The Texas State softball team has posted a winning record in 11 of the past 12 years, but this season they will have to win all 19 remaining games to keep the streak alive.
Senior first baseman Haley Lemons understands actions speak louder than words.
“We need to stop talking, and start playing,” Lemons said. “At this point, we just want to shut up and play.”
The Bobcats (5-22) will look to end their three-game losing streak this weekend when they open up WAC play against Interstate 35 rival University of Texas-San Antonio.
UTSA (15-12) got swept by the Bobcats last season, when the two teams were foes in the Southland Conference, getting defeated 10-5 in their matchups.
Sophomore catcher Megan Low and senior pitcher Haylee Staton, both Preseason All-WAC Team members, will lead the Roadrunners. Low heads the team in hitting with a .424 batting average in addition to having 20 RBI, four home runs and 28 hits for the year. Staton posts a 7-4 record with an ERA of 2.67, best on the UTSA pitching staff.
UTSA is a combined 7-1 against the University of North Texas, Purdue University, Sam Houston State University, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and the University of Houston, all opponents Texas State has faced this season. The Bobcats are 1-10 versus these schools with their only victory against the Islanders.
“At this point in the season, we have to make every play and do things right if we want to win,” Coach Ricci Woodard said. “Right now, people are looking at us to go out there and (do) something different than what we’ve been doing. I think this team has to figure out how to produce this weekend and not live off of last year’s success.”
Junior pitcher Rayn House will be playing in her first I-35 rivalry game. House pitched at Ouachita Baptist University for her first two years of college and transferred to Texas State this season.
“Honestly, I’ve never been in a UTSA series, but I hear they’re the rival,” House said. “The girls look forward to playing them every year. So, I look forward to pitching against them. I know we are struggling right now, but we’re just going to try to pick it (up) and go win a ball game no matter who’s on the field against us.”
Since the beginning of spring break, House is 2-1 in the three games she has pitched. The two wins were back-to-back complete game shutouts of Troy University and Sacramento State University. House combined to give up seven hits and struck out 13 batters in the two contests.
“I haven’t been practicing more, I’ve just been listening to Coach Woodard and what all she has to teach me,” House said. “I had so much to learn when I came into this program. My senior catcher Macie Hair has helped me a ton and is always there to help.”
The Roadrunners have the fourth best record in conference, but Lemons is more focused on Texas State and its dugout, not the opposing team.
“We can’t worry about who’s in the other dugout,” Lemons said. “Obviously, when we play UTSA, it’s a big rivalry. We’re so close to each other and stuff like that. At this point we just want to go out there and start playing Texas State softball.”