Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 6, Massachusetts 2

May 21, 2005

AUSTIN, Texas- Texas A&M-Corpus Christi parlayed three hits and three UMass errors into a five-run fourth inning, and behind the five-hit, nine-strikeout performance of senior righthander ace Sarah Pauley, posted a 6-2 victory over Massachusetts Saturday afternoon in an elimination game during the NCAA softball regionals. The regionals are taking place at the Red and Charline McCombs Field on The University of Texas campus.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi improves to 42-10 and stays alive in the double-elimination regional to face Mississippi State (34-30) in the third and final game of Saturday. TAMUCC lost its opening game on Friday to Mississippi State, 1-0, and dropped into the elimination bracket as a result.

Massachusetts ends its season with a 37-16-1 mark after going 0-2 at the Austin Regional. UMass lost to Texas on Friday, 1-0.

TAMUCC threatened to score in each of the first three innings, leaving the bases loaded in the first and second and stranding one runner in the third.

The Islanders then broke through in the fourth, jumping on the scoreboard with five runs. Of the five runs, three were earned and two went unearned as the Islanders were aided by three walks, a hit batsman, an illegal UMass pitch (which plated a run) and two Minutewomen infield throwing errors Key TAMUCC hits in the inning were RBI singles by first baseman Jennifer Golden and designated player Brenda Guerrero. TAMUCC also left the bases loaded in the inning.

UMass struck back for single runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, catcher KJ Kelley cracked a two-out home run to left. In the fifth inning, UMass scored when third baseman Sarah Hurd doubled to left, scoring relief pitcher Barb LaFogg who had led off the inning with a single and moved to second on an infield error.

Corpus Christi then added its sixth and final run in the sixth inning when a sacrifice fly by third baseman Lauren Peters plated second baseman Shannon Stein. Stein had a lead-off double and moved to third on an infield error.

Three Islander players accounted for seven of the team's 11 hits, led by Golden's three-for-five effort at the plate and two hits apiece by rightfielder Holly Kellogg and centerfielder Erica Armenta.

Pauley moves to 37-6 on the year with the complete-game win. She allowed two earned runs, yielding five hits while walking two and fanning nine. Two of the five hits were for extra bases (the double and homer). Pauley, who is 1-1 in NCAA regional play, has now been involved in 40 of the Islanders' 42 wins to date, with 37 wins and three saves.

Taking the loss for Massachusetts was starter Jenna Busa (17-6). The junior righthander pitched the first 3.1 innings, yielding five runs (just two earned) while allowing seven hits and walking three. She also fanned three. LaFogg pitched the final 3.2 innings, giving up one earned run on four hits while walking two and gaining one strikeout.

The Islanders ended up stranding 14 runners in the game, while UMass left four runners on base. UMass committed a total of four errors in the contest.

POST-GAME QUOTES
*Note: only the eliminated team (Massachusetts) conducted post-game interviews; TAMUCC immediately took the field to play Mississippi State

Massachusetts Head Coach Elaine Sortino
Overall impressions of the game...
"We just had a very tough day. We tried to bring it back in the middle innings, and I thought we got a little momentum, but then we struck out (to end the fifth inning) with two on and I could just feel it (the momentum) going back to the other team.

Corpus Christi is a good team and Pauley threw a good game. We weren't a very good team today. We were lucky to escape the situations we had. We pitched our way out of a lot of tough situations. You cannot make that many mistakes in regionals between all the walks and hits we allowed and our errors."

-- Courtesy University of Texas - Corups Christi