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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

Bobcats clinch spot in Regional finals with win over Penn State

Texas+State+senior+outfielder+Piper+Randolph+%2811%29+meets+her+teammates+at+home+base+to+celebrate+hitting+a+home+run+during+the+game+against+Penn+State+at+the+NCAA+Regionals+Tournament%2C+Saturday%2C+May+18%2C+2024%2C+at+Davis+Diamond+in+College+Station%2C+Texas.
Mandalyn Lewallen
Texas State senior outfielder Piper Randolph (11) meets her teammates at home base to celebrate hitting a home run during the game against Penn State at the NCAA Regionals Tournament, Saturday, May 18, 2024, at Davis Diamond in College Station, Texas.

It’s not often that one team will play another five times in one season, and it’s even less often for the opponent to be out of conference. However, that’s exactly how it played out for Texas State softball (47-14), as they met Pennsylvania State (35-20) five separate times this year. 

Luckily for the Bobcats, they had Penn State’s number all year long, winning all five games against the Nittany Lions, none more significant than the last one. In the fifth and final meeting, the Bobcats defeated Penn State by a final score of 8-4 Saturday night at Davis Diamond in College Station. 

The Bobcats’ victory clinched them a spot in the regional final against Texas A&M University (42-13). 

“Hats off to my team,” Texas State Head Coach Ricci Woodard said. “Beating someone five times in a season is really tough. The grit that we showed just keeps popping up.”

Much like game one against Penn State this weekend, Texas State pushed the first runs across the board to take the first lead of the game at 2-0 in the third inning after RBI singles from graduate student infielder Sara Vanderford and senior outfielder Anna Jones.

Penn State answered the call with a go-ahead home run to vault them into the lead at 3-2 in the fourth. 

The Bobcats responded in the fifth inning with two runs to re-take the lead at 4-3. One inning later in the sixth, senior outfielder Piper Randolph put the final nail in the coffin on Penn State’s season as she launched a no-doubt grand slam to propel Texas State to an 8-3 lead. 

 

Texas State senior outfielder Piper Randolph (11) hits the ball during the game against Penn State at the NCAA Regionals Tournament, Saturday, May 18, 2024, at Davis Diamond in College Station, Texas. (Mandalyn Lewallen)

 

“With nine seniors who aren’t ready to be done, we have a lot of fight left,” Randolph said. “I think it’s just carrying over, and you can see our fight in every single game.”

Senior pitcher Jessica Mullins closed out the last 2.1 innings in the circle for the Bobcats en route to picking up her fourth save of the year. Graduate student Tori McCann was credited with the win, moving her record on the season to 3-0.

Texas State will now gear up for a rematch with Texas A&M in the regional final. The Bobcats must beat the Aggies twice to earn a Super Regional berth.

The opening pitch of game one of the Regional finals is scheduled to be hrown at 2:05 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at Davis Diamond in College Station. The “if necessary” game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Both games will be available to stream on ESPN+ 

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