TEXAS A&M INVITATIONAL | COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS | AGGIE SOFTBALL COMPLEX
GAME 1: Friday, Feb. 28 • 10 a.m. | Wisconsin vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi • LIVE STATS
GAME 2: Friday, Feb. 28 • 12:15 p.m. | UConn vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi • LIVE STATS
GAME 3: Saturday, March 1 • 10 a.m. | UConn vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi • LIVE STATS
GAME 4: Saturday, March 1 • 12:15 p.m. | Wisconsin vs. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi • LIVE STATS
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team will compete in its final pre-conference tournament this weekend when it heads to College Station for the three-day Texas A&M Invitational, starting on Friday, Feb. 28. The Islanders will take on Wisconsin and Connecticut on the first two days before facing the No. 13 ranked Aggies on Sunday, March 2.
- The Islanders are coming off a 1-4 weekend in San Antonio after picking up a 9-6 victory over Bryant. The Islanders matched a season-high 16 hits in the victory, just three short of tying the single-game record of 19 set in 2008.
- Senior Valerie Perez and freshman Brittney Morse led the Islanders' offense with a .444 batting average. They both hit a team-high eight hits apiece.
- Liz Carter earned her third win of the season in the circle against Bryant. She limited the Bulldogs to nine hits and six runs while walking eight and striking out three in seven innings.
- The Islanders three wins this season have come against Southland foe Stephen F. Austin (5-2), New Mexico State (5-0) and Bryant (9-6).
- The team is leading the Southland Conference with a .333 batting average and 134 hits.
- In 14 games, the Islanders are just five home runs away from matching last years total of 16. The squad has 11 on the year, with Morse and Mickayla Cochran leading the pack with three apiece.
- Junior utility player Lindsey Lyles was tabbed Preseason Second Team All-Southland. She played in all 27-conference games last season while splitting time between third base, shortstop, second base and designed player.
- Assistant Coach Keith Stein joined the Islanders in November after spending the past year as a volunteer assistant coach for UTSA.
- Head Coach Stephanie Hughes enters her third season with the Islanders along with Pitching Coach Sarah Pauly.
IN THE CIRCLE
Liz Carter (3-4) recorded her first complete game victory against SFA, allowing just five hits, two runs and no walks in seven innings. Her second win of the season came against New Mexico State. The freshman limited the Aggies to just four hits while walking five and striking out two in seven innings. At the UTSA Mid-Major Classic, Carter secured her third win of the season against Bryant.
The Austin, Texas native holds a 6.10 ERA in nine appearances and 49.1 innings pitched (3rd SLC). Her team-high 28 strikeouts are good for ninth place in the league. Carter has started in seven games (4th SLC) while posting four complete games (3rd SLC).
Not only does Carter make her presence known in the circle, but she is also becoming a threat at the plate. At the Troy Cox Classic in Las Cruces, N.M., she made her first plate appearance against the Aggies. In the 5-0 win, Carter tallied her first career hit of the game through the middle and went 2-for-3 in the game with one run and an RBI. At the plate, the freshman is hitting .313 with five hits, one run and one RBI.
Brittney Morse has quickly established herself as a power hitter since arriving at the Island University. The freshman is hitting .405 (T-8th SLC), just behind senior Valerie Perez, and has tallied 17 hits in 14 games. Her .690 slugging percentage ranks sixth in the conference and she co-leads the team with Mickayla Cochran with three home runs. After recording eight total bases over the weekend, she is tied for seventh in the league with a team-high 29 total bases.
Dani Tefft had an impressive five games at the Troy Cox Classic going 10-for-16 for a conference-leading .625 batting average. This season, the lefty has picked up a team-best four stolen bases (T-7th SLC) while hitting .391 in 14 games. She is second on the team in hits with 18 (T-5th SLC) and runs with 11. The Sugar Land, Texas native posted the Islanders only triple of the season against Southern Illinois.
