They meet again: Bobcats face Horns in College Station

Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Softball

Third time’s always the charm.

Texas State (41-15) certainly doesn’t hope so. At least not this time.

When the Bobcats head to College Station Friday to take on the Longhorns (31-24) at 4 p.m. inside Aggie Softball Complex, they’ll be looking for their third win in as many games against the Horns in hopes of making the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time ever. Both wins against Texas this season were by one run.

“We definitely learned from the mistakes that we did do in the game and we try to get better at it,” junior shortstop Ariel Ortiz said. “Hopefully it won’t be so close this time. We’ll definitely try to make it less nerve-racking both on us and our coaches.”

Ortiz knows Texas’ pitching staff (third-best ERA in the Big XII) will try and get them to chase pitches. Against Texas’ staff, Texas State has only scored four runs and recorded 12 hits while striking out 11 times. The team’s hits aren’t plentiful, but they have been timely.

The Waxahachie native’s two-run bomb back on March 1 was the difference-maker in the Bobcats’ first game against Texas and junior designated player Jaelyn Young’s walk-off single broke a 1-1 deadlock in extra innings a month later.

“Every team wants you to chase pitches so we’re going to have to be disciplined at the plate and we’re going to have to hit our pitches because when we do, we hit the ball hard,” Ortiz said. “I think Texas knows that and so they’ll try to get us to chase a lot, but we’ll definitely have to stay disciplined.”

Head coach Ricci Woodard didn’t have any qualms about her team’s preparation after Saturday’s 12-0 run-rule loss to No. 14 Louisiana in the Sun Belt title game. It was the first time Texas State lost by double-digit runs this year and only the third time the team was run-ruled over the past two seasons (all three against UL).

“The good part about this team has been their resiliency whether it’s during a game, after that game and on to the next game,” Woodard said after practice Tuesday afternoon. “I think that’s kept them in the spot they’ve been in and being able to win 41 games because this is a game of failure. You have to be able to bounce back rather quickly.”

When it comes to rebounding, Texas State is nearly perfect at it. The Bobcats have only lost back-to-back games twice this season, once during their season-series against Louisiana at home and once against then No. 5 ranked Texas A&M and Georgia State. Even to close the season, Texas State lost the series against UTA, but made it all the way back to the conference title game.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game (against Louisiana), but just to get to the regional, we look through ULL and just kind of shake it off,” junior catcher Sara Rupp said.

Rupp, who launched her first homer of the season that scored the go-ahead runs against Georgia State last weekend, says the team is always a little more locked in against Texas.

San Marcos Daily Record

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