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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 slump continues against Louisiana

The+Bobcat+softball+team+huddles+together+before+the+game+against+Texas+A%26amp%3BM%2C+Tuesday%2C+April+6%2C+2021%2C+at+Bobcat+Softball+Stadium.+The+Bobcats+won+7-6.

The Bobcat softball team huddles together before the game against Texas A&M, Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at Bobcat Softball Stadium. The Bobcats won 7-6.

Texas State softball’s (27-8 overall, 9-5 Sun Belt) struggles continued from April 17-18 with a 2-1 series loss to the No. 14 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (34-7 overall, 16-2 Sun Belt).
A 7-5 victory over Baylor University on April 14 provided a base for a resurgence after suffering a series sweep against the University of South Alabama, which squashed hopes of a program record-breaking 19th consecutive win.
The series started strong for the Bobcats, who won the first game of the April 17 doubleheader 5-1.
Louisiana opened the scoring in the fourth with an RBI sacrifice bunt from junior utility player Melissa Mayeux. The Ragin’ Cajuns struggled with hitting until the run, registering only two hits.
Two innings later, the Bobcats’ bats responded with back-to-back singles from senior infielder Tara Oltmann and sophomore infielder Sara Vanderford. A passed ball advanced runners to second and third. Louisiana’s decision to intentionally walk Texas State senior infielder Hailey MacKay backfired when next-in-line freshman outfielder Piper Randolph singled to center field on a 3-2 count, driving home two runs for a 2-1 lead.
Texas State junior catcher Cat Crenek homered the very first pitch of the top of the seventh inning to double the lead to 3-1, while senior outfielder Kylie George mounted on the pressure with a single to left field. Oltmann put the punctuation on the Bobcats’ reawakened bats by homering to left field for the final 5-1 score. Louisiana could only muster a single from senior outfielder Ciara Bryan, the only Ragin’ Cajun batter to total more than one hit, with three.
Texas State started the second half of the doubleheader conceding four runs and five hits in eight at-bats. Freshman pitcher Jessica Mullins, who pitched for all seven innings of the first game and grabbed five strikeouts, ended her time on the mound after Louisiana senior catcher/outfielder Julie Rawls homered to right field for a 3-0 lead. Bobcats’ senior pitcher Meagan King allowed three hits and an RBI before the inning ended 4-0.
The Ragin Cajuns’ offensive explosion briefly resumed on the very first pitch in the bottom of the second, when sophomore pitcher/outfielder Karly Heath homered to center field and deepened the Bobcats’ hole at 5-0.
Texas State managed one hit in the fourth before Heath homered again to left-center on a 3-2 count in the bottom of that very inning for a 6-0 lead. King’s game ended after the sixth run when replaced by senior pitcher Dalilah Barrera, who held the mound for the rest of the game.
Oltmann would double in the sixth for an RBI and run one in herself off Vanderford’s single for a 6-2 scoreline, but Louisiana added another run in the sixth to end the scoring at 7-2. Texas State managed three runs in the seventh to load the bases, but Oltmann’s ground out to the shortstop ended the game a half-inning early.
The final game of the series on April 18 was another one-sided affair. Louisiana routed the Bobcats 8-0 due to a seven-run sixth inning collapse, deepening the slump since Texas State dropped its win streak.
Louisiana senior infielder Kaitlyn Alderink started the scoring in the first inning with an RBI single, but the pitching from both teams remained relatively clean for the majority of the game. Mullins earned five strikeouts in five innings, allowing two hits before the sixth inning. Louisiana senior pitcher Summer Ellyson allowed only one hit, a single down the left-field line from Texas State freshman utility player Hannah Earls, in six innings. The game was a pitching showcase, a stark contrast to the multiple-run doubleheader the day before.
Texas State would bottom out in the sixth after Bryan hit a two-run homer for a 3-0 lead. Barrera stepped in for Mullins, who allowed two hits from two batters before coming off for King. The second relief pitcher of the inning let in a two RBI-single from Rawls on her third pitch, inflating the score to 5-0. Heath hit a two-RBI single two batters later for a 7-0 lead. Heath and Rawls both totaled four RBIs in the last two games of the series.
A sacrifice bunt allowed Louisiana sophomore outfielder Kendall Talley to finalize the score at 8-0.
The eight-run lead after the fifth inning triggered rule 6.17.1.3 of the NCAA Softball 2020 and 2021 Rules Book — “If a team is ahead by eight or more runs after five innings, or if the home team is at least eight runs ahead after 4 1/2 innings, [the plate umpire shall declare a called game].”
Having now lost five of the last seven games, Texas State will travel up north for a one-off game against the No. 6 University of Texas at Austin Longhorns (31-6 overall, 6-3 Big 12).
In their last matchup against the Longhorns on Feb. 24, the Bobcats experienced a 1-0 walk-off loss off a fielding error in extra innings.
This time around, UT is coming off the wrong end of a series sweep against the No. 1 University of Oklahoma, 11-2, 10-2 and 9-0, with no games reaching the full seven innings. The Longhorns hold a 22-1 record at home.
The first pitch will be thrown at 6 p.m. on April 21 at McCombs Field in Austin, Texas. This game will air on Longhorn Network.

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