TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (8-29, 3-11 SLC) VS. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (16-19, 7-6 SLC) | CHAPMAN FIELD | CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS
GAME 1: Saturday, April 12 • 1 p.m.
GAME 2: Saturday, April 12 • 3 p.m.
GAME 3: Sunday, April 13 • 12 p.m.
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team will host Stephen F. Austin in a three-game conference series starting on Saturday, April 12. The first pitch of the doubleheader is slated for 1 p.m. with the series set to conclude on Sunday, April 13, at 12 p.m.
- The Islanders are coming off a split at Nicholls last weekend in conference play. The team edged out the Colonels in the series opener, 2-1, in nine innings.
- A&M - Corpus Christi faced the Ladyjacks earlier this season in San Marcos, Texas, at the CenturyLink Classic, and picked up their first victory of the season, 5-2.
- The Islanders have compiled an 8-29 record this season, including a 3-11 record in conference play.
- The Islanders have tallied 275 hits so far this season, just 30 hits shy of their total of 305 from last year.
- A&M - Corpus Christi has four players hitting over .300 with senior Valerie Perez leading the pack with 38 hits and a .330 batting average.
- Brittney Morse leads the Islanders with a .333 batting average and a team-high seven home runs, which is the most by an Islander since 2011.
- Liz Carter leads the Islanders in conference play with a .435 batting average.
- J.J. Jackson is just six RBIs shy of breaking into the Islanders career top-10 list. She currently has 59 career RBIs.
- Mickayla Cochran ranks 38th in the nation with a team-best three triples on the year.
- The Islanders' eight 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), Northwestern State (10-9), and Nicholls (2-1).
- A&M - Corpus Christi has tallied 10 double-figure hitting games this season, with their most hits (16) coming against Iowa State, Bryant and Northwestern State.
- The Islanders put together back-to-back double-figure hitting games at Nicholls for a combined 21 hits in the two games.
- Carter has earned seven of the Islanders' eight 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 19 on the year, with Perez hitting the 17th one at Northwestern State. Morse leads the pack with seven while Perez has four and Cochran and Jackson have each cranked three on the year.
- Junior utility player Lindsey Lyles was tabbed Preseason Second Team All-Southland.
- 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.
IN THE CIRCLE
Liz Carter (7-15) 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 against Central Arkansas after allowing just five hits and one run while walking three and striking out two Bears in seven innings.
Carter limited Texas State to just three hits and did not allow a run to help propel the Islanders to a 2-0 road victory.
She holds a 5.44 ERA in 27 appearances (T-1st SLC) and a league-leading 141.2 innings pitched. Carter has started in 22 games (1st SLC), just five games shy of breaking into the Islanders top 10 for a single season. She has also posted 13 complete games (T-2nd SLC) and a team-best 72 strikeouts (6th SLC). Carter needs just one more complete game to enter the Islanders single season top-10 list.
Against UTSA, the freshman recorded a career-high eight strikeouts in her 21st start in the Islanders' circle.
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.
In Southland play 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 .345 to go along with 19 hits, five runs and five RBIs in 55 at bats. In conference play, she leads the team with a .435 batting average and has tallied 10 hits in 23 at bats.
Brittney Morse has established herself as a power hitter since arriving at the Island University. The freshman is hitting .333 with 35 hits in 33 of the Islanders' 37 games. She has a team-high .600 slugging percentage and team-best 63 total bases (8th SLC) and leads the team with seven home runs (T-5th SLC), which is the most by an Islander since Brittany Tucker tallied seven in 2011. Morse joins Tucker and three other former Islanders with seven on the single-season top-10 list. She cranked her seventh homer of the season at Abilene Christian in the final game of the series.
Morse led the Islanders' bats against UTSA in a midweek series at Chapman Field. She went 3-for-4 and chipped in a RBI.
The Yuma, Ariz. native led the Islanders against McNeese State 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 team with a .327 batting average and is second on the team with 36 hits while starting in all 37 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, which matches her total from last season. Tefft is just now four stolen bases away from breaking into the Islanders career top-10 and tying Andrea Simancas' record of 18 from 2006-09. The Sugar Land, Texas native has already past her runs total of 18 from a year ago with 21 this season.
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. She 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 has been the Islanders' offensive spark this season with a .330 batting average and a team-best 38 hits (T-8th SLC) while starting in all 37 games this season. Perez has also drilled a team-best nine doubles (6th SLC), which is just three away from matching the Islanders top-10 record for a single season and in a career. She has collected 61 total bases and her .530 slugging percentage and 22 RBIs are second on the team.
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, she tallied 54 hits and one home run. This season, the Desoto, Texas, native has registered 30 hits and three home runs. Jackson leads the team with 27 RBIs, which is just six RBIs shy of breaking into the Islanders career top-10 list. The senior is currently has 59 career runs batted in and is fourth on the team with a .297 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.
At Abilene Christian in the final game of the series, Jackson went 2-for-2 with three RBIs to help the Islanders force extra innings.
Utility player Jessica Mendez (Corpus Christi, Texas) returned to the Islanders lineup 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 with her first stolen base of her career against McNeese State and started at second base at Texas for her fifth start of the season.
The freshman, had an outstanding weekend at Abilene Christian with a .625 on-base percentage and reached base all four times in the final game of the series including a leadoff double in the top of the sixth.
She posted her fifth stolen base of the season in the second game at Nicholls and is now 5-for-5 on the year.
LEFTY CHANGE UP
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 four games while appearing in 18 and registering 11 strikeouts in 41.0 innings.
RUNS RUNS RUNS
Seniors Valerie Perez and J.J. Jackson along with freshman Brittney Morse have combined for 67 of the teams' 115 RBIs while Morse, Perez, Dani Tefft and Mickayla Cochran have registered 73 of the Islanders' 126 runs.
Several Islanders rank in the top 10 of many statistical categories in conference games only. Mickayla Cochran has tied a conference best two triples. Liz Carter is tied for third in innings pitched with 52.0 innings and is tied for most appearances in the circle with 10. Carter is tied for the third in games started with eight starts. J.J. Jackson holds a team-high 13 RBIs (T-7th SLC) in conference play for the Islanders while Valerie Perez has registered a team-best 13 hits apiece.
SCOUTING THE LADYJACKS
Stephen F. Austin comes into Saturday's doubleheader with a 16-19 record and a 7-6 mark in the Southland Conference after splitting with Abilene Christian last weekend.
As a team the Ladyjacks are hitting .261 and are powered by Katelyn Standley, who leads the team with a .344 batting average and eight home runs. In the circle, Carlie Thomas (10-10) leads the pitchers with a 2.53 ERA and 132 strikeouts in 121.2 innings and 19 starts. Brittany Lewis (5-6) has appeared in 18 games and holds a 5.19 ERA in 81 innings.
SERIES HISTORY: The Islanders and Ladyjacks will meet for the second time this season in the opening game on Saturday and the 33rd time in program history. SFA leads the all-time series 18-14. The Islanders picked up their first victory of the season over the Ladyjacks earlier this season in San Marcos, Texas, at the CenturyLink Classic. A&M - Corpus Christi put together a strong offensive game with 12 hits to win, 5-2. Last season, the Islanders won the opening game of the series against the Ladyjacks in Nacogdoches, Texas, before dropping the final two games.
Following Sunday's game, the Islanders will travel to Beaumont, Texas, to take on Lamar in a three-game series starting on Friday, April 18, at 4 p.m. The two teams will wrap the series on Saturday, April 19, at 2 p.m.
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