Softball

Team lends a hand to help Reading Heroes

Texas State athletics made an impact on the San Marcos community when two softball players gave back their time to local fans.

Kortney Koroll, former Texas State softball player, and Kelli Baker, senior second baseman, volunteered at the Reading Heroes summer camp for young children with reading disabilities.

“It’s pretty much a summer program that helps the kids improve their reading skills and develop confidence for the school year,” Koroll said. “Kelli and I read them a story or two and talked a lot about our softball careers and what type of work ethic is required to achieve their goals.”

Bobcats fall to Aggies in low-scoring matchup

In a rare occasion for a Wednesday game, the Texas State softball team took the role of visitor.

Texas State traveled to College Station to take on the No. 25 Aggies in a non-conference game that ended in a 2-1 loss for the Bobcats. The loss moves Texas State to a 29-20 overall record and snaps a seven-game winning streak.

Coach Ricci Woodard thought both teams had impressive pitching performances but the Bobcats’ lack of offense hurt them in the end.

“Both pitchers did a great job for us, and obviously Rachel Fox (Aggies senior) threw the ball great for them,” Woodard said. “It was a low-scoring game, and we just didn’t make the adjustments offensively that we needed to make to win the ball game.”

Beyond the game: Kaylee Garner, sophomore pitcher

Softball runs in the family for Kaylee Garner, sophomore pitcher.

Garner grew up in the small town of Danbury, a community known for its baseball and softball. Garner’s grandmother, Carol, pioneered the creation of Danbury’s first softball organization in the early 1970s.

Garner earned All-District honors in softball, basketball and volleyball at Danbury High School. She led the Lady Panthers to the class 2A State Championship in her sophomore year and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

In the same season, Garner’s longtime high school coach, Tim Timmons, began battling leukemia.

Beyond the game: Kimberlin Naivar, sophomore outfielder

Kimberlin Naivar, sophomore outfielder, was faced with a test in her freshman season. 

Naivar played three seasons as a starter in high school. As a freshman, she started in only six collegiate games. She recorded two runs batted in for the entire 2014 season.

“There’s always that big jump coming out of high school going into Division I softball,” said Coach Ricci Woodard. “A lot of players don’t know how to handle the adversity of being successful right away.”

Naivar’s roommate, Lexi Fryar, sophomore utility player, has noticed the dedication that drives her teammate toward goals.

“She’s one of the hardest-working people I know,” Fryar said. “She’s a great person all around and just likes to push herself and the people around her. She pushes me a lot.”

Beyond the game: Braegan Hamilton, freshman outfielder

Braegan Hamilton, freshman outfielder, grew up in Baytown, where participating in a traveling club softball team is considered essential.

Hamilton attended Barbers Hill High school, where she aided her team in four consecutive district titles and earned Second-Team All-District honors.

Hamilton traveled with the nationally known Texas Bombers club team.

“Where I’m from, the big thing to do is play for a travel softball team,” Hamilton said. “It wasn’t even a question of if I wanted to play in college. When I got recruited as a sophomore in high school, it was just the coolest thing in the world.”

Potential university softball players sometimes have trouble getting the exposure necessary to network themselves on a national level.

Bobcats to visit No. 25 Aggies for a midweek matchup

Wednesday’s mid-week matchup for the Texas State softball team could turn out to be one of the Bobcats’ biggest challenges of the season.

The Texas A&M Aggies, currently ranked 25th in the nation, are set to host the Bobcats for the team’s last non-conference matchup.

The Aggies have an overall 59-10 series advantage, but the Bobcats are on a seven-game winning streak while Texas A&M has dropped its last three matchups this season.

“It’s a good part of the year to be on a win streak,” said Coach Ricci Woodard. “One of the reasons you schedule these challenging games at the end of the season is because we want be playing our best ball in May.”

Get to know: Randi Rupp, freshman pitcher

PL: What is it like to share the same birthday with both of your sisters?

RR: I think it’s pretty cool. When I tell people that, they always are like, “No you’re lying! That’s not true!” And I’m like, “No, I promise.” So, I don’t know. I think it’s pretty cool.

PL: Do you have a favorite baseball/softball player? Why?

RR: Cat Osterman. Whenever she came here, I was like, “That’s my idol.” You know, it was all about Cat and Jennie (Finch) when I was growing up. And now I get to come here and play for her, which is pretty cool.

PL: When did you first start playing softball?

Bobcats sweep Appalachian State in weekend series

The Texas State Softball team regained momentum quicklyin the third game of the weekend series against Appalachian State Sunday.

The batter’s count was 1-1 when Courtney Harris, senior third baseman, hit a grand slam in the second inning to give the Bobcats an early 5-0 lead.

“(Harris) has done a great job with her approach at the plate,” said Coach Ricci Woodard. “If we keep swinging at good pitches, they’re going to fall for us, and that’s all you really can ask for.”

The matchup ended in a 9-1 victory over the Mountaineers.

Kendall Wiley, junior first baseman, and Ariel Ortiz, freshman shortstop, added to the team total of 55 home runs for the season.

Notebook: Texas State 9, Appalachian State 1

WHAT THE WIN MEANS

The Texas State softball team improved to 29-19 this season after the weekend sweep. More importantly, the Bobcats are fourth in the Sun Belt Conference with an 11-6 record.

 

WINNING STREAK CONTINUES

The Bobcats could not have chosen a better time to get hot. Sunday’s victory over Appalachian State completed the series sweep and extended the Texas State win streak to seven games.

The opportunity to move into third place has presented itself for the Bobcats with four games remaining. Texas State is currently two games behind Troy, which is 13-7 in conference play. The Trojans’ next opponent is South Alabama, the second-ranked team in the conference.

 

Rupp named Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week

Randi Rupp, freshman pitcher, is the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week for the second time in a row.

Rupp allowed two earned runs in 24.1 innings last week, leading to the Bobcats to four wins. In her four starts, opposing hitters struck out 31 times and recorded eight hits.

Rupp, averaging 8.4 strikeouts per seven innings, is fourth in program history in season strikeouts (267). She is four strikeouts away from moving into third place all-time.

The Bobcats’ cumulative earned run average is 6.62 excluding Rupp. The team’s earned run average drops to 3.97 when Rupp (2.83 earned run average) is included.

Texas State, 29-19 overall, has four games remaining before the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

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