Moulder leads the Colonels in the circle with an ERA of .388 in 12 appearances and 57.2 innings pitched. Saturday's meeting will mark the 16th meeting between the two schools with Nicholls State holding the 4-11 advantage.
The Islanders were picked to finish second in the Southland Conference, after clinching the regular-season title last season. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi was selected behind defending conference champion Texas State. The Islanders received five first-place votes with 87 points while Texas State received four.
Senior Hannah Schwarz, returns as a First Team selection for the second straight year after starting 58 of the Islanders 59 games last season. Senior Vianca Pesina returns as a Second Team selection after going 12-5 in the circle with a 2.26 ERA last season, which was sixth best in the conference.
The Islanders will play a total of 40 regular-season games, including 13 of which will be against teams who competed in the NCAA Championship last season. The Islanders have already competed against four Top 25 teams (Oklahoma St., Houston, Texas and Baylor) and are scheduled to play against No. 12 La. Lafayette. This season the Islanders are 0-6 against teams ranked in the Top 25.
IN THE CIRCLE
Greta Cecchetti leads the Islanders in the circle with an ERA of 4.35 in two appearances and 10.1 innings pitched. She has allowed 10 hits and six runs while striking out 11. Vianca Pesina holds a 5.00 ERA in six appearances and 27 innings pitched. She has allowed 29 hits, 16 runs, while striking out a team-best 16 hitters. Jordan Trujillo earned the Islanders two victories. She is 2-2 with a 9.35 ERA in 17.1 innings pitched and has allowed 20 hits, 19 runs, while striking out 14. Joining Cecchetti, Pesina and Trujillo in the circle are Constance Brandenburg and freshman Bethany Slick.
Freshman Karissa Haleman is leading the Islanders with a .500 batting average at four at-bats. She has tallied two hits, two runs and one double. Laura Phillips is second with a .467 batting average with seven hits, four RBIs and seven total bases.
Hannah Schwarz led the Islanders offense with a .345 batting average last season. She is currently holding a .357 batting average which is good for third on the team. At 14 at-bats she has registered two runs, five hits and five total bases. Senior Alejia Cain also has stepped up for the Islanders, posting eight hits.
After this weekend the Islanders will return home for a three-game homestand starting on March 7 at 1 p.m. First up is a midweek doubleheader against UTSA, followed by two games against Texas State on March 9th and 10th.