CORPUS CHRISTI – Meagan McKinney's fielder's choice with bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth lifted the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team to a 6-5 victory over New Mexico Saturday afternoon at Chapman Field. After the Lobos struck early in the third to push ahead, the Islanders (4-10) answered with three runs in the sixth after Mickayla Cochran ripped a 3 RBI homer. However, New Mexico (8-9) rallied back in the seventh to knot the score at 5-5 to force extra innings on the second day of the Best Western Marina Grand Islanders Classic.
In the top of the eighth, the Lobos left the international runner on third stranded after the Islanders escaped with a fly out to Ashley Elicerio in left field. The Islanders placed Laura Phillips on second before Elicerio popped to left field. Cochran and Lindsey Lyles followed with walks to load the bases. With Phillips at third, Cochran at second and Lyles at first, McKinney hit a fielder's choice to shortstop to plate Phillips to clinch the victory.
The Islanders got on board in the bottom of the first with two hits to take a 1-0 lead. Cochran led the inning off with a single to second base before Lyles reached base on a hit a pitch. McKinney followed with a single through the middle for her first RBI of the day to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead. Valerie Perez reached on a fielder's choice and J.J. Jackson followed with a walk to load the bases. The Lobos pulled out of jam with a punch out to leave three Islanders stranded.
After a scoreless second inning, the Lobos answered in the third with two runs on two hits to push ahead 2-1. The Islanders knotted the score in the fourth with two hits. With one out, Elicerio singled to center field. After a Cochran pop fly, Lyles reached first on her second hit by pitch of the day. McKinney followed with a rip through the middle to score Elicerio.
The Islanders built a 5-2 cushion in the bottom of the sixth after Cochran blasted her second career homer over the right field wall to plate three runs. Hayley Galloway and Elicerio singled to start the frame before Cochran stepped to the plate.
New Mexico rallied back in the top of seventh with three runs on six hits to force extra innings. The Lobos recorded two singles to start the frame and scored two runs with one out. After hurler Constance Brandenburg tallied her fifth strikeout for the second out, the Lobos tacked on their third run with a single to third base to extend the game.
McKinney led the Islanders for the third straight day with two hits and three RBI. Cochran went 2-for-3 while chipping in two runs and three RBI. Elicerio tallied two hits and two runs and Cassie Carroll, Lyles and Galloway added one hit apiece. The Lobos tallied 14 hits in the game while the Islanders recorded nine.
Brandenburg (3-4) picked up the win in the circle for the Islanders. The junior recorded five strikeouts and allowed five runs and just one walk.
The Islanders will wrap the classic tomorrow at 11 a.m. against Southern University. 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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