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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

Vanderford reflects on becoming Texas State softball RBI record leader

Texas+State+graduate+student+infielder+Sara+Vanderford+celebrates+advancing+bases+during+the+game+against+Texas+A%26M%2C+Wednesday%2C+March+20%2C+2024%2C+at+Bobcat+Softball+Stadium
Mandalyn Lewallen
Texas State graduate student infielder Sara Vanderford celebrates advancing bases during the game against Texas A&M, Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at Bobcat Softball Stadium

An accolade five seasons in the making for graduate student infielder Sara Vanderford has finally come to fruition.

Vanderford now stands alone as Texas State softball’s career RBI leader, currently sitting with 172 RBIs, surpassing former Bobcat Ariel Ortiz’s career total of 164.

In a game against the University of South Alabama on March 29, Vanderford stepped up to the plate with two runners in scoring position, tied with Ortiz at 164 RBI. Vanderford singled into right field, plating both runners on base and cementing her name as the career RBI leader for Texas State softball.

“I mean it’s awesome. I’m blessed to be [have gotten to this point],” Vanderford said. “[I] couldn’t do it without the team, these coaches and everyone else I’ve played with.”

Vanderford said her success at Texas State is a product of how much she has grown as a person while on campus and how using her extra year of eligibility from COVID-19 has helped her succeed.

“Breaking records is cool, but more than that, I’ve grown a lot as a person here,” Vanderford said. “If I could tell every freshman to redshirt, I would because that’s what [COVID-19] gave me. Being 23 and doing this is a lot easier than being 19 and doing this.”

Texas State Head Coach Ricci Woodard has counted on Vanderford since the very first time she penciled her name into the lineup. Woodard said Vanderford’s work ethic is second to none, and the record couldn’t have come for a better person.

“It’s more about how hard she’s worked at her game; she busts her tail every single day,” Woodard said. “It couldn’t have happened to a better person, and I’m glad to see [the record] finally happened for her.”

Vanderford’s name is scattered throughout the top ranks in multiple categories of the Texas State record books. Aside from now holding the record for career RBIs, Vanderford also leads Texas State in career doubles with 67 and ranks second all-time in career batting average with .334 and home runs with 36.

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