TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (7-23) AT TEXAS (19-15) | RED & CHARLINE MCCOMBS FIELD | AUSTIN, TEXAS | MARCH 26 • 7 P.M.
TV: Longhorn Network: Carter Blackburn (play-by-play), Cat Osterman (analyst)
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team will travel to Austin to face the Texas Longhorns in non-conference play on Wednesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. on the Longhorn Network.
- The Islanders are coming off tough weekend series against the defending Southland Conference Regular-Season Champions, McNeese State.
- The Islanders hold a 7-23 record and a 2-7 mark in Southland Conference play.
- A&M - Corpus Christi is hitting .290 as a team, which is good for fifth place in the Southland.
- The Islanders are third in the conference with 233 hits. 31 of those hits have been doubles.
- Brittney Morse leads the Islanders' offense with a .350 batting average and six home runs, which is the most by an Islander since 2011.
- Mickayla Cochran is tied for 20th place in the nation with a league and team-best three triples on the year.
- The Islanders' seven wins this season have come against Stephen F. Austin (5-2), New Mexico State (5-0), Bryant (9-6), Connecticut (8-0), Central Arkansas (2-1), Texas State (2-0) and Northwestern State (10-9).
- A&M - Corpus Christi has tallied eight double-figure hitting games this season, with their most hits (16) coming against Iowa State, Bryant and Northwestern State.
- Liz Carter has earned six (T-6th SLC) of the Islanders' seven wins this season in the circle.
- The Islanders surpassed their 16 home runs from a year ago 26 games into this season. The squad has 18 on the year, with Valerie Perez hitting the 17th one at Northwestern State. Brittney Morse leads the pack with six while Valerie Perez has four and Mickayla Cochran and J.J. Jackson have each cranked three on the year.
- 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. She cranked her first home run of the season at Northwestern State.
- 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 is in her third season with the Islanders along with Pitching Coach Sarah Pauly.
Liz Carter (6-11) has picked up all but one of the Islanders victories this season and has been a consistent leader in the Islanders circle this season. She 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.
At the Texas A&M Invitational, Carter was superb in the Islanders' circle earning her first one-hit shutout against Connecticut. After Connecticut recorded a hit in the top of the first, the freshman did not allow a hit through the final five innings. The Austin, Texas native registered her first career conference victory on Friday against Central Arkansas after allowing just five hits and one run while walking three and striking out two Bears in seven innings.
At Texas State, Carter limited the Bobcats to just three hits and did not allow a run to help propel the Islanders to a 2-0 victory.
Carter holds a 5.61 ERA in 22 appearances (T-1st SLC) and 111.0 innings pitched (3rd SLC). Carter has started in 18 games (2nd SLC) while posting nine complete games (4th SLC) and a team-best 51 strikeouts (6th SLC).
Not only does Carter make her presence known in the circle, but she is also 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. In the Islanders win over Connecticut, Carter was outstanding at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Against Central Arkansas, Carter put together a solid outing, going 3-for-4 with a double and four total bases. She tallied a .750 batting average while registering a .800 on-base percentage and a 1.000 slugging percentage.
This season, Carter is hitting .372 to go along with 16 hits, four runs and four RBIs in 43 at bats. In conference play, she leads the team with a .471 batting average and has matched a team-high eight hits in 17 at bats.
Brittney Morse has established herself as a power hitter since arriving at the Island University. The freshman is hitting a team-best .350 with 28 hits in 26 of the Islanders 30 games. She has a team-high .650 slugging percentage (7th SLC) and leads the team with six home runs (T-4th SLC).
The Yuma, Ariz. native led the Islanders against McNeese State over the weekend with a .400 batting average to go along with a .800 slugging percentage. After drilling her sixth homer of the season in the opening game, she went 2-for-4 in the final game of the series while adding a run.
Dani Tefft could arguably be the Islanders most improved played from a year ago. This season the sophomore is third on the third with a .337 batting average and is second on the team with 30 hits while starting in all 30 games. Flashback to a year ago, Tefft tallied a .224 batting average and 28 hits in 48 games. This season, she has a team-high seven stolen bases (T-7th SLC) which matches her total from last season. Tefft has already past her runs total of 18 from a year ago with 20 (T-7th SLC) this season. Her two triples are good for a tie for fourth place in the conference.
