Islanders, Cougars Meet Tuesday in Non-Conference Doubleheader
TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (12-14, 8-4 SLC) AT HOUSTON (22-15, 9-3 C-USA)
Tuesday, April 10 • 4 p.m. & 6 p.m. CST
Cougar Softball Stadium • Houston
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team will take a break from Southland Conference action to take on the University of Houston Tuesday in a doubleheader on the road. The Islanders will play the Cougars for the second time this season after opening the season against them in the Houston-Hilton Houston Plaza Classic.
The Islanders sit at 8-4 in conference play after picking up the team's second sweep of the season on Saturday against Southeastern Louisiana. Prior to that, the Islanders swept Central Arkansas in Conway, Ark. The Islanders have split with UTSA, Northwestern State, Texas State and UT Arlington. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi enters Tuesday's contest with a 12-14 overall record with eight of the losses coming against teams ranked in the Top 25.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi swept Southeastern Louisiana over the weekend at Chapman Field. On Friday, the Islanders scored one run in the first, two in the second before adding one in the sixth to seal their third shutout of the season, 4-0. The Islanders followed it by a 3-1 comeback victory on Saturday to sweep the series. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi fell behind early before rallying back in the bottom of the fifth inning to clinch their sixth comeback thriller of the season.
Houston holds a 22-15 record and sits at 16-5 at home. Tuesday's game will mark the 16th meeting between the two teams.
LAST TIME OUT
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team tallied its seventh 10-plus hitting game, while clinching its seventh Southland Conference victory of the season Friday over Southeastern Louisiana 4-0 at Chapman Field.
The Islanders scored one run in the first, two in the second before adding one in the sixth to seal their third consecutive victory and third shutout of the season. Freshman Mickayla Heller powered the Islanders offense, collecting her second perfect hitting game of the season. Senior Hannah Schwarz went 2-for-3 and senior Cassie Redman chipped in two hits at four at-bats to contribute to the Islanders bats.
The Islanders followed suit with their second Southland Conference sweep of the season with a strong fifth inning to edge Southeastern Louisiana, 3-1, Saturday afternoon in the strikeout breast cancer pink game at Chapman Field.
The Islanders fell behind early in the top of the fifth to the Lady Lions but rallied back in the bottom frame to clinch their fourth consecutive victory and sixth comeback thriller this season. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi outhit Southeastern La. seven to six and left seven Lady Lions stranded on base.
SCOUTING THE COUGARS
Tuesday's game will mark the 16th meeting between the two schools with the Cougars leading the series 5-10.
Houston shutout the Islanders 10-0, to open the season at the Houston-Hilton Houston Plaza Classic on Feb. 10. The Cougars' offense took control early in the first inning, scoring nine runs, to win the first game of the three-day event in five innings. Jordan Trujillo took the loss for the Islanders.
Houston has won 12 of their last 14 games, including a sweep of Texas State last Wednesday. The Cougars hold an overall 22-15 record and are 9-3 in Conference USA.
Houston is led by Haley Outon's and Reina Gaber's .359 batting averages. Outon has tallied 37 hits, including eight doubles and 11 home runs. She also has collected 37 RBIs. Gaber has also tallied 37 hits and collecting six doubles and 20 RBIs.
In the circle, the Cougars are powered by Diedre Outon (8-3). She has a 2.55 ERA in 22 appearances. Outon has tallied 49 strikeouts in 96 innings. Bailey Watts (9-6) is second in the circle with a 2.75 ERA in 19 appearances. She has retired a team-high 80 batters in 84 innings.
SWING BATTER SWING
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is 11-1 when they out-hit their opponents and 1-11 when their opponent tallies more hits than them. The Islanders out-hit Southeastern Louisiana 17-9 last weekend and tallied their seventh 10+ hitting game of the season.
Senior Cassie Redman is currently on a six-game hitting streak, her longest of the season. Senior Hannah Schwarz is currently riding on a four-game hitting streak, while senior Sandy Schumann is on a three-game hitting streak, her longest of the season.
PUT YOUR RALLY CAPS ON
The Islanders have rallied from behind this season to clinch sixth come-from-behind victories. On Saturday, the Islanders put together a huge fifth inning after falling behind early in the top frame. The Islanders tallied three runs on five hits to win 3-1.
Laura Phillips is hitting .361 to lead the offense with a .389 slugging percentage and .520 on base percentage. The sophomore has tallied 13 hits and seven RBIs. Sandy Schumann and Cassie Carroll lead the team with 19 hits apiece and Schumann leads the team with three doubles. Carroll has registered a team-high 10 RBIs.
Hannah Schwarz led the Islanders to their second consecutive Southland sweep of the season this weekend. On Friday at home against Southeastern Louisiana, Schwarz went 2-for-3 and led the Islanders to a 4-0 victory. On Saturday, Schwarz helped the Islanders rally from behind to win 3-1 while going 2-for-3 and collecting her second RBI of the weekend. Through the two games, Schwarz tallied four hits at six at-bats while batting .667.
Three out of the top six batting averages for the Islanders belong to freshmen. Cassie Carroll, Karissa Haleman and Mickayla Heller have played a big role in the Islanders' offense.
Heller is second on the team with a .295 batting average and two spots behind her is Haleman with a .267 batting average. Rounding out the top six is Carroll with a .257 batting average.
IN THE CIRCLE
Greta Cecchetti (7-3) leads the Islanders in the circle with an ERA of 2.47 in 12 appearances and 62 innings pitched. She has allowed 40 hits and 18 runs while striking out a team-high 64 batters. She earned her sixth-straight victory in the circle on Saturday and her second of the weekend against Southeastern Louisiana. In the two games combined, Cecchetti collected eight strikeouts, while holding the Lady Lions to just six hits in 9.2 innings.
Vianca Pesina (1-5) holds a 5.17 ERA in 12 appearances. She has tallied 26 strikeouts in 55.2 innings. Jordan Trujillo holds a 4-5 record with a 5.33 ERA in 54 innings pitched. She is second on the team with 49 strikeouts. Constance Bradenburg (0-1) is second in the circle with a 4.50 ERA in three appearances. She has retired four batters in 6.0 innings.
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 to finish 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.
After Tuesday's doubleheader the Islanders will return home to play three games in three consecutive days. First up is a non-conference single game against Houston Baptist on Thursday, April 12 at 1 p.m. at Chapman Field. The Islanders will then continue Southland play at home on Friday and Saturday against Stephen F. Austin.