The Texas State softball team will try to end their six-game losing streak at the Centurylink Classic March 1-3.
The team (2-12) is coming off an 0-5 performance at home last weekend, and not been winless this long since the team endured a 10-game losing streak in the 2005 season.
The team will be without starting senior pitcher Anne Marie Taylor, who Coach Ricci Woodard hopes will be able to return “in a few weeks” after rehabilitating from a torn ACL.
Taylor said on her Twitter page she is “going to try to play the rest of the season with a torn ACL.” Taylor has not pitched since Feb. 17 when the team lost 3-2 to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
Woodard said the team is going to try to get Taylor back as soon as possible.
“There are some dates that we are shooting for, but you know all of it just depends on rehab and when she feels strong enough to pitch again,” Woodard said. “She’s one of those kids that is going to work hard and get back for not only this ball club, but for herself. She wants to finish strong in her senior year. She’s going to do whatever she needs to do in the rehab room to get back in a few weeks.”
Woodard also confirmed that the two softball players who were let go prior to the season are former shortstop Selena Hernandez and outfielder Brittney Garcia.
In the CenturyLink Classic, Texas State will face the University of North Texas (7-9). The Mean Green played the Bobcats last weekend, gaining a 1-0 win. The University of North Texas was led by junior pitcher Ashley Kirk. She pitched six innings, gave up three hits and struck out six Texas State batters in the victory.
The University of North Texas finished second in the Texas Shootout last weekend, losing 9-3 to Baylor University in the championship game.
“We have nothing to lose at this point,” said junior outfielder Coralee Ramirez. “I think it’s going to be a different story next time we see (the University of North Texas). We are just going to bring our game to them this weekend and see what happens.”
The University of North Texas has faced another team that will be participating in the Centurylink Classic this year in familiar Southland foe Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Mean Green mercy ruled the Islanders, beating them 11-3 in five innings.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi enters the tournament with a 5-10 record. Last year the Islanders and the Bobcats split the season series 1-1 in their only two meetings. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has held a 5-4 series advantage dating back to 2010. Islanders head coach Stephanie Hughes was a former player under Woodard and graduated in 2001 from Texas State.
Texas State lost all three of its regular season match-ups with the Islanders in 2011 but was able to beat them 8-5 in the Southland Conference championship game. The victory helped clinch a NCAA tournament berth for the Bobcats.
“We just want to take one pitch at a time, one day at a time to make sure that we’re playing our game still,” said junior outfielder Brooke Keel. “We’re excited to play (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi). We played them a lot in the Southland and are excited to play them on our home field.”
The Bobcats will be facing a Purdue University team that is 6-9 and has not won a road game all season. Purdue University comes into the classic losing four of its last five games. The Boilermakers will be participating in their second Centurylink Classic in three years.
“Right now we are just trying to get a little bit better at something,” Woodard said. “They’ve individually picked something to get better at this week, and that’s what we are focusing on. Instead of being overwhelmed with winning and losing, we’re just going to find something to get better at.”
In the 2011 classic Purdue beat Texas State both times they played each other. The Bobcats were outscored 10-0 in the combined meetings.
“Obviously we want to win, and that’s our job,” Ramirez said. “I’m not sure what (the University of Purdue) looks like, but right now it doesn’t even matter who is in the other dugout. We just need to come out and play our game and get some wins.”
Texas State lost its home opener for the first time in the last five years. The team hopes this weekend being at home will change the momentum of Bobcats into a winning direction.
“We’re lucky to be at home again this weekend and not traveling,” Woodard said. “We’re playing people that if we play well we can win (against), and if we don’t play well, we’re going to lose. It’s nice to be in that spot where if we do the things we need to do, we have a chance to win this weekend.”