STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (11-25, 2-8 SLC) AT TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (13-16, 8-4 SLC)
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team will swing back into Southland Conference action this weekend in a two-game series against Stephen F. Austin at Chapman Field. The Islanders have won six of their last seven conference games and are in fourth place in the conference while SFA is currently in 10th place.
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 picked up a 3-2 victory over Houston Baptist on Thursday at home after dropping 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 in the second game.
The Islanders and Ladyjacks will meet Friday and Saturday for the second and third time this season. The two teams faced each other in the Ragin' Cajun Invitational last month with the Ladyjacks edging the Islanders 7-6.
SFA holds an 11-25 record and sits at 2-8 in the conference. Friday's game will mark the 26th meeting between the two teams.
LAST TIME OUT
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team edged Houston Baptist University 3-2 in a Thursday non-conference matchup at Chapman Field. The Islanders scored early in the bottom of the third before plating two in the fifth to take an early 3-0 lead. HBU pulled within two on a two-run double in the sixth but the Islanders were able to hold on win and improve to 6-5 at home.
The Islanders outhit the Huskies six to four to seal its fourth non-conference victory of the season. Jordan Trujillo (5-5) picked up the win in the circle to even her record. The senior allowed four hits while walking two and striking out four in seven innings. Trujillo retired 14 consecutive batters starting in the bottom of the first all the way through the top of the sixth before the Huskies got on board.
SCOUTING THE LADYJACKS
Friday's game will mark the 26th meeting between the two schools with the Ladyjacks leading the series 11-14. Last season the Islanders garnered two out of the three meetings with SFA.
The Islanders dropped a 7-6 decision to SFA last month in the Ragin' Cajun Invitational in Lafayette, La. The Islanders were down 4-0 before coming back to tie it at 4-4 in the fifth, but a three-run sixth inning pushed SFA ahead for good. The Islanders put together a late rally in the final frame but came up short, 7-6.
SFA holds an overall 11-25 record and are 2-8 in the Southland Conference. The Ladyjacks are led by Kym Rigard's .400 batting average. She leads the team with 30 hits, including nine doubles and has recorded 15 RBIs. Elizabeth Arana is second on the team with a .323 batting average.
In the circle, Carlie Thomas is powered by Carlie Thomas (6-9). She has a 3.67 ERA in 23 appearances. Thomas has tallied 82 strikeouts in 112.2 innings. Angela White (5-12) is second in the circle with a 4.17 ERA in 17 appearances. She has retired 38 batters in 87.1 innings.
SWING BATTER SWING
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is 12-1 when they out-hit their opponents and 1-13 when their opponent tallies more hits than them. The Islanders are outhitting their conference opponents 74-64.
Senior Hannah Schwarz is currently riding on a five-game hitting streak, while Mickayla Heller is on a two-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 in the Islanders last conference game, 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 leads the team with 20 hits and is second on the team with a .308 batting average.
Hannah Schwarz, Sandy Schumann and Cassie Carroll are second on the team with 19 hits apiece and Schumann leads the team with three doubles. Carroll has registered a team-high 10 RBIs.
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 .308 batting average and two spots behind her is Haleman with a .267 batting average. Rounding out the top six is Carroll with a .244 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 5-5 record with a 5.02 ERA in 61 innings pitched. She is second on the team with 53 strikeouts. Trujillo picked up the win in the circle to even her record on Thursday against Houston Baptist. She allowed four hits while walking two and striking out four in seven innings. The senior retired 14 consecutive batters starting in the bottom of the first all the way through the top of the sixth before the Huskies got on board. 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.
Following Saturday's game against SFA the Islanders will meet the Houston Baptist Huskies again in a non-conference doubleheader in Houston on Saturday, April 21. First pitch is at 1 p.m.