Islanders, Bobcats Meet for Tuesday Doubleheader
TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (5-16) AT TEXAS STATE (13-9) | BOBCAT SOFTBALL STADIUM | SAN MARCOS, TEXAS | TUESDAY, MARCH 11 • 2 P.M. & 4 P.M.
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team will take a break from conference action to take on Texas State in a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 11, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Bobcat Softball Stadium.
- The Islanders will start a six-game road trip starting Tuesday when they return to San Marcos, Texas, to face the Bobcats. The Islanders opened the season at Bobcat Softball Stadium at the CenturyLink Classic.
- A&M - Corpus Christi is coming off a 1-2 weekend against Central Arkansas in Southland Conference play.
- The Islanders are second in the Southland Conference in hitting with a .310 batting average and are currently tied with Incarnate Word for a league-high 178 hits.
- Valerie Perez leads the Islanders' offense with a .385 batting average and a team-high 25 hits.
- The Islanders' five wins this season have come against Stephen F. Austin (5-2), New Mexico State (5-0), Bryant (9-6), Connecticut (8-0) and Central Arkansas (2-1).
- A&M - Corpus Christi has tallied seven double-figure hitting games this season, with their most hits coming against Iowa State (16) and Bryant (16).
- Liz Carter earned her fifth win of the season in the circle against Central Arkansas in the first game of the doubleheader on Friday.
- In 21 games, the Islanders are just two home runs away from matching last years total of 16. The squad has 14 on the year, with Morse leading the pack with five. Mickayla Cochran and Valerie Perez have each cranked three on the year.
- 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 is in her third season with the Islanders along with Pitching Coach Sarah Pauly.
Liz Carter (5-7) has picked up all of the Islanders victories this season and has been a consistent leader in the Islanders circle this season. She 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. At the UTSA Mid-Major Classic, Carter secured her third win of the season against Bryant.
At the Texas A&M Invitational, Carter was superb in the Islanders' circle earning her first one-hit shutout against Connecticut. After Connecticut recorded a hit in the top of the first, the freshman did not allow a hit through the final five innings. The Austin, Texas native registered her first career conference victory on Friday against Central Arkansas after allowing just five hits and one run while walking three and striking out two Bears in seven innings.
Carter holds a 5.34 ERA in 16 appearances (T-3rd SLC) and 80 innings pitched (3rd SLC). Her team-high 39 strikeouts are good for eighth place in the league. Carter has started in 12 games (3rd SLC) while posting seven complete games (T-3rd SLC). Her five wins in the Islander's circle are tied for fifth in the conference.
Not only does Carter make her presence known in the circle, but she is also becoming a threat at the plate. At the Troy Cox Classic in Las Cruces, N.M., 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. In the Islanders win over Connecticut, Carter was outstanding at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Over the weekend, Carter put together a solid outing, going 3-for-4 with a double and four total bases. She tallied a .750 batting average while registering a .800 on-base percentage and a 1.000 slugging percentage.
This season, Carter is hitting .417 to go along with 10 hits, three runs and three RBIs in 24 at bats.
Brittney Morse has quickly established herself as a power hitter since arriving at the Island University. The freshman is hitting .369 (8th SLC) and has tallied 24 hits (T-7th SLC) in all 21 games. Her team-high .677 slugging percentage ranks third in the conference and she leads the team with five home runs (T-5th SLC). After recording six total bases over the weekend, she is ranked third in the league with a team-high 44 total bases.
Dani Tefft had an impressive five games at the Troy Cox Classic going 10-for-16 for a conference-leading .625 batting average. This season, the lefty has picked up a team-best five stolen bases (T-7th SLC) while hitting .339 in 21 games. She is tied for third on the team in hits with 21 and second in runs with 14 (T-9th SLC). The Sugar Land, Texas native is tied for second in the league with a team-best two triples.
Senior Valerie Perez leads the Islanders with a .385 batting average (5th SLC) and is tied for fourth in the conference with a team-high 25 hits. Perez is tied with Morse with a team-best five doubles and second on the team with 41 total bases (T-5th SLC). Her .631 slugging percentage is good for eighth place in the conference.
The Corpus Christi native led the offense with eight hits and seven RBIs in five games at the UTSA Mid-Major Classic. Against Bryant she hit a three-run homer to help lift the Islanders to a 9-6 victory. Perez also tacked on four runs and 11 total bases while hitting .444. For the weekend, she recorded a .611 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base percentage.
J.J. Jackson has been a consistent leader for the Islanders' offense this season. Over the weekend against Central Arkansas, the senior led the Islanders' bats with four hits, including her second double of the season, and a team-best four RBIs. Jackson went 1-for-2 with an RBI single to help the Islanders to a 2-1 victory over UCA in the conference opener on Friday. For the weekend, she collected five total bases to go along with a .556 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base percentage.
J.J. Jackson is on a three-game hitting streak while Liz Carter is on a two-game hitting streak, and Mickayla Cochran and Valerie Perez are both on a one-game hitting streak. The longest hitting streaks of the season go to Cochran and freshman Mackinzee Griebel, who both put together a seven-game hitting streak.
RUNS RUNS RUNS
Seniors Valerie Perez and J.J. Jackson along with freshman Brittney Morse have combined for 44 of the teams' 80 RBIs while Morse, Dani Tefft and Mickayla Cochran have registered 43 of the Islanders' 87 runs.
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 is hitting .250 and has recorded 16 hits, six RBIs and 18 total bases in 21 starts. Blanar (0-3) 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. Ivy is hitting .182 and has chipped in four RBIs in nine games.
SCOUTING TEXAS STATE
The Bobcats come into the weekend with a 13-9 record after dropping their last four games. Since topping the Islanders in their third game of the season, Texas State has picked up wins against Southern Illinois, Houston Baptist, Saint Mary's, San Diego State, California, UTSA, Sam Houston State, Abilene Christian, Prairie View A&M, Memphis and Ohio.
Texas State is coming off a 9-2 loss to Texas A&M at home on Wednesday, March 5. Courtney Harris is hitting .339 to lead the offense and Timishia North is close behind with a .333 batting average. In the circle, Rayn House (10-5) holds a 1.88 ERA in 93 innings.
SERIES HISTORY: The Islanders and Bobcats will meet for the 41st time in program history on Tuesday. Texas State leads the all-time series 27-13. The Islanders faced the Bobcats on Feb. 9, in San Marcos, Texas, in the CenturyLink Classic, falling 13-0 in five innings. Mackinzee Griebel, Valerie Perez, J.J Jackson and Laura Phillips all collected one hit apiece for the Islanders. Katie Blanar took the loss for the Islanders in her first career start in the circle.
Following Tuesday's doubleheader, the Islanders will continue conference play when they travel to Natchitoches, La. to take on Northwestern State in a three-game series starting on Saturday, March 15.
For the latest information, follow Islanders Softball on Twitter and Instagram (@IslandersSball) and Facebook (Islanders Softball).