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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

Earls executing career-best season in final year at TXST

Texas+State+senior+utility+Hannah+Earls+%283%29+advances+to+a+base+during+the+game+against+%231+Texas%2C+Wednesday%2C+April+10%2C+2024%2C+at+Red+%26+Charlie+McCombs+Field+in+Austin.
Mandalyn Lewallen
Texas State senior utility Hannah Earls (3) advances to a base during the game against #1 Texas, Wednesday, April 10, 2024, at Red & Charlie McCombs Field in Austin.

In a society where social media reigns supreme, talent is hard to miss, even in San Marcos. But, every so often, a player can slip through the cracks and escape the social media void. Senior infielder Hannah Earls seems to do just that, having her career-best season under the radar.

According to Texas State Head Coach Ricci Woodard, Earls has no reservations about not being in the spotlight.

“Earls knows she doesn’t really want to think about the pressure or the big moments,” Ricci said. “[Earls] just wants to play the game.”

On a team with a high-powered offense that scores over five runs per game, Earls leads the team in batting average at .363 and is the team’s hit leader, piling up 61 on the season thus far.

Earls continuously improved after her freshman year. After being named First Team All-Sun Belt in 2022, Earls had a statistically better season in 2023 and is currently outperforming her junior season

In every season of her career so far, Earls has improved her batting average from the year prior. In her first two seasons, Earls hit .271 and .272 respectively, while as a junior she finished the season batting .328. Now, Earls is on track to smash her .328 mark from last year. She attributes her constant growth to remaining as calm as possible.

 

Texas State senior utility Hannah Earls (3) swingS the bat during the game against Texas A&M, Wednesday, March 20, 2024, at Bobcat Softball Stadium. (Mandalyn Lewallen)

“I’ve just been keeping calm, trying to keep my stress low,” Earls said. “I’ve just been playing slower and thinking [the game] through.”

Earls also said she no longer feels the high pressure of being in the leadoff spot like she used to, but now enjoys hitting in the one-spot.

Earls’ calm and stoic demeanor never seems to change while on the field, regardless of the events that transpire throughout the game. Assistant Coach Scott Woodard said that is one of the reasons Earls is a special player.

“The biggest thing with Earls is she doesn’t see one moment bigger than the other,” Scott said. “I don’t think playing Texas or Texas A&M is any bigger to Earls than playing Sam Houston.”

Ricci said Earls is invaluable to her out of the leadoff spot. According to Ricci, Earls has been the jumpstart to the high-powered Bobcats’ offense all year.

“Any time you can get speed like [Earls] on the base path you expect to score in the first inning,” Ricci said. “She sets the table for us to be able to score often and early.”

Much like what Earls said about herself, Ricci said Earls’ approach to how she plays the game has come a long way.

“As a freshman [Earls] was a little overwhelmed,” Ricci said. “Now I think her approach is that she still wants the ball, wants to be playing, and she still wants to be that go-to person.”

Earls said her teammates are what she has enjoyed most about her time in San Marcos and what she will miss the most when her senior season comes to an end.

“We’re like a family, they get me through every day,” Earls said. “[I’m going to miss] just being with them every day.”

 

Texas State senior utility Hannah Earls (3) looks to pass the ball during the game against Kennesaw State, Friday, February 9, 2024, at Bobcat Softball Stadium. (Mandalyn Lewallen)
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