Tefft had an impressive five games at the Troy Cox Classic going 10-for-16 for a conference-leading .625 batting average. In conference play, Tefft put together a superb weekend at Northwestern State. The Sugar Land, Texas native went a perfect 3-for-3 and scored twice in the opening game to help lift the Islanders to a 10-9 victory. In the final two games, she went 3-for-7 to extend her hitting streak to four games. For the weekend, Tefft hit .600 to go along with a .600 slugging percentage and a .600 on-base percentage.
Senior Valerie Perez is second on the team with a .348 batting average and has tallied a team-high 32 hits (T-6th SLC). Perez has also drilled a team-best seven doubles (T-7th SLC) and has collected a team-high 53 total bases (T-6th SLC). Her .576 slugging percentage is second on the team and she has also chipped in 21 RBIs.
The Corpus Christi native 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.
J.J. Jackson has been a consistent leader for the Islanders' offense this season. In her first three years, the senior tallied 54 hits and one home run. This season, the Desoto, Texas, native has registered 26 hits and three home runs. Jackson leads the team with 22 RBIs (T-7th SLC) and is fifth on the team with a .302 batting average.
At Texas State, Jackson cranked a two-run home run in the second game to power the Islanders to a 2-0 victory.
Prior to that, Jackson led the Islanders' bats against Central Arkansas with four hits, including her second double of the season, and a team-best four RBIs. Jackson went 1-for-2 with an RBI single to help the Islanders to a 2-1 victory over UCA in the conference opener. For the weekend, she collected five total bases to go along with a .556 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base percentage.
Utility player Jessica Mendez (Corpus Christi, Texas) returned to the Islanders lineup on at UTSA after missing the beginning of the season with a wrist injury. After pinch running in four games, Mendez made her first career start at second base against the Roadrunners and also made her first plate appearance of the season. In her first career at bat, the freshman was hit by the pitch before recording her first hit with a single to right field in her next at bat.
Mendez followed her performance up with her first stolen base of her career against McNeese State.
Freshman Katie Blanar (1-3) earned her first collegiate victory in the Islanders' circle in the opening game at Northwestern State. The Pearland, Texas native was solid after coming in relief for Liz Carter and Constance Brandenburg. Blanar allowed just two hits and didn't allow a run while collecting three strikeouts in three innings. This season, Blanar has started in three games while appearing in 16 and registering 10 strikeouts in 35.0 innings.
Brittney Morse is a three-game hitting streak while Liz Carter and Mackinzee Griebel are on a two-game hitting streak. The longest hitting streaks of the season go to Mickayla Cochran and Griebel, who both put together a seven-game hitting streak.
RUNS RUNS RUNS
Seniors Valerie Perez and J.J. Jackson along with freshman Brittney Morse have combined for 58 of the teams' 101 RBIs while Morse, Perez, Dani Tefft and Mickayla Cochran have registered 66 of the Islanders' 110 runs.
The Islanders welcome seven newcomers this season, including six freshmen and one junior transfer. Joining Carter, Morse, Blanar and Mendez is Mackinzee Griebel (Lockhart, Texas) and Emma Stipe (Round Rock, Texas). Griebel is hitting .236 and has recorded 21 hits, six RBIs and 23 total bases in 27 starts in right field and three in center field, while Stipe will redshirt this season. Joining the junior class is Cassidy Ivy (Huntington, Texas). She arrived at 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. Ivy is hitting .143 and has chipped in five RBIs in 14 games.
SCOUTING THE LONGHORNS
Texas comes into the weekend with a 19-15 record after winning its last five out of seven games. This season, the Longhorns have picked up wins against LSU, North Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech, IPFW, Cal Poly, Fresno, St. Louisiana-Monroe, Southern Mississippi, Texas Southern, Houston, North Texas, Iowa, and Baylor.
As a team the Longhorns are hitting .341 while holding their opponents to a .210 batting average. Brejae Washington is hitting .466 to go along with 48 hits to lead the offense. Lindsey Stephens has tallied a team-high 10 home runs and 45 hits for a .409 batting average. In the circle, Tiarra Davis (7-7) leads the pitchers with a 2.24 ERA in 22 appearances and 14 starts.
SERIES HISTORY: The Islanders and Longhorns will meet for the 28th time in program history on Wednesday. Texas holds the all-time series, 24-3. Last season, the Islanders fell to the Longhorns 6-0 in the season opener in Austin before falling 8-0 in the Texas Classic.
Following Wednesday's game, the Islanders will continue Southland Conference play when they head to Abilene, Texas, to take on first-year member Abilene Christian in a three-game series. The Islanders will face the Wildcats in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 29, before wrapping the series on Sunday, March 30.
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