May 12, 2012

Bearkats Topple Softball to End 2012 Season

SAN ANTONIO – Kim Damian's two-run triple in the bottom of the fifth proved the difference as Sam Houston State knocked off the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi softball team in the 2012 Southland Conference Softball Championship, 2-0. The loss ends the Islanders' season at the double-elimination tournament.

Greta Cecchetti allowed just five hits in six innings, striking out seven, but she was equaled by SHSU's Tomi Garrison, who scattered four hits and a walk in pitching a shutout. Damian had two hits for the Bearkats, while Mickayla Heller delivered two of the four hits for the Islanders.

The loss ends the careers of six Islanders seniors – Cecchetti, Vianca Pesina, Cassie Redman, Sandy Schumann, Hannah Schwarz and Jordan Trujillo.

Early on, both pitchers were dominant, with Cecchetti perfect through the first three innings and Garrison allowing just one walk in the first three frames. In the top of the fourth, Schwarz delivered the first hit of the game with a bunt single, but she was stranded on third to end the inning when Schumann was punched out on an inside strike. In the bottom of the frame, a leadoff single was followed by a Cecchetti punchout and a fielder's choice. Hillary Adams then ripped a double to left, but Cecchetti got out of it with a swinging strikeout of Shelbi Tucker.

In the top of the fifth, the Islanders got another leadoff single, this one from Heller, but she was unable to score after a sac, a lineout and a strikeout ended the frame. In the bottom, SHSU got a leadoff single, a sac and a single through the left side to put runners at the corners and one away. Cecchetti bounced back with a strikeout, but Damian, the Southland Hitter of the Year, lofted a 1-1 pitch to deep right, off the wall for a two-run triple.

Both sides went in order in the sixth, but the Islanders had one more rally in the seventh. Jamise Jackson started things with a one-out single, and Heller followed with a single of her own to put the winning run on base. But the comeback fell short when the Bearkats got a fielder's choice and a strikeout to end the game.

The Islanders wrapped up the 2012 season with an 18-23 mark and finished sixth in the Southland regular season.