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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 looks to improve performance in I-35 Tournament

Texas+State+softball+team+celebrates+after+an+inning+ending+double+play+against+the+Villanova+Wildcats%2C+Saturday%2C+Feb.+11%2C+2023%2C+at+Bobcat+Softball+Stadium.%26%23160%3B

Texas State softball team celebrates after an inning ending double play against the Villanova Wildcats, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, at Bobcat Softball Stadium. 

Texas State softball (3-2) will cohost the I-35 Tournament with the University of Texas at San Antonio (0-5) on Feb. 16-19 at Bobcat Softball Stadium. This is the second of three tournaments the Bobcats will host and play in to begin the 2023 season.
Abilene Christian, Lamar, New Mexico State, South Dakota State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi are the other teams competing in the tournament.
The Bobcats enter the tournament after playing in the Texas State Tournament on Opening Weekend, where the team went 3-2. Pitching was the team’s biggest issue and played a key factor in both losses.
Senior Tori McCann and junior Jessica Mullins, the team’s strongest pitchers, struggled from the mound as the two combined allowed 26 hits, 10 runs and two wild pitches, one of which allowed the game-losing run against Wichita State. Mullins also had 10 strikeouts throughout the tournament.
Senior infielder Sara Vanderford was the team’s best player in the tournament. The preseason All-Sun Belt Conference selection batted .538 with a 1.724 OPS to go along with four doubles, one home run, five RBIs, four walks and no strikeouts in 17 total plate appearances throughout the five games. This performance earned her Sun Belt Player of the Week for the fourth time in her career.
Texas State’s first game in the I-35 Tournament will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16 against the Lamar Cardinals (0-5) who will make the short trip to San Marcos after playing against the Texas Longhorns in Austin on Wednesday.
The Cardinals played in the Houston Tournament last weekend, failing to win a single game resulting in a 0-5 start to the season. On paper, Lamar will be the least competitive opponent Texas State will face in the tournament.
Texas State’s second game will be at 5 p.m. on Friday Feb. 17 against South Dakota State (4-1). The Jackrabbits will enter the tournament on a three-game winning streak, having swept the Bearkat Classic Tournament last weekend.
South Dakota State’s lone loss this season was a 5-4 nine-inning defeat against the Houston Cougars in the Houston Invitational.
The Jackrabbits will be looking to build off an extremely successful 2022 season where they achieved a 41-13 record and reached the Orlando Region in the NCAA Softball Championship.
Texas State will wrap up the tournament with a doubleheader on Sunday, Feb. 19. The first game will be a 10 a.m. rematch against South Dakota State followed by a 12:30 p.m. showdown with New Mexico State (3-1).
The Aggies come into the I-35 Tournament having hosted the New Mexico State Invitational last weekend where the team suffered defeat only once, a 4-2 loss at the hands of Colorado State.
The Bobcats will look to perform at a higher level in the I-35 Tournament than they did in the Texas State Tournament on Opening Weekend.
The opening pitch between Texas State and Lamar is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, at Bobcat Softball Stadium. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.

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