Senior Valerie Perez led the offense with eight hits and seven RBIs in five games at the UTSA Mid-Major Classic. Against Bryant she hit a three-run homer to help lift the Islanders to a 9-6 victory. Perez also tacked on four runs and 11 total bases while hitting .444. For the weekend, she recorded a .611 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base percentage.
The Corpus Christi native is fourth in the conference with a team-best .435 batting average and is ranked fourth in hits with a team-high 20. She is tied with Morse with three doubles and 29 total bases (T-7th SLC). Perez and J.J. Jackson have combined for 24 of the teams' 60 RBIs. She leads the team with a .458 on-base percentage, which is good for ninth in the conference.
The Islanders welcome seven newcomers this season, including six freshmen and one junior transfer. Joining Carter and Morse are Mackinzee Griebel (Lockhart, Texas), Katie Blanar (Pearland,Texas) and utility player Jessica Mendez (Corpus Christi, Texas). Griebel hit .455 in the leadoff spot and drilled two doubles while starting all four games in right field during the opening weekend of play. Blanar adds depth to the Islanders' pitching staff while Mendez adds speed to the Islanders' offense and outfield. Rounding out the freshman class is Emma Stipe (Round Rock, Texas) who will redshirt this season. Joining the junior class is Cassidy Ivy (Huntington, Texas). She comes to the Island University after playing two seasons at Angelina JC. In her first career at bat against Southern Illinois, Ivy blasted a two RBI home run over the right field wall.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS:
WISCONSIN: The Badgers are 4-5 on the season and are coming off a 2-3 weekend in Miami, Fla. at the Florida Invitational. The squad picked up wins against Florida International and Florida Gulf Coast while dropping losses to Georgia Southern, Florida Gulf Coast and Florida International. Maria Van Abel is hitting a team-best .464 with 13 hits and six stolen bases. Cassandra Darrah leads the Badgers in the circle with a 2.12 ERA in 33 innings and six appearances.
SERIES HISTORY: The Islanders and Badgers will meet for just the second time in program history on Friday. The first and last time the teams met up was during the Islanders inaugural season in 2000. The Badgers notched an 8-0 victory.
CONNECTICUT: The Huskies are looking for their first victory of the season after dropping their first five games at the Lead-Off Classic in Clearwater, Fla. to Hofstra, DePaul, College of Charleston, Massachusetts and Illinois State. Valerie Sadowl is leading the offense with a .615 batting average and a team-high eight hits, including four doubles. In the circle, Katelyn Callahan (0-0) leads the team with a 0.00 ERA in just 4.1 innings. Lauren Duggan (0-4) leads the pitching staff with 18.1 innings pitched and is second with a 5.40 ERA in five appearances.
SERIES HISTORY: The Islanders and Huskies will meet for just the second time in school history on Friday. The first and last time the teams met up was in 2003 when the Islanders garnered a 2-0 victory.
TEXAS A&M: The Aggies come into the weekend as the No. 13 ranked team in the nation after compiling a 12-4 record. Texas A&M is coming off a 3-2 record in the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. after securing wins against San Diego State, California and Cal State Northridge. This season the Aggies have dropped losses to Southland foe McNeese State, Tulsa, Arizona and Nebraska. Nicole Morgan is hitting .479 to lead the offense and April Ryan is close behind with a .418 batting average. Morgan, Ryan and Emily Albus have combined for 69 of the Aggies' 143 hits on the year. In the circle, Katie Marks (5-0) holds a 1.53 ERA in 36.2 innings.
SERIES HISTORY: The Aggies lead the all-time series 7-1 against the Islanders. The lone win for the Islanders came in 2010 when the team topped then No. 21 Texas A&M in College Station.
The Islanders will return home to open Southland Conference play on Friday, March 7, in a doubleheader against Central Arkansas at Chapman Field. The three-game series will continue on Saturday, March 8, with a single game.
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