BEAUMONT, Texas – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team's bats ignited for a combined 16 hits en route to their second consecutive Southland series victory today over Lamar (19-20, 12-7 SLC) in a conference doubleheader at Ford Park.
Freshman Liz Carter recorded a one-hit shutout to power the Islanders (12-30, 7-12 SLC) to a 3-0 victory in the first game, while senior Valerie Perez went a perfect 3-for-3 with five RBIs, including a three-run home run in the seventh to lift the Islanders to a 8-4 victory in the second game.
The Islanders and Lady Cardinals will wrap the series on Saturday, April 19, at 2 p.m.
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GAME 1: TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 3, LAMAR 0
The Islanders came out strong in the opening frame to take a 2-0 lead with a pair of hits. Hayley Galloway led off the frame with a walk before scoring on a RBI double by Brittney Morse to right center. After a fly out and ground out, Mickayla Cochran ripped an infield single to plate Morse for the second run of the game.
In the bottom of the first, Lamar's Casey Cromwell hit a double to right field. After back-to-back walks and a fielder's choice, the Islanders escaped the bases loaded jam to end the threat.
The Islanders maintained the lead with Carter setting down eight consecutive Lady Cardinals in the third through sixth frames.
A&M - Corpus Christi tacked on another run in the top of the sixth on a pair of Lady Cardinals' errors. With two outs, Cochran landed on third after consecutive errors by Lamar. J.J. Jackson followed with a walk before Cochran scored on a passed ball.
Carter and the Islanders' defense only allowed five base runners and outhit the Lady Cardinals 4-1.
Galloway, Morse, Cochran and Mackinzee Griebel all chipped in one hit apiece while Morse and Cochran collected a RBI.
Carter (9-16) secured the win for the Islanders. The freshman held Lamar to just one hit while striking out four and walking four in seven innings.
Tina Schultz (8-10) suffered the loss for the Lady Cardinals. She allowed four hits, three runs, two of them earned, while walking two and striking out three in seven innings.
GAME 2: TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 8, LAMAR 4
After a scoreless first two innings, the Islanders jumped on board first with a run on three hits in the top of the third. Cassie Carroll led off the frame with a single through the left side before Dani Tefft reached on an infield single. Galloway then loaded the bases on a fielder's choice before Perez hit a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Carroll and give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.
Lamar answered back with three runs on four hits in the bottom of the third to push ahead 3-1. Brynn Baca hit a triple down the left field line and scored on a RBI single by Julianne Viator. Jenna Holland followed with a single to center field before Stephanie Meeuwsen reached on an Islanders' error to plate Viator. Cromwell then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to plate Holland and give the Lady Cardinals a 3-0 lead. The Islanders pulled out of the jam with runners on second and third after Carter retired the next two batters.
The Islanders pulled within one in the top of the fourth with a run on three hits. With one out, Cochran drilled a single through the left side before picking up her sixth stolen base of the season. Jackson followed suit with a single to left field before Griebel reached on a RBI bunt single to score Cochran.
Lamar extended their lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth after Viator hit a RBI single through the right side to plate Kellen Gomez, who reached on an Islanders' error.
A&M - Corpus Christi scored a run in each of the fifth and sixth frames to rally back and knot the game at 4-4. In the fifth, Perez nailed a RBI single to left field to plate Galloway, who led off the frame with a double to left center. The Islanders then evened the game in the sixth after Carroll cranked a solo home run with two outs over the center field wall. It marked her first home run of the season and her third in her career.
With the game tied at 4-4, the Islanders rallied in the top of the seventh with four runs to clinch the victory. Galloway started the rally after she reached second on consecutive fielding errors by the Lady Cardinals. Morse followed with an infield single before Perez stepped to the plate. The senior blasted her fifth home run of the season over the center field wall to push the Islanders ahead, 7-4. After a ground out, Cochran reached on a walk before scoring on a fielding error at third on a Carroll at-bat to give the Islanders an 8-4 lead.
Carter relieved Katie Blanar in the top of the seventh, and retired the final two Lady Cardinals after a one-out single to end the game.
Blanar (2-3) registered the win for the Islanders in the circle. The freshman came in for Constance Brandenburg in the top of the sixth and didn't allow a hit or a run. Brandenburg received her 13th start in the Islanders' circle and allowed six hits, four runs, just one of them earned while walking two in five innings.
For the Lady Cardinals, Lauren Dannelley (3-1) took the loss in the circle. She allowed three hits and four runs, two of them earned, while walking one in one inning.