Softball Heads to Las Cruces for Three-Day Troy Cox Classic
Troy Cox Classic | Las Cruces, N.M. | NMSU Softball Complex
GAME 1: Friday, Feb. 14 • 11 a.m. MST/12 p.m. CST | Northern Colorado vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
GAME 2: Friday, Feb. 14 • 3:30 p.m. MST/4:30 p.m. CST | Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs. New Mexico State
GAME 3: Saturday, Feb. 15 • 9:30 a.m. MST/10:30 a.m. CST | Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs. Texas Tech
GAME 4: Saturday, Feb. 15 • 2 p.m. MST/3 p.m. CST | Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs. Weber State
GAME 5: Sunday, Feb. 16 • 9 a.m. MST/10 a.m. CST | Iowa State vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team will continue their non-conference schedule this weekend in Las Cruces, N.M. at the Troy Cox Classic, hosted by New Mexico State. The Islanders will open play against Northern Colorado and the Aggies on Friday before facing Texas Tech and Weber St. on Saturday. A&M - Corpus Christi will conclude play on Sunday against Iowa St.
- The Islanders kicked off the season with a 1-3 record last weekend in San Marcos, Texas at the CenturyLink Classic.
- After dropping the first two games to Ball State and Illinois State the Islanders earned their first victory of the season 5-2 over Southland foe Stephen F. Austin.
- Brittney Morse powered the Islanders' offense with a .500 batting average with five hits, two doubles and an impressive three home runs. The freshman also recorded 16 total bases while registering a 1.600 slugging percentage and a .545 on-base percentage.
- Returners Valerie Perez and Dani Tefft also hit .500 for the weekend while starting all four games. Perez propelled the team with six hits and a double, while Tefft tallied four hits and a triple over the weekend.
- Liz Carter garnered her first complete-game victory against SFA in her second career start.
- A&M - Corpus Christi returns five of its top six hitters from last season's team, including junior Mickayla Cochran, who started in all 50 of the Islanders' games last season. As a sophomore she led the Islanders in hits, runs, and home runs, while tying the team lead in doubles.
- Junior utility player Lindsey Lyles was tabbed Preseason Second Team All-Southland. She played in all 27-conference games last season while splitting time between third base, shortstop, second base and designed player.
- Assistant Coach Keith Stein joined the Islanders in November after spending the past year as a volunteer assistant coach for UTSA.
- Head Coach Stephanie Hughes enters her third season with the Islanders along with Pitching Coach Sarah Pauly.
Freshman Liz Carter (1-1) earned her first victory as an Islander in her second career start on Sunday against SFA. The Austin, Texas native recorded her first complete game while allowing just five hits, two runs and no walks in seven innings. Carter also tallied two strikeouts while facing 26 Ladyjacks. She held SFA off the board through the first three innings and retired 10 straight before a four-hit bottom of the fourth put the Ladyjacks on the board. She holds a 5.36 ERA in three appearances and 15.2 innings pitched (4th SLC).
Brittney Morse powered the team with three home runs, including two against Southern Illinois. Her three home runs over the weekend led the Southland Conference. In her first career start, she went 1-for-2 with a double in the Islanders' loss to Ball State, but followed it with a pair of home runs and two RBIs to go 3-for-4 against Southern Illinois. On Sunday, Morse cranked her third home run of the weekend over the right field wall to help the Islanders pick up their first victory of the season, 5-2, over Stephen F. Austin. For the weekend, she hit .500 while recording a .545 on-base percentage. Morse recorded 16 total bases (3rd SLC) while registering a conference-leading 1.600 slugging percentage. Defensively, Morse started all four games, including three behind home plate. She tallied six putouts and one pickoff over the weekend. Her .500 batting average ranks fifth in the conference standings.
Freshman Mackinzee Griebel had a strong opening weekend for the Islanders. The Lockhart, Texas native hit .455 in the leadoff spot and drilled two doubles while starting all four games in right field. Griebel went 2-for-3 in her first game as an Islander against Ball State. She was outstanding at the plate with two doubles and an RBI. She also had an impressive diving play in right field for her first putout of her career.
