Bearkat Softball Team Sweep Islanders In Double Header
In a double-header game that was full of contrast, the Sam Houston State Bearkat softball team swept Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders by the scores of 1-0 and 8-2.
With the sweep, the Bearkats have won 23 out of 27 games after starting the season at 1-13 and are second in the Southland Conference.
“We were picked to finish eighth in the conference at the beginning of the year,” Ashlee Isbell said. “We just come out and show everybody that were better than that.”
Allysa Coggins’ go-ahead, game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning gave the Bearkats a 1-0 win in the first game of the double-header.
It was their fifth straight shutout win for the Bearkats and in the process, ended the Islanders’ six game conference winning streak
“I saw that up the middle was pretty open,” Coggins said. “It was a pitch a little bit in and I just took it up the middle and luckily it went through the whole.”
The Bearkats bats was silent throughout the game as starting pitcher Greta Cecchetti kept them off balance with her rise ball and changed up.
“Greta is the real deal,” head coach Bob Brock said. “She did a nice job and pitched a really good game.”
The Islanders (16-18, 10-6 SLC) had something going in the top of the second inning when Jamie Jackson led off with a single. Stephanie Vead and Megan McKinney each followed with a single to load the bases.
However, starting pitcher Tomi Garrison settled down and strike out the next two batters and got Hayley Galloway to ground out to end the threat.
“I was thinking in my head, ‘I can’t let anybody score in this game,’ Garrison said.
The Bearkats (24-17, 12-4 SLC) had their chance in the bottom of the third inning when Erin Burford hit a single past third baseman Cassie Carroll to lead off the third inning. Jessica Slater pinch ran for Burford and advanced to second on a bloop single by designated hitter Kim Damian that landed in between McKinney and Galloway.
Tori Benavidez reached first on a fielder’s and Sarah Allison was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
But Cecchetti got Hillary Adams to fly out to get out of the jam.
The Bearkats got another opportunity in the bottom of the fourth inning when Isbell walked with one out in the inning.
She advanced to second on a wild pitch by Cechetti and to third on a throwing error by Mickayla Heller. She scored the game winning run on Coggins’ single that made it 1-0.
The play of the game happened in the top of the sixth inning when Carroll hit a single to right field and Alejia Cain, who tried to score from second was thrown out at home plate by Burford to preserve the lead.
The Islanders made one last push in the top of the seventh when Cain led off with a single. But Garrison settled down and got the outs she needed to seal the win for the Kats.
Garrison went the distance and got her ninth win of the season. She struck out five batters and gave up nine hits.
Cecchetti was hit with the loss for the Islanders. She struck out nine total batters and gave up five hits.
The bats came alive in the second game of the double header as the long ball propeled the Bearkats to complete the sweep of the Islanders by the score of 8-2.
The Bearkats exploded for four runs in the bottom of the first inning to make it 4-0.
All of the runs came with two outs in the inning on third baseman Shelbi Tucker’s three-run home run over the scoreboard, which was her 10th of the season. Isbell score the fourth run when she stole home plate.
The onslaught continued in the bottom of the second inning when Damian blasted a two-run home run over right center field to increase the lead to 6-0. The home run was her ninth of the season.
The Islanders finally scored their first run of the game on a RBI ground out by Gollaway to make it 6-1.
They kept chipping away when Heller hit an RBI bloop single to left field in the top of the fourth inning that made it 6-2.
But that would be all that they would muster as the Bearkats added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to increase the lead to 8-2 on Adams’ eighth home run of the season and Burford’s RBI single.
Starting pitcher Shelby Lancaster went the distance and got her tenth win of the season. She only gave up one run on five hits.
The Bearkats goes on the road this weekend as they face UT-Arlington in a two-game series that begins on Friday.