Three-Run Eighth Inning Lifts Bearkats Over Islanders, 8-5


CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team battled with Sam Houston State today in a rubber match at Chapman Field. After falling behind early 5-0, the Islanders rallied back in the first and third frames to tie the game at 5-5 and force extra innings. The Bearkats answered with three runs on three hits to win 8-5 in eight innings.

The Islanders (8-31, 3-15 SLC) tallied seven hits led by Hayley Galloway who went 3-for-3 while Mickayla Cochran, Lindsey Lyles, Laura Phillips and Cassie Carroll each added one hit apiece.

Alyssa Coggins went 3-for-4 to lead the Bearkats (25-19, 11-7 SLC) while Tori Benadvidez, Tiffany Castillo and Hillary Adams each recorded two hits apiece for the visiting team.

The Bearkats jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opening frame on five hits. Benavidez started things with a single but was called out at second on a Cecilia Castillo fielder's choice. Tiffany Castillo followed with a single to shortstop to advance Cecilia Castillo to third. After Ashley Isbell grounded out to third base, Kim Damian walked to load the bases. Adams then doubled to center field to plate Damian, Tiffany Castillo and Cecilia Castillo to give the Bearkats a 3-0 lead. Shelbi Tucker singled to right field to score Adams before Coggins ripped a RBI single to left field to score Tucker. Islanders hurler Constance Brandenburg pulled the Islanders out with her first punch out of the game.

The Islanders rallied back with one run on one hit in the bottom of the first and put together a huge bottom of the third to even the score at 5-5. With one out, Galloway drilled her third double of the season to right center. After Sam Houston State's Haley Baros recorded her second strikeout of the frame, Galloway moved to third on a wild pitch before Valerie Perez reached on a Bearkat fielding error to score Galloway. The Islanders plated four runs on five hits in the bottom of the third to knot the score.

Dani Tefft reached on a throwing error and advanced to second to start the rally. Cochran then followed with a RBI single to left center to score Tefft and pull the Islanders within three. Galloway followed suit with a single to shortstop to land Cochran on second before Lyles drilled a bunt single to load the bases. Cochran then scored on a wild pitch while Galloway moved to third and Lyles moved to second. After a Perez ground out, Phillips ripped a single up the middle to plate Galloway and trim the deficit to one. With runners on the corners, McKinney grounded out to third to advance Phillips to second. Carroll then stepped to the plate and hit a RBI single to center field to plate Lyles and even the score at 5-5.

The Islanders and Bearkats battled for the next four innings before forcing extra innings. During the stretch, Brandenburg was stellar, retiring six straight in the fourth, fifth and six frames.

Sam Houston State rallied to score three runs on three hits in the top of the eighth to end the game. Jessica Slater reached on a fielder's choice to score Dani Allen, who came in to pinch run for Adams, who reached on a leadoff single. Benavidez followed with a two RBI double down the left field like to plate Jessica Slater and Coggins. Slater reached on a fielder's choice and Coggins reached on a single to third base to give the visiting team a 8-5 lead. Baros retired the Islanders in order in the bottom of the eighth to cap the game.

Brandenburg (5-12) took the loss for the Islanders. The junior allowed 11 hits and eight runs while walking one and striking out one in eight innings.

Baros (8-7) picked up the victory for the Bearkats. She allowed seven hits and five runs, three of them earned while walking one and striking out six in eight innings.

The Islanders will face UTSA in a midweek non-conference doubleheader on April 17 in San Antonio.

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