Softball Comes Up Short 9-4 to McNeese State

CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team put together a late rally in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn't enough as McNeese State garnered a 9-4 victory in the series finale at Chapman Field. The Cowgirls (21-9, 7-2 SLC) outhit the Islanders 12-9 on a rainy day in the annual Strikeout Breast Cancer Pink Game.

Brittney Morse went 2-for-4 to lead the Islanders' (7-23, 2-7 SLC) bats while J.J. Jackson chipped in two RBIs. The Islanders' defense pulled out of two bases loaded jams and three innings with two Cowgirls left on base.

Ashley Modzelewski propelled the bats for McNeese State with her third home run of the weekend while Taylor Goree went 2-for-4 and nine different Cowgirls picked up a hit.   

After a scoreless first inning, McNeese State plated the first run of the game in the top of the second on two hits and an error. With one out, Lakeyn Fontenot hit a single to right field and stole second before scoring on a RBI single by Marisa Taunton through the left side. After Taunton advanced to second on the throw, Alanna DiVittorio landed on first on a fielder's choice to third base. With runners on first and second, Lauren Langner hit a dropper right behind third base to load the bases. However, the Islanders' defense came up strong to escape the inning after snagging two fly outs.   

McNeese State carried a 1-0 lead into the top of the fourth before adding four runs on four hits to take a 5-0 lead. Divittorio and Langner led off the inning with back-to-back singles before Modzelewski stepped to the plate and sent a three-run home run rolling into the parking lot in left center. Goree then reached on a walk before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Katie Roux. With one out, Tori Yanitor hit a RBI double to left field to score Goree for the fifth run of the game. The Islanders pulled out of the inning with consecutive ground outs to Valerie Perez at shortstop.

The Islanders' bats got hot in the bottom of the fourth with two runs on a pair of hits. After a fly out by Jackson, Liz Carter reached on a fielding error in right field, before advancing to second on the throw. Freshman Jessica Mendez drilled her first career RBI double to right center to score Carter for the Islanders' first run of the game. After Mackinzee Griebel recorded the second out of the frame with a line out to second, Mendez picked up her first stolen base of the season. Cassidy Ivy then stepped to the plate and ripped a RBI single to right field to plate Mendez and trim the Cowgirl's lead to three. Hayley Galloway hit a fly out to center field to end the rally.

McNeese State stayed in front 5-2 until a three-run top of the sixth extended the visiting team's lead to 8-2. After a leadoff walk by Roux, Dakota Matiko hit a double to right field to advance Roux to third. Lakeyn Fontenot then reached on a fielder's choice to score Roux before Matiko crossed home on a RBI ground out by Taunton. The Cowgirls plated one more run in the frame after Brittany Calbert, who came in to pinch run for Fontenot, scored before DiVittorio was caught stealing for the 2-4-3-6 putout to end the inning.  

The Cowgirls added a run in the seventh to pad their lead to 9-2 after a RBI hit by pitch scored Langner who reached on a leadoff walk.

A&M - Corpus Christi battled back with two runs in the final inning on four hits. After a Cowgirl's pitching change, Morse nailed an infield single and landed on third after Natalie Zarzabal registered her third double of the season with a shot to left field. Jackson then stepped to the plate and blasted a two-run single to right center to score Tefft, who came in to pinch run for Zarzabal, and Morse. Carter followed with a single to right field before Mendez loaded the bases with a hit by pitch. However, Cowgirl's hurler Jamie Allred retired the next two Islanders to end the game.

Carter (6-11) suffered the loss for the Islanders in the circle. The freshman allowed nine hits and eight runs, while walking six and striking out two in 5.2 innings. Katie Blanar came in relief and allowed two hits and one run while walking one in 1.1 innings.

Allred (13-4) picked up the win for the Cowgirls in 6.2 innings. She allowed five hits and two runs, none of them earned, while walking two and striking out six. Emily Vincent faced five batters and allowed four hits and two runs.

The Islanders will travel to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns on Wednesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. The game will be shown live on the Texas Longhorn Network.

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