CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball team split a doubleheader with Sam Houston State on Saturday, winning the opener 4-3 before falling 10-3 in the second game. Valerie Perez had two hits in each game of the day for the Islanders. The teams will wrap up the series with a rubber match on Sunday at noon.
Liz Carter pitched a six-hit complete game in the opener, scattering six hits and one walk, with all three of the runs she allowed unearned. Along with Perez' two hits, J.J. Jackson went 2-for-3 as well, while Dani Tefft scored twice in the victory.
SHSU struck first in the contest, plating an unearned run in the top of the second. After the leadoff batter walked, pinch-runner Jennie Kieval stole second and then advanced to third on a passed ball. After a foulout, Tori Koerselman grounded a ball back to Carter, but her throw to the plate skipped away, as Kieval scored for a 1-0 lead.
But the Islanders came right back with an unearned run of their own to knot the score in the bottom of the third. Tefft reached on an error to lead off the frame, and then swiped second. Hayley Galloway dropped down a sacrifice, and the throw caromed off her helmet, allowing Tefft to score, making it 1-1.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the sixth, when the Islanders busted out with three runs on two hits and an error. Jackson led off the frame with a double just inside the left-field line, and she was replaced by Cassidy Ivy on the base paths. Mackinzee Griebel dropped down a bunt, and the Bearkats tried to get Ivy at third, but were unsuccessful, putting runners at the corners and nobody out.
After a flyout and a stolen base put runners at second and third and one away, Tefft hit a grounder to third and reached on a throwing error, plating Ivy for a 2-1 edge. Lindsey Lyles followed, grounded a ball to third, but Ivy beat the throw to the plate, pushing the lead to 3-1. Brittney Morse followed with an RBI single to score Tefft to make the advantage three heading to the top of the seventh.
Carter got the first two batters quickly in the seventh, but a single and a throwing error put runners on second and third with two away. Tayler Gray came up next, shooting a ball through the left side, and both runners came around to trim the lead to just one. Gray then stole second to put the pressure on, but Carter rebounded to induce a groundout to end the ballgame.
In game two, the Bearkats scored eight unearned runs in the first inning and never looked back in a 10-3 win. Gray was the lone SHSU player with more than one hit, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs. Two of the first three Bearkats reached via error to set up the big inning, and SHSU was able to plate eight on three hits, three walks and three errors. Sam Houston State tacked on single runs in the third and seventh.
The Islanders scored all three of their runs in the fourth on the strength of four hits. Mickayla Cochran delivered an RBI single and Lyles brought in the frame's other two runs on a double to center.
A&M-Corpus Christi and SHSU will complete their weekend series on Sunday at noon on Chapman Field. The game will be Senior Day, as the Islanders honor seniors Perez, Jackson, Constance Brandenburg and Laura Phillips prior to the contest. Live stats and video will be available on GoIslanders.com.