TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (15-16, 10-4 SLC) AT HOUSTON BAPTIST (14-27, 2-4 GWC)
Saturday, April 21 • 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. CST
Husky Field • Houston, Texas
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team will take a weekend off from Southland Conference action to take on Houston Baptist in a doubleheader in Houston on Saturday. It will be the second and third meetings between the Islanders and Huskies this season. Last Thursday, the Islanders topped Houston Baptist 3-2 at Chapman Field.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi enters Saturday's doubleheader with a 15-16 overall record with eight of the losses coming against teams ranked in the Top 25. The Islanders have won eight of their last nine conference games and are in second place in the conference behind Texas State. The Islanders sit at 10-4 in conference play after picking up the team's third sweep of the season last weekend against Stephen F. Austin. Prior to that, the Islanders swept Central Arkansas and Southeastern La. The Islanders have split with UTSA, Northwestern State, Texas State and UT Arlington.
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 an 8-0 victory in five innings in the second game.
The Islanders and Huskies will meet for the 17th time with the Islanders holding the 12-4 advantage after edging HBU 3-2 this season.
LAST TIME OUT
On Friday in the first of two games against Stephen F. Austin senior Greta Cecchetti recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts and tallied her fourth shutout of the season to power the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team to a 1-0 victory at Chapman Field.
The Islanders outhit SFA 6-1 and didn't allow a Ladyjack base runner until the fourth inning. However, the Ladyjacks held 10 Islanders' base runners stranded.
On Saturday, the Islanders put together a strong first inning with four runs to cruise past Stephen F. Austin 4-2 to notch their third consecutive Southland conference sweep of the season. The Islanders have now won eight of their last nine conference games and six in a row. Cecchetti pitched her second consecutive one-hit game in 4.2 innings and improved to a perfect 8-0 in conference play.
The Islanders outhit the Ladyjacks 15-3 in the two games combined at Chapman Field.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES
Saturday's game will mark the 17th meeting between the two schools with the Islanders leading the series 12-4.
Last Thursday, the Islanders edged the Huskies 3-2 in a non-conference single game 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 hang on and win.
HBU holds an overall 14-27 record and are 2-4 in the Great West. The Huskies are led by Beth Evan's .500 batting average. Micha Granchelli is second with a .316 batting average and co-leads the team with 18 RBIs. In the last meeting, Granchelli led the Huskies with two hits against the Islanders and collected two RBIs. Danielle Rodarte leads the team with 42 hits, including three doubles and three triples.
In the circle, the Huskies are powered by four pitchers. Beth Evans (2-2) and Kendall Stiefel (5-8) lead the circle with a 2.00 ERA. Evans has tallied 29 strikeouts in 35 innings and eight appearances. Stiefel has retired 35 batters in a team-high 87.1 innings. Keely Shuler (5-8) holds a 2.12 ERA in a team-high 21 appearances, while Sarah Shotton (2-9) leads the team in the circle with 61 strikeouts in 78.2 innings. Last Thursday, Shuler took the loss in six innings. She allowed six hits, three runs while retiring one batter.
The Islanders have moved into second place in the Southland Conference standings. The Islanders sit at 10-4, behind Texas State with a 10-2 record.
SWING BATTER SWING
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is 14-1 when they out-hit their opponents and 1-13 when their opponent tallies more hits than them. The Islanders are outhitting their conference opponents 89-67.
Stephanie Vead and Hayley Galloway are currently riding on a three-game hitting streak, while Meagan McKinney and Cassie Carroll are currently on a two-game hitting streak. Hannah Schwarz is first on the team with the longest hitting streak of nine and Cassie Redman is second on the team with seven.
PUT YOUR RALLY CAPS ON
The Islanders have rallied from behind this season to clinch six come-from-behind victories.
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 is second on the team with a .282 batting average and has tallied 20 hits.
Cassie Carroll leads the team with 21 hits and 13 RBIs. She holds a .256 ERA. Sandy Schumann has tallied 20 hits and leads the team with three doubles and has the only Islanders triple of the season.
Greta Cecchetti had an impressive week in the circle. On Friday, against SFA, she retired the first 11 batters she faced, with six of them being strikeouts en route to her fourth shutout of the season. The senior didn't allow a base runner past second and limited the Ladyjacks to just three base runners. In seven innings, the Bollate, Italy native allowed a career-best just one hit while walking two and striking out a career-high 11 out 24 batters to help the Islanders win 1-0. On Saturday, Cecchetti helped the Islanders notch their third consecutive Southland conference sweep of the season with a 4-2 victory over SFA. Cecchetti pitched her second consecutive one-hit game while striking out seven batters in 4.2 innings and improved her record to a perfect 8-0 in conference play. Cecchetti retired 14 of the 15 batters she faced with seven of them being strikeouts. In the two games combined against SFA she struck out 18 Ladyjacks in 11.2 innings of work. For the week Cecchetti totaled 25 strikeouts in 17.2 innings while posting a 1.19 ERA.
Three out of the top five batting averages for the Islanders belong to freshmen. Mickayla Heller, Hayley Galloway and Karissa Haleman have played a big role in the Islanders' offense.
Heller is second on the team with a .282 batting average and right behind her is Galloway and Haleman with a .267 batting average. Cassie Carroll is sixth on the team with a .256 batting average. She leads the team with 21 hits and 13 RBs.
In conference play, Galloway leads the team with a .400 batting average while freshman Katelyn Potts is second with a .333 batting average. Carroll leads the team in conference play with eight RBIs.
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 doubleheader the Islanders will travel to Huntsville, Texas on Tuesday, April 24, to play Sam Houston State in a Southland Conference doubleheader. First pitch is at 2 p.m.