SAN ANTONIO – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team exploded for 31 combined hits today as they split their opening games of the UTSA Mid-Major Classic at Roadrunner Field. After the Islanders' comeback bid fell short in the first game, 15-14, to Nebraska-Omaha, the Islanders responded with a season-high 16 hits en route to a 9-6 victory over Bryant.
The Islanders (3-8) will have a rematch with Omaha tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. before taking on host UTSA at 4:30 p.m.
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GAME 1: NEBRASKA-OMAHA 15, TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 14
After falling behind 10-2 to Omaha in the top of the third, the Islanders rallied back to plate 12 runs in the bottom of the third to push ahead 14-10. The Mavericks battled back with a trio of runs in the fourth to cut the Islanders' lead to one. The Islanders held UNO off the board until a home run and a RBI double in the sixth lifted the Mavericks to a 15-14 victory.
The Islanders outhit Omaha 15-12 with Brittney Morse and J.J. Jackson picking up three hits apiece. Valerie Perez, Hayley Galloway, Lindsey Lyles each chipped in a pair while Jackson collected an impressive five RBIs.
The Mavericks got on board in the top of the second with seven runs on three hits to take a 7-0 lead. After a leadoff walk, Liz Carter retired the next two batters, before a RBI double to right center by Mara Eeman put the first run on the board. After a single and back-to-back walks plated two runs, Amber Lutmer hit a grand slam to put the Mavericks up 7-0.
A&M - Corpus Christi answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second after Galloway hit a two-run single to right field to score Morse and Jackson who both reached on singles.
Omaha followed with three more runs in the top of the third on three hits to extend their lead to 10-2. The Islanders' bats however ignited for 12 runs on 12 hits in the bottom of the third to take a 14-10 lead. Mickayla Cochran, Perez and Morse all hit consecutive singles before Jackson cranked her second grand slam of her career and second homer of the season over the right field wall. Carter kept things going with a single to right field before Galloway reached on a fielding error. After consecutive singles by Lyles and Mackinzee Griebel scored Carter, Galloway plated another run for the Islanders after the Bulldogs were called for an illegal pitch. Perez scored Lyles and Griebel on a two-run single to center field. Jackson plated her fifth RBI of the game after scoring Cochran on a single through the middle. Perez then scored on a single by Galloway before Jackson and Morse scored on a two-run single by Lyles down the left field line. The Mavericks pulled out of the inning with a groundout at first.
With the Islanders in front 14-13, the Mavericks responded with three runs in the fourth and a pair of runs in the sixth to secure a 15-14 win.
Constance Brandenburg (0-3) suffered the loss for the Islanders after relieving Carter in the circle. The senior allowed five hits and five runs, just two of them earned, while walking six and striking out one in four innings.
Dana Elsasser (5-1) posted the win for UNO. She didn't allow a run or a hit in four innings and struck out three batters.
GAME 2: TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 9, BRYANT 6
The Islanders scored four runs in the third and five in the sixth en route to a 9-6 victory over Bryant. A&M - Corpus Christi's bats matched a season-high 16 hits in the victory, just three short of tying the single-game record of 19 set in 2008. The Islanders' defense held the Bulldogs to just nine hits.
Bryant got on board in the opening frame with one run on one hit. Leadoff hitter Kristen Carter started the top of the first win a single through the middle and advanced to second after Madeline Velasquez reached on an Islanders' fielding error. Bryant loaded the bases after Hayley Bottino was hit by the pitch. Elle Madsen then scored Carter on the RBI walk to put the Bulldogs on the board 1-0.
A&M - Corpus Christi's bats got hot in the top of the third with four runs on five hits to take a 4-1 lead. Dani Tefft led the inning with a single through the middle and advanced to second on her second stolen base of the year. Cochran followed suit with an infield single before her and Tefft both recorded stolen bases to put runners on second and third for Morse. The freshman then stepped to the plate and hit a RBI single to left field to score Tefft and put the Islanders on the board. With Cochran on third and Morse on first, Perez cranked a three-run homer over the center field wall to put the Islanders in front.
Bryant tacked on a run in the bottom of the third after Velasquez hit a solo home run over the center field wall to trim the Islanders lead to two.
The Islanders' bats kept rolling as they tallied seven hits in the top of the sixth to plate five runs to pad their lead to 9-2. Griebel started things off with a single to right field but was called out at second after Tefft reached on a fielder's choice. Cochran followed with an infield single before Morse loaded the bases with a single to third base. Perez then stepped to the plate and drilled her third hit of the game to right field to score Tefft and extend the Islanders lead to 5-2. Jackson kept things going with a two-run single down the right field line to score Cochran and Sorenson, who came in to pinch run for Morse. After an Islanders' strikeout, Laura Phillips sent a single to left field before Lyles hit a RBI single to left center to score Perez. Cassidy Ivy, who came in to pinch run for Jackson then scored on a fielding error by the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs posted three runs in the bottom of the sixth on four hits to trim the Islanders' lead to four. Aubrey Mable hit a double to left field and advanced to third on an Islanders' throwing error. Kendall Corder followed with a RBI single to right field to score Mable for Bryant's third run of the game. With two outs, Velasquez tallied a two-run single to right field to score Liana Ogata, who walked and Jessica Benacquista after she reached with a fielder's choice.
Bryant added another run in the final frame after Madsen hit a leadoff single to shortstop and scored on a Corder RBI.
Perez went 3-for-4 to power the Islanders' offense while Cochran went 3-for-5. Tefft, Morse, and Carter each added a pair of hits while Griebel, Jackson, Phillips and Lyles each contributed one hit apiece.
Carter (3-3) picked up the win for the Islanders. The freshman limited the Bulldogs to nine hits and six runs while walking eight and striking out three in seven innings.
Elle Madsen (0-1) took the loss for the Bulldogs. She allowed six hits and four runs while walking two and striking out two in two innings.