The Islanders welcome seven newcomers this season, including six freshmen and one junior transfer. Joining Carter, Morse and Griebel are Katie Blanar (Pearland, Texas) and utility player Jessica Mendez (Corpus Christi, Texas). Blanar adds depth to the Islanders' pitching staff while Mendez adds speed to the Islanders' offense and outfield. Rounding out the freshman class is Emma Stipe (Round Rock, Texas) who will redshirt this season. Joining the junior class is Cassidy Ivy (Huntington, Texas). She comes to the Island University after playing two seasons at Angelina JC. In her first career at bat against Southern Illinois, Ivy blasted a two RBI home run over the right field wall.
NORTHERN COLORADO: The Bears are coming off a 1-4 opening weekend in the Georgia Southern Tournament. The squad split with Oakland and dropped a pair of losses to Tennessee and one to Georgia Southern. Megan Wilkinson hit .333 with four hits, including a double, home run and four runs. In the circle, Jayme Reddacliff recorded a 4.94 ERA in 5.2 innings and four appearances. Wilkinson picked up the victory against Oakland in five innings. She allowed five hits, five runs while walking two and striking out two.
SERIES HISTORY: The Islanders lead the series 2-1. The last time the two teams met up was last season in the Miken Classic, hosted by Baylor. The Islanders topped the Bears 6-4.
NEW MEXICO STATE: The Aggies went 2-3 at home in the Hotel Encanto Invitational with wins over Saint Mary's and UTEP and losses over 15th-ranked Florida State, ninth-ranked Nebraska and Saint Mary's. Lacey Rother was named the WAC Hitter of the Week after she hit .385 with five hits, two home runs and five RBIs to lead the Aggies. In the circle, Makayla McAdams posted a 2.03 ERA in 10 innings and her eight strikeouts over the weekend led the Aggies' pitching staff.
SERIES HISTORY: The Aggies lead the series 4-6. The last time the two teams met up was in 2008. The Islanders lost 9-0 in Las Cruces, N.M.
TEXAS TECH: The Red Raiders went 3-2 at the Lion Classic in Hammond, La. with wins over Nicholls State, University of Missouri-Kansas City and Texas Southern. Lea Hopson, who batted .429 with six hits, one double, two home runs and three RBIs, leads Texas Tech offensively. Brittany Talley earned Big 12 Pitcher of the Week after posting a 2-0 record in the circle with 11 strikeouts in 11 shutout innings.
SERIES HISTORY: The Islanders lead the series 6-5 and have won the last five meetings against the Red Raiders, including a 2-0 victory in 2005.
WEBER STATE: The Wildcats posted a 3-2 record at the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah with wins over BYU, Grand Canyon and Utah Valley. Dusti Blair hit .333 with six hits and an RBI to lead the offense while MaCauley Flint tallied a 1-1 record in the circle to earn Big Sky Pitcher of the Week. She did not allow an earned run in 15 innings and had 21 strikeouts in three appearances.
SERIES HISTORY: The Wildcats and Islanders will meet for the first time in program history on Saturday.
IOWA STATE: The Cyclones swept through the Cyclone Invitational with a perfect 4-0 record with a pair of wins over Indiana State and South Dakota State. Aly Cappaert hit .700 with seven hits, one home run and an RBI. She also posted a 1.000 slugging percentage and a .769 on-base percentage. Katie Johnson took care of the pitching duties in the circle to earn a 4-0 record while registering a 1.25 ERA in 28 innings pitched. She allowed just five earned runs while striking out 28 batters.
SERIES HISTORY: The Islanders lead the series 2-1 after winning the last two games. The Islanders garnered a 6-2 victory in the last meeting in 2007.
Following the Troy Cox Classic the Islanders will compete in the UTSA Mid-Major Classic on Feb. 21 through Feb. 23. The Islanders will face Nebraska-Omaha and Bryant twice and host UTSA once. Following the classic, A&M - Corpus Christi will then head to College Station for their final pre-conference tournament, before returning home to open Southland Conference play on Friday, March 7, in a doubleheader against Central Arkansas at Chapman Field. The three-game series will continue on Saturday, March 8, with a single game.
For the latest information, follow Islanders Softball on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersSball) and Facebook (Islanders Softball).