Texas State softball is now riding a four-game winning streak after sweeping conference foe McNeese State at home last weekend.
The Bobcats won 8-7 and 4-0 in the two-game set to remain a perfect 8-0 in Southland Conference home games this year.
The team started the series with a grand slam by Courtney Harris, freshman third baseman, in the first inning of game one. The Bobcats went on to score eight runs in the first three frames.
“Before the game, we talked about how this game was going to be full of pressure,” Harris said. “That (first inning) was a very good scenario for pressure. (The McNeese pitcher) laid it over the plate.”
Texas State looked to run-rule McNeese until the Cowgirls’ Katie Roux hit a solo home run in the fifth inning. The game then started to unravel for the Bobcats, as McNeese posted six runs in the sixth inning to bring the game within one run.
“We thought the game was over in the fifth inning, and they hit a home run to keep the game going,” Coach Ricci Woodard said. “We didn’t keep going with the game.”
Chandler Hall, senior pitcher, allowed seven runs, 10 hits and three walks in five and a third innings. She was relieved by Anne Marie Taylor, junior pitcher, who struck out the final two batters to end the sixth inning.
“Maybe (Hall) didn’t have her best stuff,” Woodard said. “But we know (McNeese) is a good, aggressive-hitting ball club. You just have to stay aggressive and keep going at them.”
Taylor ended the game with a clean seventh inning, collecting three strikeouts total. Hall recorded the win, her 17th of the year. Anna Hernandez, junior second baseman, and Brooke Baker, junior outfielder, both collected two RBI hits.
“We’re happy to win,” Woodard said. “That’s a game that we let them slip back in the door, and they took advantage of it. I know they’re very capable of that. It’s the kind of team they have.”
Game two was a complete turn around for the Bobcats, as they battled the sun and two errors to take a 4-0 victory. Taylor pitched a complete game shutout, striking out five and allowing four base runners.
Coralee Ramirez, sophomore outfielder, led the offensive attack with a two-run single in the fourth inning. Haley Lemons, junior first baseman, followed the next frame with a two-run double.
“I knew (the McNeese pitcher) was going to throw something out,” Ramirez said. “She was throwing out all yesterday and today. I was looking for that pitch and just jumped on it. Hits are contagious.”
Multiple Bobcats said McNeese was an important team to beat in the games leading up the series, as the Cowgirls were close to tying Texas State in the conference standings. McNeese now trails Texas State by four games, as the Bobcats improved their conference record to 12-4.
“They way (McNeese) played, I think they are definitely one of the best teams in the conference,” Woodard said. “I think we’ll see them again in the tournament.”