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The University Star




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The University Star

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Bobcats fall to No. 2 Texas in epic pitching duel

Texas+State+senior+utility+J.J.+Smith+%2825%29+hits+the+ball+during+the+game+against+Texas%2C+Wednesday%2C+Feb.+28%2C+2024%2C+at+Bobcat+Softball+Stadium.
Mandalyn Lewallen
Texas State senior utility J.J. Smith (25) hits the ball during the game against Texas, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at Bobcat Softball Stadium.

The Texas State softball team (14-5) was defeated 1-0 by No. 2 University of Texas Longhorns (13-1) 1-0 Tuesday night on a chilly evening at Bobcat Softball Stadium.

The Bobcats entered Tuesday’s contest on a seven-game winning streak, having swept the Sun Devil Classic this past weekend.

The game was a pitcher’s duel between Texas State senior Jessica Mullins and Texas freshman Teagan Kavan as both went the distance.

Mullins was the star of the show for the Bobcats, as she has been for much of her collegiate career. She threw seven innings, allowing just one run on six hits while tallying five strikeouts.

“I thought we competed well,” Texas State Head Coach Ricci Woodard said. “That’s a good ball club over there, and I thought Mullins threw the ball as well as she possibly could to keep us in the ballgame and give us a chance to win. We had a chance to win. You can’t ask for more than that except maybe two runs to their one.”

After three scoreless innings, the Longhorns got on the scoreboard in the fourth. Texas freshman catcher Katie Stewart doubled down the right field line to get on base. Two at-bats later, she was brought home off a single into left field from senior first baseman Joley Mitchell, who was pinch-hitting for sophomore shortstop Viviana Martinez.

The Longhorns’ one run proved to be the dagger, as the Bobcat offense left four runners on base, including two occasions where they left a runner on third. Texas State went 0-3 with runners in scoring position on the night.

The Texas State bats struggled all game at the hand of Kavan, who got the win, striking out nine batters and allowing zero runs to improve to 6-0 on what has been a sensational debut season.

Regardless of the loss, the night wasn’t all bad for the Bobcats as the sellout crowd of 1,191, which is the third-largest attendance in Bobcat Softball Stadium history.

“When the crowd is this big, you know you have two good ball clubs, and that’s what’s fun to me,” Woodard said.

Next, the team will travel to Lubbock to compete in the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic. The Bobcats will open the tournament against the University of Texas El Paso (10-4).

The opening pitch between Texas State and UTEP is scheduled to be thrown at 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 1, at Rocky Johnson Field in Lubbock, Texas.

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