NATCHITOCHES, La. – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team put together a late rally in the top of the fifth and six frames to clinch their second conference game of the season, 10-9, over Northwestern State. The Islanders (7-17, 2-2 SLC) registered their eighth double-digit hitting game of the season and matched a season-high 16 hits at Lady Demon Diamond.
In the second game, the Lady Demons (10-11, 2-2 SLC) were ahead 5-1 in the bottom of the fifth when play was suspended due to heavy rain. The game will resume Sunday at 2 p.m. with the third game scheduled to start following the conclusion of the second game.
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GAME 1: TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 10, NORTHWESTERN STATE 9
After falling behind early, the Islanders' bats came alive in the top of the fifth and a two-run double by Valerie Perez in the sixth lifted the Islanders past the Lady Demons 10-9.
Dani Tefft went a perfect 3-for-3 to power the Islanders' bats and Perez went 3-for-4 with a team-high four RBIs. Mickayla Cochran, J.J. Jackson, Mackinzee Griebel and Hayley Galloway each chipped in two hits apiece while Liz Carter and Lindsey Lyles tallied one hit each. Along with Perez's four RBIs, Lyles added three and Jackson added a pair.
Northwestern State opened with a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first on five hits. Tara McKenney started things off with a single through the middle before stealing second and landing on third on a sacrifice bunt by Cali Burke. Brianna Rodriguez followed with a RBI single to left field to score McKenney and put the Lady Demons on the board. After a line out to Cochran in center field, Brittany Virgoe and Kellye Kincannon followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. Brittney Jones then stepped to the plate and hit a two-run single through the middle to score Rodriguez and Virgoe. Islanders' hurler Carter recorded her first punch-out of the game to help the Islanders escape the frame.
The Lady Demons added another run in the bottom of the second after Kayla Boening led off the inning with a home run over the left field wall.
NSU answered with three runs on three hits in the bottom of the third to push their lead to 7-3. Kincannon started the frame with a single to left center before landing on second after Jones reached on a walk. Cheyenne DelaGarza then hit a double to left field to score Kincannon and pad the Lady Demons lead to two. After a pop fly to Perez at shortstop recorded the first out of the inning, McKenney nailed a two-run double down the left field line to score Jones and DelaGarza and put the home team up 7-3.
In the bottom of the fourth the Lady Demons added a pair of runs with one out after Jones hit a two-run homer of the left field wall.
A&M - Corpus Christi rallied back in the top of the fifth with five runs on five hits to cut NSU's lead to one. Cochran started the rally with a single to left field and Tefft followed suit with a single to right field. Perez then stepped to the plate and blasted a RBI single to left field to plate Cochran. Jackson kept the momentum going with a single to left field to load the bases. Carter then followed with a RBI sacrifice fly to center field to score Tefft and bring Lyles to the plate. The junior stepped up and nailed her first home run of the season and her fourth career homer over the left field wall to plate Perez and Jackson and pull the Islanders within one.
In the top of the sixth, Perez hit the go ahead two-run double to right center to put the Islanders in front 10-9. Galloway started the frame with a single to left field before Cochran reached on a bunt single. Tefft then advanced Galloway to third and Cochran to second on a sacrifice bunt. With one out, Perez scored Galloway and Cochran after she drilled her sixth double of the season to right center.
Katie Blanar and the Islanders' defense held the Lady Demons in the bottom of the seventh to secure their second conference victory of the season.
Blanar (1-3) recorded her first career win in the Islanders' circle. The freshman was superb after coming in relief for Carter, who earned her 14th start in the circle, and Constance Brandenburg. Blanar allowed just two hits and didn't allow a run while collecting three strikeouts in three innings. Carter allowed 11 hits and nine runs while walking four and striking out three in 3.1 innings. Brandenburg faced two bats and allowed one hit before Blanar came in.
Baylee Gray (1-1) took the loss for the Lady Demons in two innings. She allowed three hits and one run while striking out three in 2.0 innings.