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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 two doubleheaders to start season


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) began the 2023 season with a doubleheader as a part of the Texas State Tournament being held at Bobcat Softball Stadium.
Friday, Feb. 10 versus Wichita State
Texas State lost its first matchup against Wichita State 3-2 in a narrow finish.
Senior pitcher Tori McCann started on the mound for the Bobcats and showed signs of offseason rust by allowing one walk, two runs and four hits, including a home run to Wichita State senior infielder Zoe Jones to give the Shockers an early 2-0 lead. 
McCann finished the game with one strikeout and one walk. 
The first Bobcat runs came in the bottom of the third inning when senior infielder Sara Vanderford doubled into the left corner to bring junior utility Hannah Earls home, making the score 2-1. Vanderford scored the tying run off a single up the middle from junior utility Anna Jones. 
Junior pitcher Jessica Mullins entered the game in relief at the top of the fifth inning. The Sun Belt Preseason Pitcher only allowed a one-out triple to Wichita State junior infielder Addison Barnard. This proved to be costly as Barnard scored the game-winning run off a wild pitch two at-bats later.
The Bobcat defense stiffened over the final two innings, not allowing any more runs to give the offense the opportunity to win the game. 
However, Texas State was unable to produce any points despite having two runners on base with no outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Bobcats lost 3-2. 
After a brief intermission, Texas State retook the field once again for the nightcap of its doubleheader against Kent State, who lost its first matchup of the day 3-0 to Villanova.
Friday, Feb. 10 versus Kent State
Texas State won its second matchup of the day against Kent State by mercy rule 8-0.
A single into right field by junior utility JJ Smith brought Trahan in for the game’s first score. Two at-bats later, a bases-clearing double into right field by freshman catcher Karmyn Bass brought Jones, Smith and Vanderford home to give Texas State a 4-0 lead. This forced an early Kent State pitching change in the bottom of the first inning. 
Vanderford hit her first home run of the season over the left field wall in the third inning to increase the Bobcat lead to 5-0. 
Texas State would go on to score three more runs in the fourth inning, giving itself a commanding 8-0 lead. 
The mercy rule went into effect following the top of the fifth inning, giving the Bobcats their first victory of the 2023 season. 
Head coach Ricci Woodard said she was pleased with what she saw from her team in both games.
“I’m pretty pleased with the day, I thought we battled our tail ends off in the first game,” Woodard said. “We just misplayed a couple balls and probably made a baserunning mistake at the end of the ballgame but I thought it was a great ballgame. I think the girls swung the bats well, pitched well.”
Saturday, Feb. 11 versus Kent State
Texas State softball picked up right where it left off last night, as it once again defeated Kent State University by a score of 5-1.
The Bobcats and the Golden Flashes squared off the night before in a contest Texas State dominated 8-0, and things weren’t much different just a day later. 
Both teams opened slow, with zero runs in the first inning, but Texas State quickly heated up in the second. 
A single from freshman catcher Kamryn Bass and a double from freshman utility Katarina Zarate put the two in scoring position before a sacrifice fly from freshman infielder Braylin Pannill and a Kent State error brought them home.
Junior outfielder Piper Randolph, who was walked during her at-bat, managed to steal second and took advantage of the Golden Flashes’ error by advancing to third. She was then brought home on a single from sophomore outfielder Ciara Trahan. 
Randolph took command of the fourth with a triple to right-center-field before being brought home by another Trahan single.
With a 4-0 lead heading into the fifth, Kent State was in danger of being shut out. 
However, a wild pitch from junior pitcher Jessica Mullins, who hadn’t allowed a run all day, hit junior outfielder Madison Hershberger in the head, advancing her to first base. 
A pair of singles from freshman utility Bekah Zachrich and freshman outfielder Bri Despines would then bring Hershberger home for the Golden Flashes’ first score of the game. 
That’s all they would be able to muster up, though, as the Bobcats controlled the game from there. Trahan’s third single of the day brought in Texas State’s final score. 
Trahan finished with a team-leading three RBIs on three hits. Randolph’s efforts earned her two runs, making her the game’s top scorer. 
Mullins picked up the win after striking out six batters and allowing just a single run in five innings pitched.
Saturday, Feb. 11 versus Villanova
Texas State pitchers combined for nine walks in a 4-2 loss in the second game of the doubleheader against Villanova University on Saturday. 
Woodard said that any time a team gives away that many free passes, it will almost always lead to a loss.
“I thought we just gave one away,” Woodard said. “I thought they outplayed us in every category.”
Senior right-handed pitcher Tori McCann, who was charged with the loss, threw 2.1 innings, walked and struck out two and gave up two earned runs.
Villanova freshman pitcher Kat Gallant pitched a complete game, allowing six hits and two unearned runs while striking out four.
Back-to-back two-base errors by Villanova outfielders in the bottom of the second inning gave freshman designated player Karmyn Bass the opportunity to give Texas State a 1-0 lead.
Villanova senior catcher grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored junior outfielder Tess Cites in the top of the third inning, tying the score 1-1.
Senior infielder Sara Vanderford hit an RBI double in the bottom of the third, but a Villanova RBI single tied the game 2-2 in the top of the fifth inning. Another RBI single in the top of the sixth from Villanova put the Wildcats in the lead 3-2.
Vanderford, a preseason All-Sun Belt Conference selection, has four doubles, one home run and four RBIs on the season.
McCann was relieved by junior pitcher Jessica Mullins in the top of the seventh with two outs and the bases loaded. The first batter Mullins faced resulted in the Bobcats’ ninth and final walk of the day, another run and a 4-2 lead for Villanova. 
Wichita State defeated Texas State 3-2 in the season opener, and Woodard said that her squad needs to have a short memory heading into tomorrow.
“We’ve got to rebound quickly… they’ll demolish us if we show up like this tomorrow,” Woodard said. 
Sunday, Feb. 12 versus Wichita State
Texas State softball defeated Wichita State with a score of 7-4 in its final game of the Texas State Tournament on Sunday.
The Bobcats scored all seven of their runs in the bottom of the third inning after the Shockers pulled ahead by two runs to start the game. The rally started with freshman utility Katarina Zarate getting hit by a pitch to advance to first base. 
Following the faulty hit by pitch, freshman catcher Megan Kelnar and junior infielder Hannah Earls, continued with the momentum and hit two singles to advance Zarate to third, where she was able to score due to a throwing error by the Shocker’s pitcher. 
Wichita State changed pitchers as the Bobcats continued around the bases, which did not stop Texas State’s momentum as they scored six more runs to finish up the third inning with a five run lead of 7-2.
Wichita State lessened the Bobcat lead after they hit a homerun in the top of the fourth inning and an RBI in the top of the fifth, scoring two points and making the score 7-4.
Each team’s defense maintained the score as the following innings finished with three quick outs to complete their final game of the tournament with a Bobcat victory of 7-4 over the Shockers, their first loss of the 2023 season.
Texas State softball will play in the upcoming I-35 Tournament, which they will be co-hosting with UTSA. The Bobcat’s first game will be against Lamar University (0-5) at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16. at the Bobcat Softball Stadium. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.

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  • Texas State junior utility Hannah Earls (3) catches the force out at second which makes Villanova Wildcats sophomore infielder Ava Franz (10) out, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, at Bobcat Softball Complex. The Bobcats lost 4-2.

  • Texas State freshman right-handed pitcher Analisa Soliz (23) gets set before throwing a pitch to the Villanova Wildcats, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023 at Bobcat Softball Complex. The Bobcats lost 4-2.

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