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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

Randolph and Jones’ departure leaves outfield open for competition

Texas+State+senior+outfielder+Piper+Randolph+%2811%29+hits+the+ball+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) 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.

Texas State softball has had an outstanding regular season campaign, ranked in the top 25 since March, thanks in part to the efforts of senior outfielders Piper Randolph and Anna Jones. After their final season, the Bobcats will look for replacements for these successful seniors. The contact period for recruiting is June 8 to July 31.

Since her freshman season in 2021, Randolph has impacted the program, showcasing the ability of her speed and glove. Randolph has an all-time fielding percentage of .975 and only seven errors in 243 total chances.

Offensively, Randolph is everywhere on the team leader charts. This season she is in the top five on the team in batting average (.314), slugging percentage (.493), runs scored (32), hits (44) and runs batted in (29).

Jones played a vital role on the squad this year as well. In just her third season as a Bobcat after transferring from LSU in 2022, Jones became a large part of the offense. She leads the team in stolen bases this season with 18 while top five in team batting average (.309), slugging percentage (.423), runs scored (31), hits (46), runs batted in (29) and walks (17).

 

Texas State senior utility Anna Jones (14) catches the ball during the game against Penn State at the NCAA Regionals Tournament, Friday, May 17, 2024, at Davis Diamond in Collge Station, Texas. (Mandalyn Lewallen)

 

In the outfield, Jones poses an all-time fielding percentage of (.951) as a Bobcat. In her career, she has only committed two errors in Sun Belt play.

It is clear Randolph and Jones were key to the team’s success on both sides of the ball, but the question is who will be able to fill their shoes next season?

Here are four possible replacements:

 

Junior Ciara Trahan

Texas State lost Trahan earlier this season due to a season-ending knee injury. Assuming she has a speedy recovery, she may become the leader of the outfield next season.

Trahan played alongside Randolph and Jones this season in the outfield, starting in 38 games. Before her injury, Trahan had zero errors this season on 66 chances, 14 stolen bases and a batting average of .339.

 

Sophomore Sydney Harvey

Harvey will more than likely be a starter in the outfield next season for the Bobcats. Harvey subbed in for Jones, Randolph and Trahan this season and stepped in for Trahan after her injury earlier in the season.

Since becoming a regular starter, Harvey has experienced struggles offensively. Her average in conference play rests at .184, but posted an on-base percentage of .311. On defense, she made up for her offensive struggles, committing zero errors in 38 chances.

 

Sophomore Emilee Baker

Baker is expected to contribute to the outfield next year as she started in 20 games this season. In 2024, Baker has a batting average of .312 and a perfect fielding percentage in only eight chances. Although she hasn’t had many chances to showcase her defense in games, she has been consistent in her opportunities. Baker also had a batting average of .333 in her freshman season, proving a consistent bat.

 

Freshman Dani Laughlin

Laughlin is another player that has an opportunity to make a splash on the diamond next season. Although Laughlin didn’t start a game this year, she saw a few at-bats and scored eight runs. She’s not a sure starter next season, but with two starters leaving in the outfield, it is expected to see her playing time increase next season.

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