March 19, 2014

Sixth-Inning Home Run Lifts UTSA Past Islanders, 3-2

SAN ANTONIO – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team suffered a tough 3-2 loss to UTSA Wednesday night at Roadrunner Field in non-conference play. The Islanders jumped out to a 2-0 lead but a late surge by UTSA including back-to-back home runs in the fourth and sixth frames lifted the Roadrunners (13-17) to victory.

The Islanders (7-20) came out strong in the opening frame plating one run on one hit to take a 1-0 lead. Mickayla Cochran started things off with a single to left field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dani Tefft. Valerie Perez followed with a ground out to second to move Cochran to third before a passed ball scored Cochran for the first run of the game.

UTSA put runners in scoring position in the bottom of the first with one out after a walk, stolen base and an Islanders' fielding error put Roadrunners on second and third. However, Liz Carter settled in with back-to-back punch-outs to pull the Islanders out of the frame.

A&M - Corpus Christi kept things going with a run in the top of the third on a pair of hits. Jessica Mendez, in her first career at bat, reached on a hit by pitch to open the frame, but was picked off at first after a line out by Cochran. With two outs, Tefft hit an infield single before swiping second with her seventh stolen base of the season. After a throwing error by UTSA landed Tefft on third, Perez drilled a RBI single to right center to score Tefft and put the Islanders ahead 2-1.

UTSA answered back with a run in the bottom of the third. Jade Smith led off the frame with a single through the middle before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Megan Low followed with a RBI single to left center to score Smith.

The Roadrunners evened the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth after Vivian Tijerina hit a home run over the right field wall with one out. After Cochran recorded the second out of the frame with a catch in center field, the Roadrunners put runners on first and second after a hit by pitch and an infield single. However, the Islanders' defense came up strong once again as Mackinzee Griebel snagged the fly out in right field. 

UTSA garnered the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth after Tess Soefje hit a two-out solo home run over left field to put the Roadrunners in front 3-2 lead.

Cochran, Tefft, Perez, Carter and Mendez all picked up one hit apiece in the loss.

Carter (6-9) suffered the loss for the Islanders. The freshman was one strikeout away from matching her career high of six strikeouts. She tallied five strikeouts, while allowing five hits, three runs and one walk in six innings.

Kacy Freeze (8-6) picked up the win for the Roadrunners in six innings. She allowed five hits and two runs while striking out one. Chelsea Parker tallied the save after retiring the side in the top of the seventh.

The Islanders will return home to the Coastal Bend to host McNeese State in a three-game conference series starting on Saturday, March 22 at Chapman Field. First pitch of the doubleheader will start at 1 p.m. with the final game of the series set for Sunday, March 23, at 12 p.m. Sunday will feature the Islanders annual Strikeout Breast Cancer Pink Game and the Junior USSSA Pride team will also be recognized.

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