Islanders Set to Compete in Three-Day UTSA Mid-Major Classic
UTSA MID-MAJOR CLASSIC | SAN ANTONIO | ROADRUNNER FIELD
GAME 1: Friday, Feb. 21 • 9 a.m. | Nebraska-Omaha vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
GAME 2: Friday, Feb. 21 • 11:30 a.m. | Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs. Bryant
GAME 3: Saturday, Feb. 22 • 9 a.m. | Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs. Nebraska-Omaha
GAME 4: Saturday, Feb. 22 • 4:30 p.m. | Texas A&M - Corpus Christi vs. UTSA
GAME 5: Sunday, Feb. 23 • 9 a.m. | Bryant vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team will head to San Antonio this weekend to compete in the three-day UTSA Mid-Major Classic. The Islanders will open play on Friday, Feb. 21 against Nebraska-Omaha and Bryant, before taking on the Mavericks again and host UTSA on Saturday. The squad will conclude play on Sunday against the Bulldogs.
- The Islanders are coming off a 1-4 weekend in Las Cruces, N.M., including a 5-0 victory over New Mexico State.
- Dani Tefft had an impressive five games in the classic going 10-for-16 for a conference-leading .625 batting average. The sophomore leads the team with a .583 batting average and .583 on-base percentage. She has recorded a team-high 14 hits while starting in all nine games in left field.
- Senior J.J. Jackson also had a solid weekend hitting .400 with six hits, four RBIs and a home run.
- Fellow senior Valerie Perez led the doubles column with two on the weekend and a team-high 11 total bases. She also tacked on a three-run homer against Iowa State in the top of the seventh to tie the score. The Corpus Christi native is second on the team with a .429 batting average.
- Liz Carter picked up her second win of the season in the circle against New Mexico State. She garnered her first complete-game victory against SFA in her second career start during the opening weekend of play.
- The Islanders two wins this season have come against Southland foe Stephen F. Austin (5-2) and New Mexico State (5-0).
- The team is ranked second in the conference with a .321 team batting average and second in home runs with eight.
- In nine games, the Islanders have already reached half of their home run total from last year. The squad has eight on the year, with Brittney Morse (three) and Mickayla Cochran (2) leading the pack. Last season the team tallied 16 in 50 games.
- 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. Hughes spent eight seasons with UTSA prior to coming to the Island University.
IN THE CIRCLE
Liz Carter (2-3) recorded her first complete game victory against SFA, allowing just five hits, two runs and no walks in seven innings. Her second win of the season came against New Mexico State. The freshman limited the Aggies to just four hits while walking five and striking out two in seven innings.
The Austin, Texas native holds a 4.20 ERA in six appearances and 35 innings pitched (3rd SLC). Her pair of wins are tied for fifth in the conference and her team-high 20 strikeouts are good for eighth place in the league. Carter has started in four games (6th SLC) while posting three complete games (T-2nd SLC).
Not only does Carter make her presence known in the circle, but she is also becoming a threat at the plate. Over the weekend, she made her first plate appearance against the Aggies. In the 5-0 win, Carter tallied her first career hit of the game through the middle and went 2-for-3 in the game with one run and an RBI.
During the opening weekend of play, Brittney Morse powered the team with three home runs, including two against Southern Illinois. 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. 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.
Her .875 slugging percentage ranks third in the conference and her three home runs are tied for the most this season. After recording 16 total bases during the opening weekend and five at the Troy Cox Classic, the sophomore is tied for seventh in the league with a team-high 21 total bases. Morse is third on the team with a .375 batting average in nine starts.
Dani Tefft had an outstanding weekend for the Islanders at the Troy Cox Classic. The lefty went 10-for-16 for a .625 batting average in five games and plated four runs for the Islanders. She started the weekend going 2-for-3 in each of the games against Northern Colorado and New Mexico State. The Sugar Land, Texas native followed her performance with two hits on Saturday out of three at-bats against Texas Tech and went 1-for-2 against Weber State. Tefft kept the Islanders' bats rolling on Sunday against Iowa State going 3-for-5 to help the Islanders' record a season-high 16 hits. For the weekend, she recorded a .625 slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
The sophomore is leading the conference with a .583 batting average and leads the Islanders with 14 hits. She posted the Islanders only triple of the season against Southern Illinois. Her .583 on-base percentage ranks second in the conference, just behind Corry Beverly of Lamar with a .600 percentage.
The Islanders welcome seven newcomers this season, including six freshmen and one junior transfer. Joining Carter and Morse are Mackinzee Griebel (Lockhart, Texas), Katie Blanar (Pearland,Texas) and utility player Jessica Mendez (Corpus Christi, Texas). Griebel hit .455 in the leadoff spot and drilled two doubles while starting all four games in right field during the opening weekend of play. 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.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS:
NEBRASKA-OMAHA: The Mavericks are 6-3 on the season and are coming off a 3-1 weekend in Alabama at the Tiger Invitational. The squad picked up wins against Marshall, Loyola Chicago and Western Illinois while dropping a 4-2 loss to Auburn. Allie Mathewson is hitting a team-best .500 with 15 hits and nine runs. Dana Elsasser leads UNO in the circle with a 2.27 ERA in 32.2 innings and six appearances.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mavericks and Islanders will meet for the first time in program history on Friday.
BRYANT: The Bulldogs will open their season this weekend after recording a 21-22 (10-10 NEC) record a year ago. Bryant finished the season winning seven of its last nine games and was selected to finish fourth in the Northeast Conference this season. Aubrey Mable led the offense last season hitting .396 with a team-high 55 hits and 18 doubles. Lauren Guy finished right behind Mable with a .395 batting average with 49 hits and a team-best 10 home runs. In the circle, Elle Madsen (10-6) posted a 3.05 ERA in 85 innings and her 49 strikeouts led the Bulldogs' pitching staff.
SERIES HISTORY: Friday will mark the first meeting between the Islanders and Bulldogs.
UTSA: The Roadrunners hold a 4-6 record and are coming off an 8-0 loss to Texas State Wednesday night. This season, UTSA has wins over Lamar (3) and nationally-ranked Texas. Megan Low and Siera Sproul have recorded .360 batting average to lead the offense while Nicole Merrill (2-2) holds a 2.94 ERA in 33.1 innings in the Roadrunner circle this season.
SERIES HISTORY: The Roadrunners lead the all-time series 17-28 against the Islanders. Last season, the Islanders dropped three games to UTSA, twice on the road and once at home.
Following this weekend's classic, A&M - Corpus Christi will 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.
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