TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (15-34, 10-13 SLC) AT HOUSTON BAPTIST (19-25, 12-12 SLC) | HUSKY FIELD | HOUSTON, TEXAS
GAME 1: Saturday, May 3 • 1 p.m.
GAME 2: Saturday, May 3 • 3 p.m.
GAME 3: Sunday, May 4 • 2 p.m.
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi softball team will head to Houston for a pivotal three-game Southland Conference series against the Houston Baptist Huskies. The Islanders are seeking their fourth straight Southland series victory and a spot in next weekend's Southland Conference Tournament.
The Islanders (15-34, 10-13 SLC) are coming off a non-conference loss to Houston on Wednesday. Prior to that the Islanders clinched two out of three conference games against Sam Houston State. The Islanders are on a hot streak in Southland play as they have won seven of their last nine conference games.
Freshman Liz Carter and senior Valerie Perez has been outstanding in conference play this season. Perez is hitting .329 to lead the team offensively with a team-best 23 hits and a .571 slugging percentage. Carter is close behind with a .327 batting average and 16 hits. She also has been the Islanders' ace in the circle with 43 strikeouts in 97.0 innings and 17 appearances in conference play. Overall, Carter (12-17) has appeared in a total of 35 games this season, while making starts in 29 of those games. She has tossed 94 strikeouts in 190.2 innings while registering a 4.44 ERA.
Carter has made her way into the Islanders record books in just her first year. The Austin, Texas native has recorded 19 complete games (T-8th) and her 12 wins match Vianca Pesina (2011) and Addie Tallman (2010) in eighth place for a single season. She also stands in eighth place for a single season with 29 starts and 190.2 innings pitched.
Mickayla Cochran has been a consistent hitter for the Islanders this season, with a .308 overall batting average and a team-high 27 runs. Also hitting over .300 is Dani Tefft, who has been incredible on the bases this season, with a season-high 14 stolen bases. She has secured sixth place for a single season in Islanders history and has now registered 21 stolen bases in her career, which ties Caley Jeter (2010-11) in seventh place in the Islanders' record book.
The Islanders will meet the Huskies in their final regular-season series this weekend. HBU enters Saturday's opening game with a 19-25 record, including a 12-12 mark in the Southland. The Huskies are currently sitting in the sixth and final slot to advance to the tournament, while the Islanders are just two spots back in eighth place.
The Huskies have won their last two conference series and are hitting .297 as a team. Corpus Christi native Kirsten Schwirtlich leads the Huskies' bats with a .408 batting average and a team-best nine home runs and 35 RBIs. Her sister Lauren Schwirtlich is hitting .377 and has scattered a team-high 60 hits. In the circle, Emily Mueller leads a three-person staff with a 3.23 ERA in 91 innings. She has tossed 43 strikeouts in 25 appearances.
Saturday's opening game will make the 21st meeting between the Islanders and Huskies with the Islanders holding the 14-6 all-time series advantage. Last season, the Islanders dropped two out of the three Southland games to the Huskies at Chapman Field.
Following Sunday's final game, the Islanders will await their postseason fate. The 2014 Southland Conference Tournament is hosted by Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond, La., on May 8-10.
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