The Texas State softball team is currently on a five-game losing streak and is looking to avenge its start by traveling to Lafayette this weekend to compete in the 27th Annual Louisiana Classic.
The University of Louisiana-Lafayette will host Mississippi Valley State University and the Bobcats for the two-day tournament taking place Feb. 16-17.
“The big thing we have to do is have three good days of practice,” said Coach Ricci Woodard. “We need high energy, and we need high level practices. We have to have kids ready to get after it for this week’s classic.”
Senior Jordan Masek and junior Coralee Ramirez are off to good beginnings, despite Texas State’s 0-5 start. Masek leads the team with a .417 batting average and had at least a hit in all five games of the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic. Ramirez hit two homers and made five RBI in last weekend’s match-ups.
“Obviously, having our whole team back is a big plus for us,” Ramirez said. “Just the dynamic of our whole team makes a difference when we compete. We just feel more comfortable as a team when we are together. We are just going to go out there and look for a ‘W.’ We didn’t start well last season, but we pushed through it and made a season out of it.”
This season for the Bobcats has started in the same fashion as last year’s did. Last season, the ball club started by losing the first five of six games. Texas State was able to bounce back from the rocky start and finish the season as Southland Conference Champions.
The Bobcats have posted an overall 5-15 record in the team’s first five games of the past four seasons. Senior first baseman Haley Lemons believes the previous season’s experiences will help the team in moving forward.
“I think the Achilles’ heel of Texas State softball the past four years is that we have rough starts in February,” Lemons said. “It has been our mountain to climb. It seems like in our past that’s how we always start out, but I think our confidence level is exactly where it needs to be. Obviously you want to win games, but as a group we believe we are capable and have confidence in our ability.”
The Ragin’ Cajuns hold a 7-2 all-time record against the Bobcats. Louisiana-Lafayette will be a foe of Texas State in the near future when the Bobcats move to the Sun Belt Conference in July 2013. Texas State and Mississippi Valley State have never played before and will have their first meeting this weekend.
“Lafayette is a great ball club,” Woodard said. “If you look over the past decade, they have done some awesome things. They’ve not only done awesome things offensively, but their pitching staff has put up some great numbers. We have to go in there and play our best ball and kind of see where we are at in comparison to the leading team in the Sun Belt. It’s going to be a good experience for us—and a fun one as well.”
The Bobcats were picked by the WAC coaches to win the conference this year. This season will be the only one Texas State will have to make a statement in the WAC before moving to a new conference this summer. The team believes it will still perform to expectations.
“The panic button is not on,” Ramirez said. “We will be fine and make a run at the end. I think we are so cool, calm and collected, and that’s the way we should be.”