CORPUS CHRISTI – Constance Brandenburg powered the Islanders (3-8) to a 1-0 shutout over Kansas (7-3) today in the season home opener at Chapman Field. The junior was stellar in the circle with a career-high nine strikeouts in a complete game strikeout, while allowing just one walk and four hits. The Islanders' bats out hit the Jayhawks 5-4, behind the leadership of senior Megan McKinney who went 2-for-3.
"Constance did a great job in the circle today," Pitching Coach Sarah Pauly said. "She was really on with hitting strikes, misses and really throwing the Kansas batters off. We knew we needed to focus on hitting our spots for the low pitch and hitting our misses when we were ahead in the count."
The Islanders and Jayhawks were scoreless through two innings, until the Islanders scored one in the bottom of the third on three hits. The Islanders started off strong in the bottom of the first with one hit, however left three stranded. Leadoff batter Mickayla Cochran led things off with a walk, before Hayley Galloway advanced Cochran to second on 6-4 sacrifice bunt. McKinney followed with a dropper over the pitcher's head and advanced to second on a Valerie Perez ground out. With runners on second and third, Laura Phillips earned a walk to load the bases, but the Jayhawks escaped with a 6-4 fielder's choice.
Kansas came back in the top of the second to start the inning off with a hit and walk, however Brandenburg retired the next three batters with her second and third punch outs of the game while a line out to McKinney at first ended any threat of the Jayhawks scoring . Kansas struck back in the top of the third with two singles with one out before Brandenburg escaped the jam with the help of the Islanders' defense.
Cochran led the Islanders off in bottom of the third with a single to first base before advancing to second on a Galloway single to the pitcher. McKinney followed with her second hit of the day to load the bases before Perez popped out to center field for the first out of the inning. Phillips then earned an RBI walk to bring Cochran in to tack on the Islanders' first run of the day. Kansas pulled out of the jam with a double play to end the frame.
Kansas tallied one hit in the fourth but that's all the Islanders would allow as Brandenburg faced just nine more batters in the final three frames to pick up her second victory of the season.
McKinney added two hits, while Cochran, J.J. Jackson and Galloway each added one apiece. Jackson recorded the only double of the game with a solo shot to left field with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.
Alicia Pille (3-1) took the Ioss for the Jayhawks in six innings. She tallied six strikeouts while allowing five hits and four walks.
The Islanders will be in action tomorrow when they host the Best Western Marina Grand Islanders Classic at Chapman Field. The Islanders will take on Kansas at 11 a.m. before facing Auburn at 3 p.m. All tournament passes are $15 for adults, $10 for youth and seniors. Day passes are $6 for adults and $4 for youth and seniors. For more information, click here. All fans without a valid Texas A&M - Corpus Christi parking pass or a disabled parking tag are required to park in the Bayside Parking Garage located on campus.
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