Islanders Explode for 13 hits and 11 runs in 11-6 Thriller over Nicholls State

THIBODAUX, La. – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team put together an explosive eight-run, five-hit second inning to end their regular season with an 11-6 victory over Nicholls State, Saturday afternoon at Colonels Softball Complex.

The Islanders snapped a five-game losing streak and move to 17-21 and 11-9 in Southland Conference action. 10 different Islanders scored with nine recording at least one hit against Nicholls State (14-31, 8-12 SLC).

The Islanders tied a career-high 13 hits to outhit the Colonels 13-7. The last time the Islanders tallied 13 hits was against Central Arkansas in the Islanders 7-6 victory. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi also set a new career-best 11 runs. The Islanders broke their previous season-high of nine runs and coincidentally the last time the Islanders scored nine was against the Colonels on March 3 in the Ragin' Cajun Invitational in Lafayette, La. when the Islanders won 9-1.

The Islanders took an early 1-0 lead in the opening frame. Cassie Redman led the game off with a walk and advanced to second on a Hannah Schwarz sacrifice bunt. Meagan McKinney followed with an RBI single through the right side to plate Redman and give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.

The Colonels answered in the bottom of the first. Jordan Trujillo walked the leadoff batter before Megan Gaspard singled for the Colonels' first hit of the game. Nicholls State's No. 5 hitter Leah Andrus ripped a 3-run homer over the left field fence to give the Colonels a 3-1 lead.

In the top of the second, the Islanders exploded for eight runs on five hits to take a 9-3 lead. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi sent 13 batters to the plate and all but one of the nine batters in the lineup recorded a run. Stephanie Vead led the frame off with a single to third but was called out at second on a Mickayla Heller fielder's choice. Heller stole second with her third stolen base of the season. Julia Sanford in her second career start followed with a walk before Hayley Galloway reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases. Jamise Jackson, who pinch hit for Redman, reached on a walk to plate Heller to pull the Islanders within one. Schwarz reached on a fielder's choice while Sanford was called out at home. With two outs, the Islanders scored seven runs.   

McKinney started the surge by plating another run after she reached on an error by the shortstop to load the bases. Laura Phillips followed with a three-run RBI single to center field and Sandy Schumann singled up the middle to advance Phillips to second. Both Phillips and Schumann advanced on a wild pitch before Vead walked to load the bases. Heller followed with an RBI single up the middle to score Phillips. Sanford followed suit with a two-run single to right field to plate Vead and Schumann and advance Heller to third. After a Colonel pitching change, Galloway grounded out to shortstop to end the inning and give the Islanders a 9-3 lead.

The Colonels responded in the bottom of the second with two hits and two runs. No. 9 hitter Alaina Guidry singled through the left side with one out and Ashley Bertot followed with a walk before Ashley Gaspard hit a two-run double to left center. Vianca Pesina replaced Trujillo in the circle and retired the next two batters to pull the Islanders out of the jam with a 9-5 lead.  

In the bottom of the third, Pesina recorded all three outs and only gave up one hit. Vead tallied the Islanders seventh hit of the game with a two-out single to right field in the top of the fourth.

Galloway and Redman both tallied their first hits of the game in the top of the fifth. With one out, Galloway singled through the right side and Redman followed with a single to right field. Schwarz moved the runners to second and third with her second sacrifice bunt of the game, but the Islanders were left stranded after the Colonels' second baseman recorded the third out of the inning with a diving catch on a McKinney hit.

The Colonels tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth on two hits before the Islanders scored two runs in the seventh on three hits. Sanford led the top of the seventh with a single to left center for her second hit of the game and she advanced to second on a wild pitch. Pinch hitter Valerie Perez ripped an RBI double to left center to plate Sanford. Schwarz followed with an RBI to score Perez and pad the Islanders lead to 11-6.  

McKinney, Phillips, Vead and Sanford all registered two hits apiece while, Redman, Schumann, Heller, Galloway and Perez all chipped in one.

Pesina (2-7, 2-2 SLC) picked up the victory in the circle in 5.2 innings. The senior limited Nicholls State to just one run, three hits, while walking one and striking out four. Trujillo allowed four hits, five runs and three walks in 1.1 inning.

Next up is the Southland Conference Tournament next weekend in San Antonio. The Islanders will find out this evening their seeding and who they will be playing.

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Laura Phillips and Julia Sanford talk about the Islanders 11-6 victory over Nicholls State to wrap the regular season: