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Shortstop Hannah Earls slides safely into home plate to score the first run for the Bobcats in their home game against the Baylor Bears. Texas State scored three runs in the first inning en route to a 6-1 win over No. 21 Baylor. 

No. 23 Texas State knocks off No.21 Baylor in Top 25 showdown

Wednesday, April 3, 2024


The No. 23 ranked Texas State Bobcats toppled the No. 21 Baylor Bears 6-1 in a showdown of Top 25 teams.

It was a critical win for the Bobcats who not only improved their record to 30-9 overall but also captured their eighth win over a Power 5 opponent.

“This season has been really good for us,” designated player Karmyn Bass said. “We are coming out punching every single game. It wasn’t the expectation but we came out fighting just like in every game. In our minds, we don’t see it as a big game anymore but a game that is on our way towards the end of the season.”

After holding Baylor off the scoreboard in the first inning, the Bobcats looked to strike first against the Bears. 

With runners on first and second and one out, senior third baseman Sara Vanderford connected with a RBI single up the middle to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead. 

Bass followed up Vanderford with a two-out single of her own, scoring two more runs putting Texas State up 3-0. 

One of the keys for the Bobcats this season has been the ability to throw the first punch and being aggressor rather than the aggressee which has paid dividends for the Bobcats in their games against top ranked opponents. 

“Our one through nine hitters can go at any time,” Vanderford said. “To have Karmyn Bass step up to the plate tonight and drive in a few runs then J.J. Smith drives in a few runs, goes back to trusting the process. They haven’t strayed from that and it shows. Whenever you can put up three runs in the first inning against a Top 25 team like Baylor, you are going to feel pretty good about it.”

While taking the early lead against a ranked opponent helps the offense gain confidence, Vanderford noted that the early lead also helps the defense and the pitching staff as well. 

“It gave Jess a chance to settle down and work on some things she wanted to do,” Vanderford said. “Also when you are up like that, it gives a chance for freshman Madi Azua to be lights out. The more we can put Madi and the rest of the pitching staff in those situations, the better off we are going to be towards the end of these. Jess is Jess but we need someone to back her up. Whenever we can feel confident that our offense is going to provide for us, it is also going to allow our pitching to come along too.”

With the lead, starting pitcher Jessica Mullins went the work throwing four innings and allowing just one hit, no earned runs, two walks and striking out five batters to earn her 19th win of the season. 

Freshman pitcher Madison Azua closed out the game with her second save of the season, throwing three innings while allowing just three hits, one earned run, one walk and striking out two batters. 

As Texas State entered the bottom of the sixth inning with a 3-0 lead, the Bobcat offense looked to add insurance runs to cushion their lead. 

The Bobcats loaded the bases following a leadoff single from center fielder Piper Randolph, a single from Vanderford and a Bass walk. 

First baseman J.J. Smith scored both Randolph and Vanderford by connecting with single that went through the right side of the infield to extend the lead 5-0 while Bass moved to third base. Bass later scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-0. 

Despite Baylor scoring one run in the top of the seventh inning, the Bobcats slammed the door on a Bears comeback to seal the win at 6-1. 

“We were clicking on all cylinders tonight,” Head Coach Ricci Woodard said. “When you get three in the first inning, it gives you a good feel. Then when you pick up three late, you are probably going to win a ballgame.”

Texas State returns to play Friday night as the Bobcats host the Troy Trojans in the three game conference series.

First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Bobcat Softball Stadium. 

San Marcos Record

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