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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Texas State defeats Troy, advances to Sun Belt Tournament Semi-Finals

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Carly Earnest

Junior Jessica Mullins (4) steps up to pitch before the fifth inning, Tuesday, April 12, 2023, at Bobcat Softball Stadium.

Texas State softball (34-22-1, 14-9-1 Sun Belt Conference) defeated the Troy Trojans (33-19-1, 14-10-1 Sun Belt Conference) 3-0 to claim its first victory of the 2023 Sun Belt tournament Thursday afternoon at Lamson Park. 
The Bobcats came into this matchup following back-to-back series wins to end the regular season.
Given these two teams’ comparable records, the matchup came down to a pitcher’s duel between two of the best pitchers in the Sun Belt Conference, Texas State junior Jessica Mullins and Troy senior Leanna Johnson.
With help from aggressive baserunning and timely hits, Mullins shut out the Trojans to advance to the semi-finals of the Sun Belt Conference Championship tournament.
Mullins started on the mound for the Bobcats. Showing vast confidence in the circle, she charted four strikeouts while walking only one batter and allowing only one hit in yet another complete game performance.
Offensively, senior infielder Sara Vanderford led the Bobcats going two-for-two at the plate with a double and an RBI.
Texas State got off to a hot start in the fourth inning when Vanderford roped one into the left-center field gap for her 16th double of the season. After she stole third base, junior utility Anna Jones drove her in with a sac-fly to make the score 1-0.
Troy fought back in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two-out flyball that had the looks of a homer, but junior utility Anna Jones gloved it in right field to end the inning.
The Bobcats added to their score in the fifth inning after junior utility Hannah Earls walked, and stole second and third base. 
Freshman outfielder Emilee Baker then drove her in with a single to right field. Vanderford followed Baker with a deep drive to right-center that drove her in, bringing the score to 3-0.
The Bobcats will move on to the next round of the tournament and face the winner of the game between the Louisianna-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns and the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. 
The first pitch is scheduled to be thrown at 8 p.m. Friday, May 12 at Lamson Park in Lafayette, Louisiana. 

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