HUNTSVILLE, Texas – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team dropped its first Southland Conference series Tuesday in a midweek doubleheader against Sam Houston State at Bearkat Softball Complex.
The Bearkats topped the Islanders 1-0 in the first game and snapped the Islanders (16-18, 10-6 SLC) string of six-consecutive conference victories. In the second game the Bearkats (24-17, 12-4 SLC) outhit the Islanders 11-2 en route to an 8-2 victory.
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The Islanders will return home to Chapman Field for its final home series. The Islanders will host McNeese State on Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28. Seniors Alejia Cain, Greta Cecchetti, Vianca Pesina, Cassie Redman, Sandy Schumann, Hannah Schwarz and Jordan Trujillo will be honored on Saturday in their final game at Chapman Field. First pitch is at 2 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday.
GAME 1: Sam Houston State 1, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 0
The Islanders outhit the Bearkats 9-5 but left 10 stranded as Sam Houston State went on to win 1-0, snapping the Islanders six-game conference winning streak.
Meagan McKinney led the Islanders' offense for the second straight game. She went 2-for-2 while Jamise Jackson also collected two hits. Cassie Redman, Stephanie Vead, Cassie Carroll and Hayley Galloway also chipped in with one hit apiece.
Greta Cecchetti (10-5) dropped her first conference game of the season in six innings. The senior gave up five hits while striking out nine and walking two.
Cecchetti started the opening frame with a strikeout before the Bearkats tallied their first hit of the game with a single to Galloway at shortstop. The Islanders' senior hurler ended the inning with two more strikeouts.
In the bottom of the second, the Islanders left three stranded on three hits. Jackson started things with a single up the middle and Vead followed suit with a dropper to right field to advance Jackson to second. Mckinney recorded the Islanders third straight hit with a rip through the right side to load the bases. Bearkats' pitcher Tomi Garrison retired the next three batters to pull out of the jam.
Cecchetti was red hot in the bottom of the second, retiring all three of the Bearkats to make it five straight. Sam Houston State registered their second hit of the game in the bottom of the third with a single through the left side. With one out, leadoff batter Kim Damian singled to left field and the Bearkats loaded the bases with a fielder's choice and hit by pitch. Cecchetti escaped the inning with a pop up to leave three Bearkats stranded.
The Islanders left two stranded in the top of the fourth. Vead reached on a walk with one out before Mckinney collected her second hit of the game with a single through the middle. Carroll followed with a fielder's choice before Garrison registered the Bearkats third out of the inning in the circle.
Sam Houston State put up the only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth with two outs on a RBI single.
In the top of the fifth the Islanders tallied their fifth hit of the game. Redman reached base with a bunt single and Schwarz followed with a sacrifice bunt to advance Redman to second but a fly out to left field left another Islander stranded.
Jackson started the top of the sixth with a bunt single before Vead advanced Cain, who came in to pinch run for Jackson, to second with a sacrifice bunt. McKinney reached base on a walk before Carroll followed with a single through the right side. On the play, the Bearkats were able to get Cain out at home while McKinney advanced to third. Sam Houston State once again escaped leaving another Islander left on base.
GAME 2: Sam Houston State 8, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi 2
The Bearkats carried their momentum over to the second game of the doubleheader to win 8-2. Sam Houston State outhit the Islanders 11-5 and tallied three home runs to hand the Islanders their first conference series loss.
Cassie Redman, Sandy Schumann, Meagan McKinney, Stephanie Vead and Mickayla Heller all registered one hit apiece.
After back-to-back singles in the opening frame off of Vianca Pesina with two outs, conference home run leader Shelbi Tucker blasted a three-run homer to give the Bearkats a 3-0 lead. After a hit by pitch, an Islander error, and a stolen base Sam Houston State tacked on another run before the Islanders ended the first inning.
In the second, the Bearkats padded their lead to 6-0 with two hits. Alyssa Coggins singled in front of Pesina and Kim Damian followed with the Bearkats' second homer of the day to plate two more runs. Constance Bradenburg relieved Pesina in the Islanders' circle and retired the next six batters.
The Islanders scored their first run of the day in the top of the third. Heller started the inning by reaching second on an error by the pitcher. She advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on Hayley Galloway's RBI sacrifice hit. Redman followed with a double to right center before the Bearkats escaped.
In the top of the fourth, the Islanders tallied two hits and another run. After a Jamise Jackson pop fly, McKinney reached base on a walk and Vead followed with a single up the middle. Cassie Carroll reached on a fielder's choice before Heller registered her first hit of the day with a RBI single behind third base to plate Vead and pull the Islanders within four.
Sam Houston State extended the lead to 8-2 in the bottom of the fifth frame on four hits. The Bearkats recorded their third home run of the game with a solo shot over the left field fence and plated another run after a RBI single through the middle by Erin Buford.
Jordan Trujillo replaced Bradenburg in the circle in the bottom of the fifth and retired all four batters she faced while striking out three in 1.1 inning.
Pesina (1-7) suffered the loss for the Islanders in one inning in the circle. She allowed five hits and six runs. Bradenburg allowed six hits, two runs while striking out two in 3.2 innings.