The Texas State softball team ended their 2017 season at the NCAA College Station Regional with a 6-3 loss against the Texas Longhorns.
The Bobcats finished their campaign with an overall record of 42-17, and a Sun Belt Conference record of 18-8. Texas State finished second overall in conference rankings, behind the 47-8 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.
The Bobcats strung together six streaks of four or more consecutive wins, including streaks of five and six games. Texas State’s most impressive streak of the season was a 10-game win streak that lasted from March 8-25.
On their way to an 18-8 Sun Belt Conference record, the Bobcats won six of their nine conference series. Texas State swept their opponents in four of their six series wins.
Texas State began their season with an 1-0 loss to Abilene Christian, before going on a four-game win streak.
Throughout the season the Bobcats showed that they could win games by being an offensive powerhouse or simply squashing their opponents with overwhelming defense.
On April 29, Texas State put on its most impressive offensive performance, scoring 12 runs, and shutting out the Troy Trojans with stellar pitching.
In the post season, Texas State earned the second seed in the Sun Belt Conference tournament; the Bobcats made it to the championship, but were defeated 12-0 by Louisiana.
Following their SBC Championship loss, Texas State took part in the NCAA College Station Regional. The team picked up its first win in the event, edging the Longhorns 2-1, in a 12-inning defensive showdown.
The Bobcats fell to the No. 12 Texas A&M Aggies, before being eliminated from contention by Texas in the following game.
Leading the Bobcat’s lineup in home runs this season was junior Ariel Ortiz with 15 homers.
Beyond home runs, Ortiz also led Texas State in several other key statistical categories including total hits (62), RBIs (47), slugging percentage (.702), doubles (10) and at bat appearances (181).
Ortiz, also finished the season with a .343 overall batting average.
Freshman Christiana McDowell led the team in runs scored (35), followed by Ortiz (34). McDowell also led in stolen bases (5) and ranked second behind Ortiz in hits (44) and at bats (175).
Junior Taylor Webb led Texas State in walks (47); the junior ranked second on the team in total RBIs (37), slugging percentage (.605) and home runs (13).
Finishing in the top three in several statistical categories was junior Jaelyn Young. Young finished the season ranked third in hits (39) and RBIs (33).
Throughout the entirety of the Bobcat’s season, the excellence of junior Randi Rupp was almost always a guarantee.
The 2017 season saw Texas State’s star ace finish with a 28-10 overall record, Rupp put up a career best 1.22 ERA and allowing a career best 73 runs on 201 hits.
For players like Ortiz and Rupp, the 2017 season was also a record setting one. In an April 8 victory over the South Alabama Jaguars, Ortiz scored her 30th home run and cemented herself as Texas State’s all-time career home run leader.
On April 30, Rupp earned her place next to all-time career strikeout leader Nicole Neuerburg, as one of only two Bobcats in Texas State history to reach the 900-strikeout mark.
The junior pitcher finished the season with 325 strikeouts this season, and finds herself just 66 away from the record held by Neurerburg (1,019).
Texas State loses six Bobcats this season, however the influx of new talent as well as the return of several key players should make for an interesting 2018 season.