After closing out her final season with a Sun Belt Conference Championship win, one of Texas State’s players is ending her Bobcat career on top.
Ariel Ortiz, senior infielder, has achieved much success in her career as a Bobcat. Ortiz started in 53 games and led the Bobcats in home runs (12), recording 16 doubles, 111 total bases and 44 run scores.
Throughout her four seasons, Ortiz has dominated the field. She received Second Team National Fastpitch Coaches Association and All-Central Region and Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference. Ortiz was also an NFCA Top 25 Freshmen of the Year finalist.
For the 2017 campaign, Ortiz was honored as Second Team All-Central Region by the NFCA again and First Team All-Sun Belt Conference. With 15 home runs, Ortiz set the Texas State single season record. She is currently the Texas State career home run holder, with her 33 topping the previous record of 29. The senior closed the 2018 season with 39 career home runs.
Ortiz entered the spring season ranked second all-time with a career batting average of .324, second all-time with 127 career RBIs, fifth all-time with 136 career runs and fifth all-time with 50 career doubles.
Achieving one of the best records in Texas State history (43-16), the team won the Sun Belt Conference Championship, defeating Louisiana 5-2.
The senior achieved her goal of improving the program she joined four years ago.
“I just wanted to leave this program better than we found it as a senior class and go out with a bang,” Ortiz said. “Myself and other seniors wanted to do everything that we could for this program.”
Teammate Christiana McDowell, junior outfielder, has played with Ortiz for two seasons and has watched the senior infielder become a leader.
“Ariel has grown in the last two years I have known her,” McDowell said. “She really developed into a verbal leader this year and was always optimistic.”
An important part of Ortiz’s growth as a player was transitioning into a veteran role and becoming a guiding voice for younger players. For McDowell, Ortiz was a confidant she could turn to for advice.
“She was someone I could go to for guidance, whether it was for as a person or a player.” McDowell said. “She did great things on the field that got us to the position we did.”
Ortiz has made it a priority to enjoy every moment of her final season as a Bobcat.
“I’ve enjoyed living every game like it is my last,” Ortiz said. “I had to take everything in, with it being my last year. I’ve enjoyed going all of the places we have gone to and, of course, winning the Sun Belt championship.”