CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team put together a strong first inning with four runs to cruise past Stephen F. Austin 4-2 Saturday to notch their third consecutive Southland conference sweep of the season. The Islanders have now won eight of their last nine conference games and six in a row. Senior Greta Cecchetti pitched her second consecutive one-hit game in 4.2 innings and improved to a perfect 8-0 in conference play.
The Islanders (15-16, 10-4) outhit the Ladyjacks 9-2 today and 15-3 in the two games combined at Chapman Field. Junior Meagan McKinney powered the Islanders' bats, going 3-for-3 and Hayley Galloway went 2-for-2. Sandy Schumann, Jamise Jackson, Stephanie Vead and Cassie Carroll also contributed with one hit apiece. Carroll also chipped in two RBIs, while Jackson added one.
SFA (11-27, 2-10) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the opening frame before the Islanders scored four runs on four hits to take a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning. All nine batters came to the plate for the Islanders with Jackson, Vead, McKinney and Carroll all registering consecutive singles. Cassie Redman started things with a leadoff walk and Jackson followed with a two-out RBI single to left field to plate Redman and tie the game at 1-1.
Vead and Mckinney followed suit with singles to right field and Carroll scored Jackson and Vead on a two-run blast to right field. McKinney scored the Islanders fourth run on a wild pitch before Galloway reached base on a walk. The Ladyjacks' Carlie Thomas was able to escape out of the jam with her third strikeout of the inning.
Cecchetti (9-4) came in for relief for Jordan Trujillo in the top of the third after SFA plated another run on one hit to pull within two. Bethany Brown started the inning with a walk and Amber Price's RBI single to right center plated Brown before Cecchetti retired the next 12 batters.
The senior put together another impressive performance in the circle. In 4.2 innings, Cecchetti retired 14 of the 15 batters she faced with seven of them being strikeouts. In the two games combined against SFA she struck out 18 Ladyjacks in 11.2 innings of work. For the week Cecchetti totaled 25 strikeouts in 17.2 innings.
The Islanders left three runners stranded on base in the third inning. McKinney registered her second hit of the game with a two-out single up the middle and tallied her second stolen base of the season. Carroll followed with a walk before Galloway reached base on an infield single to load the bases before the Ladyjacks collected their third out of the inning.
In the fifth inning, the Islanders recorded two more hits. McKinney hit a chopper to shortstop for her third hit of the game and Galloway slapped a solo shot to shortstop with two outs but the Ladyjacks caught McKinney stealing home to get out of the inning.
SFA recorded their second hit of the game in the seventh with a single to right center but the Islanders ended the game with a strikeout and a ground out.
The Islanders will next be in action on Saturday, April 21, when they meet the Houston Baptist Huskies again in a non-conference doubleheader. First pitch is at 1 p.m. in Houston.
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Coach Hughes talks about the 4-2 victory over Stephen F. Austin to sweep the series: