Islanders Host UTSA Wednesday in Conference Opener

UTSA (8-10, 0-0 SLC) AT TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI  (4-10, 0-0 SLC)

Wednesday, March 7 • 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. CST
Chapman Field • Corpus Christi, Texas

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Game Notes

CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team will open Southland Conference play Wednesday when they host UTSA in a doubleheader. The Islanders return to Chapman Field where they are 1-3. Last season the Islanders finished 28-4 on their home field and 13-2 in conference play.  Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is looking to defend their Southland Conference regular-season title from a year ago. The Islanders are 3-2 in Southland Conference opening games, dating back to 2007. The Islanders enter play with a 4-10 overall record with eight of the losses coming against teams ranked in the Top 25.

The Islanders went 2-3 last weekend at the Ragin' Cajuns Invitational in Lafayette, La., with victories coming against Kentucky and Southland Foe Nicholls State. The Islanders clinched the Southland Conference regular-season tite last season and finished with a stellar 21-9 record. The Islanders have opened conference play against UTSA for the past five years and hold a 7-8 record in those games.

Wednesday's doubleheader will mark the 40th and 41st meeting between the two teams, with the Roadrunners holding the 15-24 advantage.     

LAST TIME OUT

Junior Meagan McKinney's walk-off single to center field in the bottom of the seventh, lifted the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team to a come-from-behind victory, 3-2, Friday over Kentucky at the Ragin' Cajuns Invitational. The Islanders scored three runs in the final two innings to seal their third victory of the season. In the second game of the day, the Islanders dropped a 3-0 decision to No. 12-ranked Louisiana.

Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team split both of their games on the second day of the Ragin' Cajuns Invitational. In the first game, the Islanders tallied 10 hits against Nicholls State and senior Greta Cecchetti registered a career-high 10 strikeouts in six innings of work to propel the Islanders past Nicholls State, 9-1. In the night cap the Islanders tallied 10 more hits but dropped a close 7-6 loss to Stephen F. Austin.

The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team fell to No. 12 Louisiana, 19-1, in five innings, on the final day of the Ragin' Cajuns Invitational. The Islanders finished the three-day event with a 2-3 record, with victories coming against Kentucky and Southland foe Nicholls State.

SCOUTING THE ROADRUNNERS

Wednesday's doubleheader will be the 40th and 41st meeting between the two schools with the Roadrunners holding a 24-15 advantage. The Islanders have swept the last four games and five out of the last seven. The two met up in the Southland Conference tournament a year ago with the Islanders clinching a 6-5 extra-inning victory.

UTSA heads into Wednesday's 1 p.m. game with an 8-10 record and sits at 2-3 on the road. The Roadrunners are led by Megan Low's .439 batting average and three home runs. Courtney Buchman's is second on the team with a .436 batting average. UTSA is batting .337 as a team. In the circle, UTSA is powered by Haylee Staton in the circle. In nine appearances she has tallied a 5-1 record with a 2.35 ERA. She has a total of 48 strikeouts in 50.1 innings pitched.  

FAMILIAR FACES

Head coach Stephanie Hughes will be playing against UTSA, a team she spent eight seasons with, including seven as an assistant. She spent the 2011 season as the interim head coach of the Roadrunners.

PRESEASON PICKS

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.           

ALL-SOUTHLAND TEAMS

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.

IN THE CIRCLE

Greta Cecchetti leads the Islanders in the circle with an ERA of 6.75 in four appearances and 18.2 innings pitched. She has allowed 19 hits and 15 runs while striking out 24. She picked up her first victory of the season on Saturday against Nicholls State. She posted a career-high 10 strikeouts in six innings, while limiting Nicholls State to just three hits and one run.

Vianca Pesina holds a 6.88 ERA in eight appearances. She has a 0-4 record in 35.1 innings pitched and has shut down 18 batters. Jordan Trujillo earned the victory this weekend over Kentucky. She holds a 3-2 record with a 7.53 ERA in 28.2 innings pitched. She leads the Islanders in the circle with 27 strikeouts.     

Joining Cecchetti, Pesina and Trujillo in the circle are Constance Brandenburg and freshman Bethany Slick. Brandenburg has a 4.50 ERA in three appearances. She holds a 0-1 record in six innings pitched. She has allowed six hits, three runs while striking out four batters.

BATTER UP

Sophomore Laura Phillips is leading the Islanders with a .481 batting average at 27 at-bats. She has tallied 13 hits, three runs and one double. Senior Hannah Schwarz is second on the team with a .333 batting average with eight hits and five runs. Last season, Schwarz led the Islanders offense with a .345 batting average last season. Freshman Karissa Haleman is third on the team with a batting average of .333 at 12 at-bats.    

Meagan McKinney powered the Islanders offense at the Ragin' Cajuns Invitational over the weekend. Over the three-day event, the junior tallied a total of six hits at 14 at-bats. McKinney registered three hits and two home runs, while tallying four RBIs in Saturday's victory over Nicholls State. She also scored five times and chipped in a team-best six RBIs in five starts.

UP NEXT

After Wednesday's doubleheader the Islanders will continue conference play at home against Texas State on Friday and Saturday. First pitch on Friday is slated for 2 p.m. with Saturday's game scheduled to start at 1 p.m.