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The University Star

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The University Star

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The University Star


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Vanderford powers Texas State to series-clinching victory over Jaguars

Mandalyn Lewallen
Texas State graduate student infield Sara Vanderford (26) rushes to third base during the game against Texas Tech, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024, at Bobcat Softball Stadium.

After a long-tenured career, graduate student infielder Sara Vanderford sits atop the Texas State record books following Friday night’s win.

Texas State softball (28-7, 6-1 Sun Belt Conference) toppled the University of South Alabama (17-13-1, 3-4 Sun Belt Conference) Friday evening 13-3 at Jaguar Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.

The win clinches the series for the Bobcats.

The Bobcats accomplished their seventh straight win with a well-balanced offensive and defensive performance and an electric game from Vanderford.

Texas State entered the diamond aggressively, starting with an RBI from Vanderford. This hit brought in two runs for the Bobcats and placed Vanderford at the top of the all-time RBI list for Bobcat softball.

Vanderford ended the day with two home runs, seven RBIs and three total hits. Vandeford hit her 165th and 166th RBI to break the Texas State all-time career RBI record.

As a team, Texas State scored in five of seven total innings.

Freshman pitcher Madison Azula started on the mound for Texas State and earned the win, pitching 3.2 innings before being replaced by senior pitcher Jessica Mullins.

Mullins finished out the game and picked up her third save of the season.

The Jaguars brought in their first run with an RBI single from senior catcher Sasha Willems in the third inning and added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Vanderford entered the top of the fifth inning with a rocket deep over the center field fence, bringing in two runs. She stayed hungry in the seventh inning, blasting a grand slam over the fence, bringing her to seven total RBIs this game.

The game heated up in the top of the sixth inning with a diving catch from senior outfielder Piper Randolph. This play took Randolph out of the game with an injury and gave the Bobcats an out. This play also ended with the ejection of Jaguars Head Coach Becky Clark.

The Bobcats will look to sweep the Jaguars in the final game of the series on Saturday.

The opening pitch in the third game between Texas State and South Aabama is scheduled to be thrown at1 p.m. Saturday at Jaguar Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.

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