THIBODAUX, La. – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team split a Southland Conference doubleheader today with Nicholls in a combined 18 innings at the Colonel Softball Complex. In the opening game of the series, the Islanders (8-29, 3-11 SLC) edged the Colonels 2-1 in nine innings before the Colonels (13-26, 4-9 SLC) answered with a 6-5 victory in nine innings in the second game. The two teams will face each other in a rubber match Monday at 12 p.m.
Freshman Liz Carter went a combined 2-for-4 today at the plate while Valerie Perez and J.J. Jackson each chipped in a double and Jessica Mendez added a triple. Carter also picked up her seventh victory of the season in the Islanders' circle.
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GAME 1: TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 2, NICHOLLS 1 (9 INNINGS)
The Islanders jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second after scoring a run on a pair of hits and two errors by the Colonels. After a ground out by Perez, Jackson reached on an error, before Carter ripped a single through the left side to advance Jackson to second. Mickayla Cochran followed with a single to load the bases before Mackinzee Griebel stepped to the plate. The freshman reached on a fielder's choice however Jackson was called out on the play for the second out of the frame. Hayley Galloway then reached first after the Colonels' committed their second error of the inning and Carter scored on the play to put the Islanders on the board. Mendez lined out to first to leave the runners stranded.
A&M - Corpus Christi's defense was strong, not allowing a Colonel across home plate until the bottom of the seventh. Brooke Morris led off the frame with a single to center field before Taylor Terrio followed with a base hit to left field. Haley Parkerson then advanced Morris to third and Terrio to second with a sacrifice bunt before Danielle Phillips loaded the bases with a fielder's choice. Brittany Marcet then hit a RBI single to left field to plate Morris and lock the game at 1-1. With the bases loaded, the Islanders escaped with a 6-2-5 double play to force extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, the Islanders left two base runners on after a pair of hits. With one out, Carter ripped a single to left field before being called out on a fielder's choice by Cochran. Griebel followed with a single through the left side to advance Cochran. With two outs, Griebel was called out on the fielder's choice by Galloway.
Carter retired the Colonels in order in the bottom of the eighth before the Islanders pushed ahead in the top of the ninth with a run on two hits. Mendez led off the frame with a triple to left field before Dani Tefft hit a RBI ground out to shortstop to score Carter and put the Islanders in front. Brittney Morse followed with a single through the middle before the Colonels pulled out of the frame with a strikeout and a 6-4 putout.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Islanders put together their best defensive frame of the game, leaving three Colonels on base. Morris led off with a single through the middle before being called out at second on a fielder's choice by Terrio. Parkerson and Phillips followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases before Perez tallied the assist on the 6-2 putout at home for the second out of the frame. With bases loaded once again the Islanders pulled out of the jam with a 6-4 putout to clinch the victory.
The Islanders tallied 10 hits in the win with Morse, Perez, Carter and Cochran each recording a pair of hits. Mendez and Griebel also contributed with one hit apiece.
Carter (7-15) picked up the victory for the Islanders in the circle. The freshman allowed 12 hits and one run while walking one and striking out three in nine innings.
Hannah Haydel (3-10) suffered the loss for the Colonels. She allowed 10 hits and two runs, just one earned, while striking out two in nine innings.
GAME 2: NICHOLLS 6, TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 5 (9 INNINGS)
In another nine-inning game, it was the Colonels this time that answered with a run in the bottom of the ninth to win, 6-5.
The Islanders and Colonels stayed scoreless until the Islanders put together a four-run top of the fifth on three hits to take a 4-0 lead. Perez reached on a one-out walk before Natalie Zarzabal hit a pop fly to second. With two outs, Cochran ripped a single to left field to move Perez to second. Jackson then stepped to the plate and blasted a two-run double to left center to score Perez and Cochran. Jackson then scored after Tefft reached on an error by the Colonels. Lindsey Lyles kept the offensive spark alive with a RBI double to center field to plate Tefft for the Islanders' fourth run of the game. Griebel then grounded out to shortstop to end the frame.
A&M - Corpus Christi tacked on another run in the top of the sixth to extend their lead to 5-0. Mendez drilled a single through the left side before she recorded her fifth stolen base of the season. Perez then sent her ninth double of the season to left field to score Mendez for the Islanders' fifth run of the game.
The Colonels however rallied back with five runs in the bottom of the sixth on four hits to knot the game at 5-5. Terrio started the rally with a triple down the right field line and scored on an Islanders' error. After back-to-back fielder's choices recorded a pair of outs at second, Morgan Wilson hit a single to right field before a walk loaded the bases for the Colonels. Kayla Prater followed with a two-run double down the left field line and Haley Stevenson hit a two-run triple to right center to even the game.
The Islanders and Colonels held each other scoreless through the seven and eighth innings before Nicholls hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to win 6-5.
After consecutive singles by Olivia Van Hook and Morris, the Colonels loaded the bases after Parkerson reached on a walk. Phillips then hit a walk-off single to score Morris and give the Colonels the victory.
Seven different Islanders tallied a hit in the loss. Tefft went 3-for-5 to lead the Islanders' bats while Jackson and Lyles collected two hits apiece and Mendez, Perez, Zarzabal and Cochran each picked up one hit.
Constance Brandenburg (0-11) suffered the loss for the Islanders in the circle. The senior allowed 11 hits, six runs, just two of them earned, while walking four and striking out two in eight innings.
Morgan Skinner (1-1) picked up the win for the Colonels in 3.1 innings. After coming in relief for Taylor Hastings, she allowed four hits and no runs while striking out one.