CORPUS CHRISTI (Islanders Athletics) - The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi softball team dropped a pair of losses to Nicholls State Saturday in a conference doubleheader at Chapman Field. The Colonels put together a four-run top of the third to win the first game 4-1 and sealed a 5-2 victory in the second game. The Islanders (9-27, 4-19 SLC) outhit the Colonels (21-24, 11-11 SLC) 8-7 in the second game with three Islanders recording two hits apiece.
The two teams will meet up again tomorrow in the series finale at Chapman Field. First pitch is set for 12 p.m.
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GAME 1: NICHOLLS STATE 4, TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 1
The Islanders and Colonels didn't allow a run through two innings, before the visiting team posted four runs on five hits to take a 4-0 lead in the top of the third. The Islanders plated a run in the bottom of the sixth but fell 4-1 in the series opener.
Valerie Perez went 2-for-3 to lead the Islanders' bats, while Mickayla Cochran, Hayley Galloway and Cassie Carroll chipped in one hit apiece.
The Colonels opened the top of the third with three straight singles. Courtney Vanlandingham started the frame with a single up the middle and Ashley Bertot followed with a single to left field. Haley Parkerson then loaded the bases with a single to Islanders' pitcher Constance Brandenburg. The junior answered with her second strikeout of the game before Leah Andrus was hit by the pitch to plate Vanlandingham and record the first run of the game. Danielle Phillips then hit a 2 RBI single up the middle to plate Parkerson and Bertot and give the Colonels a 3-0 lead. Brandenburg followed with her second punch out of the inning before Colleen Levy was hit by the pitch to load the bases. Ashton Bennett plated the fourth run of the inning for the Colonels with a RBI single to shortstop to score Andrus. Brandenburg pulled the Islanders out of the jam after a bases loaded ground out.
Cochran and Galloway tallied the Islanders' first two hits of the game in the bottom of the third with two outs. Cochran reached on a single to the pitcher and Galloway ripped a base hit to third base. Perez recorded her first hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth. The junior opened the frame with a single down the right field line but was out at second on a Carroll fielder's choice.
The Islanders answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth on one hit and one error. After Katie Moulder relieved Hannah Haydel in the Colonels' circle, Galloway grounded out to second base and Lindsey Lyles grounded out to shortstop before Perez stepped to the plate. The Corpus Christi native drilled her eighth double of the season to right center and scored after Meagan McKinney reached on a fielding error at third. McKinney advanced to second on the play but was called out at third to end the frame.
Brandenburg (6-16) took the loss for the Islanders. She allowed seven hits and four runs while striking out three and walking two in seven innings.
Haydel (8-9) picked up the victory for the Colonels. She allowed three hits and no runs while walking one and striking out six in five innings. Moulder allowed two hits and an unearned run in two innings.
GAME 2: NICHOLLS STATE 5, TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 2
The Islanders rallied back in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn't enough as the Colonels plated two runs in the second, one in the third and two in the fourth to seal a 5-2 game two victory.
Cochran and McKinney went 2-for-3 to lead the Islanders' bats while Galloway went 2-for-4. Perez and Dani Tefft collected one hit apiece to help the Islanders outhit the Colonels, 8-7.
Cochran recorded the first hit of the game with her seventh double of the season down the left field line. After a ground out by Galloway, Lyles reached on a fielding error at third. Perez followed with a fielder's choice to shortstop to advance Lyles to second, however Cochran was called out at third on the play and J.J. Jackson grounded out to the pitcher to cap the frame.
Nicholls' Bennett put the Colonels on the board in the top of the second with a two-run home run over the left field wall with two outs. The visiting team then added a run on a RBI walk in the top of the third to make it 3-0.
The Colonels add a pair of runs in the top of the fourth on two hits to extend their lead to 5-0. With two outs, Phillips hit a 2 RBI single to center field to score Andrus and Brittany Marcet. Andrus reached on a double down the left field line and Marcet walked. Galloway followed with a line drive out at second to pull the Islanders out of the frame.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi recorded two hits in the bottom of the sixth, but left three stranded. Cochran started things off with a single to the pitcher and Galloway followed suit with a single to shortstop. After Lyles popped up to third base and Perez lined out to the pitcher, Jackson walked to load the bases. Carroll followed with a fielder's choice to third base but Galloway was called out on the play to end the inning.
The Islanders rallied with two runs on four hits in the bottom of the seventh. After a Colonels' pitching change, McKinney drilled a single up the middle and advanced to second on a ground out by Laura Phillips at second. Tefft followed with a bunt single to land McKinney on third. Tefft then tallied her seventh stolen base of the season before Cochran loaded the bases with a walk. Galloway then stepped to the plate and ripped a RBI single through the right side to plate McKinney and advance Tefft to third and Cochran to second. Lyles popped up to the shortstop before Perez hit a RBI single through the right side to score Tefft and pull the Islanders within three. However, Cochran was out at third on the throw from Haydel to end the game.
Bethany Slick (1-6) took the loss for the Islanders. The sophomore allowed seven hits and five runs while walking 12 and striking out one in seven innings.
Bennett (12-11) picked up the victory for Nicholls State. She allowed four hits while walking one and striking out three in six innings. Haydel came in to pitch in the bottom of the seventh and allowed four hits and two runs while walking one in one inning.