Softball Splits Doubleheader with HBU in Southland Conference Opener
CORPUS CHRISTI – Sophomore Lindsey Lyles cranked a walk-off single to third base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team to its first Southland Conference victory of the season 4-3 over Houston Baptist on a windy Saturday at Chapman Field. The Islanders fell short in the second game of the double dip, 12-4, in six innings. The Huskies and Islanders will wrap the conference series Sunday at 12 p.m.
The Islanders (6-16, 1-1 SLC) outhit the Huskies (6-6, 1-1 SLC) 10-5 in the first game before the Huskies tallied 10 hits to the Islanders' seven in the second game. Lyles powered the Islanders offense in both games, going 5-for-6 on the day with three RBI.
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GAME 1: TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 4, HOUSTON BAPTIST 3
The Huskies answered first in the top of the second with three runs on one hit. The Islanders got on board with two runs in the bottom of the second on two hits. J.J. Jackson started things off with a leadoff single up the middle and Lyles followed with walk. Cassie Carroll advanced the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. With one out, Michelle Sorenson walked to load the bases. Pinch hitter Laura Phillips stepped to the plate and drilled a single down the left field line to plate Lyles and Jackson while Sorenson advanced to third on a Husky throwing error. HBU pulled out of the jam with a Mickayla Cochran ground out and Hayley Galloway popped out to right field.
After a quick three-out inning for the Islanders' defense, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi's bats got hot again in the bottom of the third. The Islanders tacked on one run on three hits to tie the game at 3-3. With two outs, Jackson ripped her second double of the season to left center while Lyles and Carroll followed suit with back-to-back singles to score Jackson and knot the score.
The Islanders and Huskies stayed even through three innings of play. Islanders' hurler Constance Brandenburg retired eight straight Huskies through the fourth, fifth and six frames before HBU's Holly Webb singled to short stop in the top of the sixth with two outs.
Houston Baptist tallied two hits in the sixth but the Islanders escaped leaving two stranded. After the Huskies left one on in the top of the seventh the Islanders came to the plate in the bottom of the seventh.
Hayley Galloway grounded out to shortstop to start the inning before Meagan McKinney reached on a bobble by the Huskies' shortstop. Valerie Perez followed with a hit by pitch to put runners on first and second. After a Jackson pop fly to center field, Lyles triggered a walk-off single with two outs to plate McKinney and clinch a 4-3 victory.
The Islanders snapped a five-game losing streak and outhit the Huskies 10-5 led by Lyles who went 3-for-3. Cochran and Jackson also chipped in two hits apiece to go 2-for-4 on the day.
Brandenburg (4-7) picked up the victory in the circle in seven innings of work. The junior allowed five hits, four walks and three runs, with just one being earned.
Keely Shuler (2-2) took the loss for the Huskies in 6.2 innings. She allowed 10 hits, two walks and four runs while tallying one strikeout.
GAME 2: HOUSTON BAPTIST 12, TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 4 (6 innings)
The Huskies bounced back in the second game of the day to earn their first conference victory ever as a Southland Conference member 12-4 in six innings. HBU jumped out early with a pair of runs in the top of the second, one in the third and five in the fourth to take a 8-0 lead.
The Islanders answered in the bottom of the fourth with two runs on two hits. Galloway led off the inning by reaching base on an error by the Huskies' pitcher. McKinney followed with a single up the middle to advance Galloway to second. After a pop fly by Jackson, Perez reached on a fielder's choice to put runners on first and second as Galloway was called out at third.
Once again, Lyles stepped up to the plate and blasted her first triple of the season with a deep 2 RBI shot to right center to plate Perez and McKinney. HBU responded with three runs in the top of the fifth on two hits and an Islander mishap.
However, the Islanders kept the game alive with two runs in the bottom of the fifth on three hits and two runs. Sorenson jumpstarted the frame with a single to left field and Dani Tefft followed with a hard single to the Huskies' pitcher. Cochran loaded the bases with the third straight Islanders' single of the inning. Galloway then reached on a fielder's choice to score Sorenson while Cochran was called out at second. With runners on the corners, McKinney walked to load the bases before Jackson popped up to the shortstop. With two outs, Perez walked in Tefft to plate the Islanders' fourth run of the game.
HBU capped off the game with one run in the top of the sixth on one hit as Sorenson walked and Tefft singled for the Islanders in the bottom of the sixth but were stranded as the Huskies retired the next two batters.
Lyles and Tefft led the Islanders' bats going 2-for-3 while Cochran, McKinney and Sorenson all tallied one hit apiece.
Ashley Elicerio (1-7) took the loss for the Islanders in 3.2 innings. She allowed six hits, seven runs and walked two while striking out one batter. Brandenburg allowed the Huskies three hits and four runs in 0.2 innings while Bethany Slick allowed just one hit and one run in 1.2 innings.