The Texas State softball team went 1-2 in a three-game series this weekend against second-ranked Sun Belt Conference opponent Western Kentucky to remain at sixth in the standings.
The Bobcats are 22-26 overall and 5-10 in conference play with seven games remaining in the season. Western Kentucky remains in second place after the weekend with a 10-4 conference record. The Hilltoppers are 31-15-1 overall this season.
“We’re not really worrying about wins and losses at the end of the day,” said Coach Ricci Woodard. “We’re worrying about what we do. We need to make sure that when we get to the conference tournament, that we’re playing our best ball.”
Texas State lost the first game 1-0. Brooke Holloway, Hilltoppers first baseman, hit a solo homer in the top of the seventh to score the only run of the game.
Coralee Ramirez, senior right fielder, had two hits in the game. Ramirez’s second hit was a triple with no outs in the bottom of the seventh. Ramirez served as the tying run, but the Bobcats failed to advance her home and lost 1-0.
Courtney Harris, junior third baseman, ended her hit streak at 10 games, failing to earn a hit in the contest.
Rayn House, senior pitcher, started the first game and threw a complete game for the Bobcats. House gave up four hits, 1 run and struck out six batters. The senior earned her 16th loss of the season.
Emily Rousseau, Hilltoppers pitcher, threw a complete game. Rousseau gave up five hits and allowed no runs. Rousseau earned the win to improve her record to 16-10.
Kelli Baker, sophomore second baseman, gave the Bobcats the early lead in the bottom of the first inning to start the second game of Friday’s double header. Baker scored on an illegal pitch by Western Kentucky to make the score 1-0.
The Hilltoppers scored 1 run in the top of fourth on a fielder’s choice to tie the game. The team added 2 more runs in the fifth inning.
Preslie Cruce, Hilltoppers first baseman, hit a solo homer in the fifth. Watkins stole second and third base then reached home on a throwing error by Katie Doerre, sophomore catcher, to give the Hilltoppers its second run of the fifth inning.
Western Kentucky scored 3 more runs in the game to make the final score 6-1 and give the Hilltoppers the win. The Bobcats extended their losing streak to six straight games. Texas State had six hits, seven walks and eight strikeouts in the loss.
“We’re not doing what we need to do offensively,” Woodard said. “It puts a whole lot of pressure on that person in the circle when we’re not swinging the bats offensively. We’re not swinging the bats really well and that’s what is causing all of the problems right now.”
Kaylee Garner, freshman pitcher, fell to 1-6 on the season and allowed 6 runs on eight hits. The Bobcats left 20 runners on base Friday in both games played.
“Offense becomes a momentum killer,” Woodard said. “That’s where we’re putting ourselves in a bind, so we need to figure out how to become the aggressors on the offensive side.”
The Bobcats run-ruled the Hilltoppers 11-2 in five innings in the final game of the series. The team earned 11 hits in the game. Texas State started the contest with back-to-back home runs by Baker and Timishia North, senior center fielder.
“Well, when you start off with back-to-back home runs, that tells you we’re being aggressive at the plate,” Woodard said. “I thought they did a great job all the way around of being confident and attacking good pitches today.”
Kendall Wiley, sophomore first baseman, had a solo home run and finished the game going 2-3 with three RBI and 2 runs.
Harris ended the game with a 2-run homer to give the Bobcats the final score of 11-2. Harris finished the game with three RBI and 2 runs scored.
“Our game starts with offense,” Woodard said. “If our offense is rolling then everything seems to roll with us. This offense is dangerous if they get after it, and I thought (Saturday) they got after it and things went their way.”
House improved to 19-16 on the season, pitching a complete game. House allowed 2 runs on three hits in the ball game and struck out seven.
“When we’re hitting the ball there is not as much pressure on the mound,” House said. “When I’m taking care of business, there’s not as much pressure for them to come out and hit. We came together and made it easier for both sides of the game (Saturday).”