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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

Softball splits doubleheader, eliminated from NCAA Tournament

Sophomore+left+fielder+Ciara+Trahan+steps+up+to+bat+during+the+Texas+State+versus+South+Alabama.

Sophomore left fielder Ciara Trahan steps up to bat during the Texas State versus South Alabama.

After being defeated 2-1 by Texas A&M (35-12,12-12 Southeastern Conference) in its Regional opener on Friday, Texas State (35-25-1, 13-9-1 Sun Belt Conference) was forced to win a doubleheader matchup Saturday at McCombs Field in Austin. 
Game one versus Seton Hall 
The first matchup of the day came against Seton Hall University (42-18, 18-6 Big East Conference). The Pirates came into the Austin Regional as champions of the Big East Conference and faced the same situation as Texas State after being shutout 8-0 in its opening game by Texas. 
Junior right-handed pitcher Karsen Pierce started on the mound and in the batting rotation as a designated player for Texas State. Pierce threw two innings giving up four hits and no runs. 
Following two scoreless innings, Seton Hall got on the board first in the top of the third after junior designated player Kelsey Carr sent a two-run home run over the centerfield wall giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead.
Texas State got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning. Sophomore left fielder Ciara Trahan hit a two run RBI single bringing freshman utility Katarina Zarate and freshman catcher Megan Kelnar home tying the score at 2-2. The two RBI were Trahan’s 18th and 19th of the season. 
Trahan advanced to third base off an error by Seton Hall’s right fielder. She was then brought home by a sacrifice pop fly from senior infielder Sara Vanderford to give Texas State its first lead at 3-2. 
The following inning, Texas State junior utility Anna Jones hit her third triple of the season, putting herself in scoring position. She was brought home the next at-bat by an RBI from freshman outfielder Emilee Baker to increase the lead to 4-2. 
It appeared as though the Pirates were primed to take the lead in the seventh inning after loading the bases, yet they were only able to score one run ending the game at 4-3 in favor of Texas State. 
Head Coach Ricci Woodard felt that her team was fortunate to emerge victorious. 
“Credit to Seton Hall,” Woodard said postgame. “They out played us, they out hit us, the only thing they didn’t do was out score us.”
With the loss Seton Hall was the first team eliminated from the Austin Regional. 
Game two versus Texas A&M
Half an hour after taking care of the Pirates, Texas State retook the field for the nightcap of its double elimination doubleheader, a rematch against Texas A&M. The loser of the game would be the second team eliminated from the Regional. 
The Aggies were defeated earlier in the day 2-1 by Texas. 
The game was scoreless for the first three innings until a double RBI into left centerfield from Texas A&M senior right fielder Morgan Smith allowed junior catcher Julia Cottrill to score the first run of the game.
A wild pitch advanced Smith to third where she was brought home by a sacrifice pop fly from from freshman designated player Aiyana Coleman to give the Aggies a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.
After, A&M loaded the bases in the fifth, junior right-handed pitcher Jessica Mullins entered the game for Texas State to try and stop the bleeding but to no avail. Junior first baseman Trinity Cannon blasted a two-RBI single into left field to increase the Aggie lead to 4-0. 
Texas State managed to get out of the inning without allowing any more runs but were still facing a four run deficit heading into the sixth inning. 
Jones helped cut into the deficit with a double into left center to bring Vanderford and freshman utility Hannah Earls home to make the score 4-2 giving Texas State a glimmer of hope. 
The momentum carried over into the seventh inning as the Bobcat defense forced three quick outs to give themselves an opportunity to tie or win the game. 
With the momentum seemingly on their side the Bobcats were able to put the tying runs on base with no outs. However, back-to back strikeouts by A&M sophomore pitcher Emiley Kennedy followed by a groundout from Jones any hopes of a comeback and Texas State’s season. 
The loss marks the end of the 2023 season for Texas State. The team finished with a 35-25-1 record and a fifth place finish in the Sun Belt Conference, qualifying for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time in program history. 

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