The softball team lost four more games this weekend, bringing their loss total to 16—just one less game than they lost all of last year when they went 39-17 and won the Southland Conference Tournament.
The Bobcats (3-16) achieved their 16th win of the season more than two months earlier than last year on their way to losing four of five this weekend at the CenturyLink Classic in San Marcos.
Texas State has lost 10 of its last 11 contests but broke an eight-game losing streak at the classic with a 7-1 victory over ex-Southland foe Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Islanders went winless in the tournament, finishing fifth and leaving San Marcos with a 5-15 overall record.
“We’ve only won three games this year, and at this point it doesn’t matter if we are at home or away,” Coach Ricci Woodard said. “It is one of those deals that everyone just has to do a better job, especially at the point that we are at now in the season.”
The softball team’s hitters left an average of seven runners on base in the five games they played this weekend and hit a collective .246 for the tournament. The team drove in four or more runs per contest while the pitching staff allowed their opponents to score 5.6 runs on a combined .324 batting average.
“Some of the times we get runners in position, and we do too much,” Woodard said. “We swing at pitches we probably shouldn’t swing at because we are over-anxious to make something happen. We just have to do a little bit of a better job being smarter and being smarter hitters in certain situations.”
At this point in the season, Woodard is not just looking for improvement offensively. She said pitching has to do a “better job” too.
“It is hard to win games when you start every game behind by four or five runs,” Woodard said. “It just makes it a little tougher right now.”
Texas State’s closest contest came in game two of the Friday doubleheader against Purdue University. The Boilermakers got off to a quick start scoring two runs in the first inning. The Bobcats answered with a run in the third and fourth inning to even the game up 2-2. Both teams were unable to score a run in regulation and the game headed to extra innings.
The Bobcats would strike first in the eighth inning when sophomore third baseman Courtney Harris hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in junior outfielder Brooke Keel. Keel started the top of the eighth on second base in accordance with international softball rules for extra innings. Texas State took the lead and headed to the bottom of the eighth ahead, 3-2.
Purdue had runners on first and third base and the Boilermakers hit a leadoff single to begin the inning. Junior outfielder Andie Varsho hit a single for Purdue and drove in the game-tying run.
Purdue hit a fielder’s choice and fouled out to the shortstop to get its first and second out. They had runners on second and third base when senior infielder Ashley Courtney hit a ball too short and caused an error, allowing Varsho to score the game-winning run. The Boilermakers earned the victory, 4-3.
Against the Islanders, freshman pitcher Ashley Wright was able to get her second win of the season. Wright pitched a complete game giving up five hits, one run and one walk. The Bobcats had seven runs on seven hits, striking out twice in the game with four walks. Senior first baseman Haley Lemons went 1 for 4 and drove in two runs, while Harris added two RBI of her own.
“For the most part, we feel that we’ve been in most games,” Lemons said. “We did a pretty good job against Corpus Christi. We still have confidence that we can turn the season around and start winning games. Obviously, we want to be successful, but we are focused on one game at a time. We are just going to keep working, and it will turn around.”
The team will be taking on Sam Houston State University on Wednesday. The Bearkats are former Southland Conference opponents. Senior second baseman Anna Hernandez thinks it is important to start getting more runs on the board and victories in the win column.
“We just have to keep grinding,” Hernandez said. “We know it’s been a rough season so far, but we can’t do anything except to just keep grinding. Now is not the time to feel sorry for ourselves. Now is not the time to make excuses. This is the time to see what we are made of and build character and play great.”