CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team split a conference doubleheader with Central Arkansas Saturday at Chapman Field. The Islanders and Bears battled back and forth for 11 innings in game one with Central Arkansas putting together a three-run top of the 11th to win 7-4. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi answered back in game two to win 6-4. The Islanders' bats came out swinging to outhit the visiting team, 9-4.
The Islanders (10-39, 5-21 SLC) and Bears (36-17, 15-9 SLC) will square off in a rubber game tomorrow at 11 a.m. when the two teams wrap the series at Chapman Field on Meagan McKinney's Senior Day.
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GAME 1: CENTRAL ARKANSAS 7, TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 4 (11 INNINGS)
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi scored a run in the first and held the lead until the top of the sixth when Central Arkansas knotted the score at 1-1. Neither team was able to score in the seventh and eighth frames and were forced to extra innings. The Islanders and Bears both scored a pair of runs in the ninth and one each in the 10th. It wasn't until the 11th that Central Arkansas pushed ahead with three runs to win 7-4.
Cochran started things off with a single to center field in the bottom of the first before scoring on a Perez RBI triple to right field.
Islanders' hurler Constance Brandenburg held the Bears off the board until the top of the sixth. Lissa Avitia started the inning with a single to shortstop and scored on a Amy Gunnells single up the middle.
The Islanders and Bears battled back and forth for the next five innings. Central Arkansas pushed ahead 3-1 in the top of the ninth with two runs on one hit and a pair of Islanders' fielding mishaps. However, the Islanders answered with two runs and two hits in the bottom of the ninth. Galloway hit a leadoff single to right field and advanced to second after Lyles reached on a fielding error. Perez then stepped to the plate and advanced Lyles to second and Galloway to third on a sacrifice bunt. After a McKinney pop up, Carroll ripped a 2 RBI single to third base to score Lyles and Galloway and tie the game at 3-3.
With the international tiebreaker rule in play, the Bears scored a run on a sacrifice fly out by Jessie Taylor in the top of the 10th before the Islanders evened the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the 10th. Cochran hit a RBI single to left field to score Natalie Zarzabal, who came in to pinch run for J.J. Jackson.
Central Arkansas then pushed ahead in the top of the 11th with three runs on two hits. Sam Forrest hit a RBI single to right center and Sarah Bigej hit a 2 RBI single to left field to cap the game.
Brandenburg (6-18) took the loss for the Islanders. The junior allowed nine hits, seven runs, four of them earned, while walking six in 11 innings.
Kelsie Armstrong (28-11) picked up the victory for the Bears. She allowed seven hits, four runs, one of them earned while striking out 11 and walking none in 11 innings.
GAME 2: TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 6, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 4
The Islanders outhit the Bears 9-6 en route to a 6-4 victory in game two. Bethany Slick picked up her first conference win and her second victory of the season in the circle allowing just two earned runs in seven innings.
The Islanders put up three runs on four hits in the bottom of the third to take a 3-0 lead. With one out, Tefft singled to the pitcher and advanced to second on a Cochran single through the left side. Galloway followed with the Islanders' third consecutive hit with a single to right center to plate Tefft. Lyles moved Galloway to second and Cochran to third with a ground out before Perez ripped a 2 RBI single to center field to score Galloway and Cochran. McKinney then reached on a Bears' fielding error to load the bases. However, UCA pulled out of the inning with a Jackson ground out.
The Bears answered with a run in the top of the fourth on one hit. After back-to-back walks, Ashley Boswell hit a RBI single to third base to score Melanie Bryant to pull the Bears within two.
The Islanders' bats rolled on through the fourth with three runs on four hits to extend their lead to 6-1 with two outs. After Sorenson lined out and Tefft grounded out, Cochran jumpstarted the Islanders' bats with a single to left field. Galloway followed suit with a single to the pitcher before Lyles drilled a RBI single to left center to score Cochran. Perez then loaded the bases with awalk before McKinney hit a two-run blast to center field to pad the lead.
Central Arkansas rallied back in the top of the seventh with three runs on three hits. Sarah Bigej hit a 2 RBI single to left field and scored on a wild pitch, however the Islanders escaped to win their 10th victory of the season.
Slick (2-6) picked up the victory for the Islanders. She allowed four hits, four runs, two of them earned while walking seven in seven innings.
Ciara Clampitt (3-3) took the loss for Central Arkansas. She allowed eight hits, six runs, five of them earned, while walking three in 3.2 innings.