Softball hopes to end losing streak against Hilltoppers

Sports Reporter

Texas State softball will look to snap its four-game losing streak in San Marcos this weekend against the Sun Belt Conference’s second-ranked team Western Kentucky.

The Bobcats are coming into the game after being swept by Georgia State last weekend, falling three games below .500 this season with a 21-24 overall record.

This is the furthest the Bobcats have been below .500 this season. The team currently sits in sixth place in the conference with a 4-8 record.

The Hilltoppers’ four-game winning streak ended Sunday with a loss to Louisiana-Monroe. Western Kentucky’s current record is 28-14-1 this season and 8-4 in conference. Three of the Hilltoppers’ losses came from the top-ranked team in the conference, Louisiana.

“We’ll take a look and study (Western Kentucky) all week,” said Coach Ricci Woodard. “They’re a solid team that’s aggressive on the bases, and I think it’ll be an interesting matchup for us.”

Olivia Watkins, Hilltoppers infielder, leads the Sun Belt in stolen bases this season with 44 out of 47 attempts. Watkins leads the conference with 69 hits and ranks second in runs scored with 43 this season. Watkins leads the team in hitting with a .473 average and has an on base percentage of .500 this season.

The Bobcats have a three-game series with the Hilltoppers this weekend and face Texas Wednesday at home.

The Bobcats won two of three games against South Alabama the last time they played in San Marcos, bringing their home record to 13-5. The Jaguars were ranked No. 11 in the NCAA at the time and lead the Sun Belt with the best overall record.

“We always play better at home, as our record shows,” said Courtney Harris, junior third baseman. “Our confidence level is pretty high, and we’re looking forward to competing this weekend.”

Harris is currently on a 10-game hitting streak. Harris leads the team in hitting with a .339 average and an on base percentage of .447. Harris ranks second on the team with 42 hits, 21 RBI and slugging percentage of .524.

“I had no idea I was even on a hitting streak,” Harris said. “I feel like I’m seeing the ball well, and I’m just doing what I can to get some hits and help our team as best as I can.”

Rayn House, senior pitcher, earned two of the losses against Georgia State to make her overall record 18-15. House has pitched 21 complete games this season, and eight of them were shutouts. She has pitched a total of 195 innings, given up 192 hits and 92 runs and earned 178 strikeouts.

This series will start the final 10 games of the Bobcats regular season before the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. Texas State is playing seven of those games at home and three on the road against Troy.

Texas State will play a double header on Friday and then play the final game of the series Saturday.