CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi softball team dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker in nine innings today to Nicholls State in the series finale at Chapman Field. The Islanders held a 2-0 lead heading into the final two innings, but the Colonels added a run in the sixth and seventh frames to knot the score at 2-2 and force extra innings. A run in the top of the ninth on two hits lifted the visiting team to a 3-2 victory.
Senior Meagan McKinney went 2-for-3 to lead the Islanders' (9-38, 4-20 SLC) bats while Mickayla Cochran, Hayley Galloway, Lindsey Lyles, Valerie Perez and Dani Tefft each added a hit apiece to help outhit the Colonels (22-24, 12-11 SLC), 7-6.
Constance Brandenburg had a stellar day in the circle allowing just one hit through five innings and holding the Colonels off the board until the sixth frame. The junior retired the first eight batters before giving up her first hit of the day in the bottom of the third with two outs.
The Islanders jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on two hits. Perez led things off with a single to center field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by J.J. Jackson. McKinney then walked before Cassie Carroll lined out to second base. Michelle Sorenson followed with a walk to load the bases for Tefft. The freshman then ripped a RBI single to second base to plate Perez and put the Islanders on the board.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth on two hits. With one out, Cochran drilled her eighth double of the season to left center and scored on a Lyles RBI single to right center.
Nicholls State answered in the top of the sixth with one run on two hits to pull within one. Courtney Vanlandingham led the inning with a single to center field but was called out at second on a fielder's choice by Ashley Bertot. After a ground out, Brittany Marcert hit a RBI single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw while Bertot scored on the play to give the Colonels their first run of the day.
The Colonels knotted the score at 2-2 in the top of the seventh with one run on a pair of Islanders' throwing errors. After a leadoff throwing error advanced Danielle Phillips to third, Alaina Guidry reached on a RBI fielder's choice while Phillips scored on an Islanders' throwing error to force extra innings.
The Islanders and Colonels went in order in the eighth before Nicholls State pushed ahead 3-2 in the top of the ninth with a run on two hits. After Phillips and Guidry reached on back-to-back singles, Levy moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Ashton Bennett then hit a RBI groundout to McKinney at first as Phillips scored.
Brandenburg (6-17) took the loss for the Islanders. The junior allowed six hits, three runs, two of them earned, while walking one and striking out five in nine innings.
Hannah Haydel (9-9) picked up the victory for the Colonels. She didn't allow a run or a hit in three innings and tallied one strikeout. Bennett allowed seven hits and two runs while walking two and striking out two in six innings.
The Islanders will remain at home next weekend to close out their regular season at Chapman Field. The Islanders will host Central Arkansas in a three-game series starting with a doubleheader on Saturday, May 4. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will then wrap the series on Sunday, May 5, on McKinney's Senior Day.
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