April 2, 2014

Late Rally Propels UTSA to 6-2 Victory over Islanders

CORPUS CHRISTI – Freshman Liz Carter recorded a career-high eight strikeouts in her 21st start in the Islanders circle, but it wasn't enough as UTSA picked up a 6-2 victory over the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team today at Chapman Field in non-conference play. The Islanders (7-28) tallied eight hits to the Roadrunners nine and were led by freshman Brittney Morse, who went 3-for 4 at the plate and chipped in a RBI. Freshman Mackinzee Griebel also had a solid day, going 2-for-2 for the Islanders' bats.

UTSA (17-19) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the opening frame on a pair of hits. Megan Low hit a leadoff double down the right field line and advanced to third on a single by Jolene Graham. The Roadrunners then scored their first run of the game after Low scored on the ground out by Jori Fox. Carter followed with her first strikeout of the game before Jessica Mendez tallied the 4-3 putout.  

The Islanders evened the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second with one run on two hits. Natalie Zarzabal put up the Islanders' first hit of the game with a single to center field before scoring on a RBI double by Carter to left field. It marked Carter's second double of her career. Cassie Carroll then stepped to the plate and took care of business, laying down the sacrifice bunt to advance Carter to third. With one out, Dani Tefft and Mendez both hit back-to-back ground outs to end the inning.

A&M - Corpus Christi and UTSA remained tied until a two-run top of the fifth by the Roadrunners pushed them ahead, 3-1. Carter collected her fifth strikeout of the game to open the frame before Low reached on a walk. After Angelica Nino came in to pinch run for Low, Carter caught Graham looking for her sixth punch-out of the game. With two outs, Fox hit a RBI triple down the right field line to score Nino and put UTSA in front 2-1. Cosette Hernandez followed with an infield RBI to plate Fox and put the Roadrunners up by two. The Islanders escaped the inning after Tefft snagged the fly out in left field.   

The Islanders pulled within one in the bottom of the fifth with a run on one hit and a Roadrunner error. Mendez started off the inning with a walk before landing on second with her fourth career stolen base. She then advanced to third on a throwing error by UTSA. After just the second strikeout of the game for the Islanders, Morse drilled a RBI single through the left side to plate Mendez and trim the Roadrunners' lead to one. Valerie Perez followed with a pop fly before Cassidy Ivy hit a ground out to shortstop to end the rally.

UTSA added three insurance runs in the top of the sixth on four hits to pad their lead to 6-2. After a ground out, Taylor Oberg hit a single to center field before advancing to second on a bunt by Jade Smith. The Islanders registered the second out of the inning with the 6-3 putout before Graham hit a two-run double down the left field line to score Smith and Oberg. UTSA posted their fourth hit of the frame after Fox hit a RBI single to center field to score Graham. After a wild pitch, the Islanders left a Roadrunner stranded at third after Mendez came up with the 4-3 put out.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Islanders put Morse in scoring position after she hit a single down the left field line and advanced to second on a Roadrunner throwing error. With two outs, Griebel hit an infield single to land Morse on third. However, Carter hit a pop fly to shortstop to end the game.

Behind Morse and Griebel's strong hitting, Zarzabal, Carter and Tefft all tacked on one hit apiece.

Despite suffering the loss in the Islanders circle, Liz Carter (6-15) tallied a career-high eight strikeouts in seven innings. She gave up nine hits and six runs while walking two Roadrunners.

Kacy Freeze (10-7) picked up the win for UTSA after coming in relief for Chelsea Parker. Freeze allowed six hits and one unearned run, while walking three and striking out two in five innings.  

The Islanders will now head back out on the road for Southland Conference play at Nicholls. The Islanders will take on the Colonels in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 5 starting at 1 p.m. The two teams will wrap the series on Sunday, April 6, at 12 p.m.

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