HOUSTON BAPTIST (13-23, 2-4 GREAT WEST) AT TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (12-16, 8-4 SLC)
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team will return home to take on Houston Baptist University in a single game Thursday at Chapman Field. The Islanders and Huskies were scheduled to play on March 27 but were forced to postpone due to outside circumstances.
The Islanders sit at 8-4 in conference play after picking up the team's second sweep of the season last weekend 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 12-16 overall record with eight of the losses coming against teams ranked in the Top 25.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi dropped two games to Houston on Tuesday in a non-conference doubleheader. Houston topped the Islanders 4-0 in the first game before sealing a 8-0 victory in five innings.
The Islanders and Huskies will meet up Thursday for the first of three games scheduled this season. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is 0-1 against teams from the Great West. North Dakota secured a 2-0 victory over the Islanders in the Best Western Marina Grand Islanders Classic.
HBU holds a 13-23 record and sits at 2-10 on the road. Thursday's game will mark the 16th meeting between the two teams.
LAST TIME OUT
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team suffered two losses Tuesday to Houston in a non-conference doubleheader at Cougar Softball Stadium. The Cougars sealed a 4-0 victory in the first game before topping the Islanders 8-0 in five innings in the second game. Houston shut out the Islanders in all three games this season.
The Islanders collected four hits in the two games combined with Mickayla Heller, Cassie Redman, Alejia Cain and Jamise Jackson all tallying one apiece. Houston has won six straight and 14 of its last 16 games. The Cougars registered 14 hits in the two games.
In the first game, Houston jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning and tacked on one run in the fourth before scoring two in the fifth to seal their fifth consecutive victory. The Cougars outhit the Islanders 6-3. Redman, Cain and Jackson each tallied one hit apiece for the Islanders.
The Cougars carried over their momentum into game two of the doubleheader with eight hits and eight runs to shutout the Islanders 8-0 in five innings. Heller collected the Islanders only hit of the game.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES
Thursday's game will mark the 16th meeting between the two schools with the Islanders leading the series 11-4. Last season the Islanders garnered three out of the four meetings at home. HBU sealed the last meeting, 4-3, on April 12.
Prior to the Huskies' doubleheader with Stephen F. Austin on Wednesday, HBU has dropped three of its last five, with wins over UTSA and Prairie View. HBU holds an overall 13-23 record. The Huskies are 2-10 on the road.
HBU is led by Beth Evans .500 batting average. Melissa Herman is second on the team with a .346 batting average. She has collected 37 hits, including four doubles, one triple and one home run. Herman leads the Huskies with 18 RBIs. Daniella Rodarte leads HBU with 38 hits at 121 at-bats. She has tallied 12 of the Huskies runs while registering 11 RBIs.
In the circle, Houston Baptist is powered by Keely Shuler (5-6). She has a .195 ERA in 18 appearances. Shuler has tallied 24 strikeouts in 64.2 innings. Kendall Stiefel (5-7) is second in the circle with a .204 ERA in 15 appearances. She has retired 35 batters in 82.1 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 Hannah Schwarz is currently riding on a four-game hitting streak. Mickayla Heller is on a one-game hitting streak. Cassie Carroll is second on the team with the longest hitting streak with seven.
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. Mickayla Heller, 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 five 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 .302 batting average and two spots behind her is Haleman with a .267 batting average. Rounding out the top five is Carroll with a .250 batting average.
IN THE CIRCLE
Greta Cecchetti (7-4) leads the Islanders in the circle with an ERA of 2.65 in 13 appearances and 68 innings pitched. She has allowed 46 hits and 22 runs while striking out a team-high 71 batters. She snapped a six-game winning streak in the circle against Houston on Tuesday. Cecchetti took the 3-0 loss in game one of the doubleheader. The senior allowed six hits and two walks while striking out seven batters.
Prior to that against Southeastern Louisiana in two games combined she collected eight strikeouts, while holding the Lady Lions to just six hits in 9.2 innings.
Vianca Pesina (1-6) holds a 6.03 ERA in 13 appearances. She has tallied 28 strikeouts in 59.2 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.
The Islanders will continue Southland play at home on Friday and Saturday against Stephen F. Austin. First pitch on Friday is at 2 p.m. followed by a 12 p.m. start time on Saturday.