The softball team will look to raise its energy level when the Bobcats travel to Mississippi this weekend as one of 10 teams competing in the Gulf Coast Classic.
“We want to gain that energy we lost last weekend back,” said Coach Ricci Woodard. “That’ll be our main focus as we head into this tournament.”
Texas State will be joined by Memphis, Ohio, Baylor, South Alabama, Louisiana, UTSA, Nicholls State, Chattanooga and Mississippi State in the classic. The Bobcats will play five of the teams in the tournament, opening Friday at noon against Memphis.
The Tigers are coming into the tournament with a 7-5 overall record, currently fifth in the American Athletic Conference. Brittany Vaughn, Memphis infielder, enters the game with a .382 batting average and a .476 on base percentage. Vaughn has scored 8 runs, 13 hits and leads the team with 10 RBI.
Leading the pitching for the Tigers is Ellen Roberts who has a 1.68 ERA and is 4-2 on the season. Roberts has pitched 41.2 innings this season, allowing 38 hits and 15 runs and striking out 34 batters.
Texas State will start Saturday’s double-header against Ohio.
Ohio is coming into the tournament with a 12-1 overall record. Seven of the team’s nine players are currently batting between .275 and .476 in their first 13 games of the season.
The leader for the Ohio Bobcats and the Mid-American Conference in hits and batting average is Adrienne Gebele, catcher, with a .476 average and 20 hits. Alexandria Basquez, infielder, has 15 hits and leads the team with 11 RBI for Ohio this season.
The Bobcats will face No. 15 Baylor in their second game Saturday, the only ranked team they will face all weekend.
Baylor is coming into the matchup with a 12-3 record. This will be the first of two matchups between the teams this season. Texas State has not defeated Baylor since the 2012 season.
Whitney Canion, Baylor pitcher, will enter the tournament with a 7-2 record, 1.10 ERA and 65 strikeouts this season. Canion was chosen at the beginning of the season as one of 50 players to watch for USA Softball’s Player of the Year award.
The Bobcats’ first game of Sunday’s double-header will be against former Southland Conference opponent Nicholls State. The teams have not faced each other since the 2012 season, where they split their two game series in Louisiana.
The Colonels will enter the tournament with a 5-11 overall record. The team went 1-4 in the Houston Classic tournament last weekend where it was outscored 50-20.
Texas State will face the Mississippi State Bulldogs in its final game of the tournament.
The Bulldogs are coming into the tournament undefeated with 14 wins. They have yet to give up more than one run to an opponent. The team is outscoring its opponents 81-7, throwing seven shutouts this season.
Alison Owen, Bulldogs pitcher, has thrown 42.2 of 93 innings pitched for Mississippi State. Owen has a 0.49 ERA and is 7-0 on the season while leading the team in strikeouts with 64.
“The competition is going to get tougher,” Woodard said. “This tournament will prepare us for what is to come. We’ll try to start March off playing good softball.”