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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 starts season with winning record

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) played in a five-game tournament to commence the 2023 season over the weekend. The team split two doubleheaders and won the final game of the tournament to grab a winning record to start the season.
The Bobcats went up against Wichita State and Kent State in a doubleheader for their first games of the season on Friday.
The ‘Cats dropped their first matchup to Wichita State 3-2 in a game where reigning Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year junior pitcher Jessica Mullins was tagged with the loss. Mullins only gave up one run in three innings of relief after entering for senior starter Tori McCann but allowed a wild pitch in her first inning of work to allow the game-winning run to score.
Texas State followed its opening day loss with a mercy rule 8-0 blowout of Kent State in the second game of the doubleheader. Senior infielder Sara Vanderford, a preseason All-Sun Belt selection, had two hits in the victory, including her first home run of the season in the bottom of the third inning.
Matchups against Kent State and Villanova on Saturday produced another doubleheader split for Texas State.
Texas State won Saturday’s first matchup 5-1 against Kent State, a team the Bobcats had beaten just 14 hours earlier. Mullins made her first start of the season and threw five innings, only allowing one run on seven hits. Sophomore outfielder Ciara Trahan, the 2022 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year, went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in the victory.
Nine walks were issued by the Texas State pitching staff in a 4-2 loss against Villanova in the final doubleheader matchup of the tournament. Four Bobcat pitchers entered the game, including a first career start by freshman pitcher Analisa Soliz, and each gave up at least two walks in the loss.
Head coach Ricci Woodard said that anytime a team gives up nine walks, it probably won’t lead to a win.
“I thought they outplayed us in every category,” Woodard said following the Villanova loss. “We’ve got to rebound quickly… [Wichita State will] demolish us if we show up like this tomorrow”
Texas State abided by Woodard’s hopes of a rebound win and won the last game of the tournament 7-4 against Wichita State. Backed by a two-RBI double by junior utility JJ Smith, the Bobcats scored all seven of their runs in the bottom of the third inning en route to their third victory.
“I thought we did a good job of learning through the first four games and using some of the things we learned and doing a better job,” Woodard said.
Junior pitcher Jessica Mullins pitched in four of the five games, throwing a complete game on Sunday in the victory of Wichita State.
Vanderford had at least one hit in all five games of the tournament. She has seven hits, four doubles, one home run, four walks and five RBIs on the season.
Texas State is tied for fifth in the Sun Belt Conference following the tournament.
The Bobcats will face Lamar University in the I-35 Tournament at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16., at Bobcat Softball Stadium.

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