Bobcat softball plays a double-header against Houston Baptist University Wednesday, starting a six-game home stand that could have major implications for seeding in the Southland Conference tournament.
Texas State is currently in first place in the standings, with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi a close second. McNeese State and Sam Houston State are tied for third place, and UTSA and Central Arkansas are fourth and fifth, respectively.
All five teams have at least seven conference wins and are within three games of tying the Bobcats. McNeese State travels to San Marcos this weekend and UTSA plays a midweek double-header to round out the home stand.
Haley Lemons, junior first baseman, said the six-game stretch is very important for the Bobcats, as the SLC is wide open this season.
“I don’t think anyone knows who is going to make it and be in the conference tournament,” she said. “With McNeese, we keep going back and forth with them for first place. Then we get UTSA here. Those are four big games.”
The Bobcats are undefeated at home in six conference games and are 11-1 at the Bobcat Softball Stadium overall. The team is coming off a road loss to North Texas, and can use this home stand to its benefit, according to Coach Ricci Woodard.
“We play better at home. So hopefully that will gives us an advantage,” she said. “It’s nice to be at home against Houston Baptist to try and get us back. Having two tough conference games at home always helps.”
Houston Baptist is 13-24 overall and is currently on a three-game losing streak. The Huskies are 2-11 on the road, and have scored three runs or less in their last eight away contests.
“They’re a scrappy team,” Woodard said. “We’re not focusing on them so much as we are on us. It’s too overwhelming if you try to focus on anything but you.”
Texas State is 4-4 in its last eight games, with all but two contests being played on the road. Anne Marie Taylor, junior, has a 2.01 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 21 starts. She allowed seven runs, 11 hits and three walks in the 7-1 loss at North Texas.
“She’s just been frustrated trying to get a win under her belt,” Woodard said. “We’re trying to keep the game simple for her right now. When you worry about all the things besides trying to hit your spot and making good pitches, the game gets overwhelming.”
Shelby Carnline, junior, has taken over third base in recent weeks, accumulating a team-high .438 one-base percentage, while playing sound defense.
“I feel more confident this season,” she said. “I really try and look for my pitch. So I guess that’s part of the patience and being walked so much. I wouldn’t say patient, but maybe disciplined.”