Catcher Megan Kelnar lays down the tag at home during the Bobcats NCAA Regional Game against Texas A&M. Kelnar scored the lone run of the game for Texas State with a sac fly into right field in the top of the sixth inning.
Photo provided by TXST Athletics (Kalei Engleman)
Bobcats fall to Aggies in Extra Innings
Texas State was unable to overcome a late rally by Texas A&M, as the Aggies defeated the Bobcats 2-1 on a walkoff single in the 8th inning.
It was an instant classic between the Aggies and Head Coach Ricci Woodard’s squad as the game was scoreless through five innings.
“We played a good game, good enough to keep us in the ball game,” Woodard said. “[Texas] A&M played a good enough ball game to keep themselves in things. I thought all the way around, both ball clubs played good ball games.”
The combined pitching effort of both Jessica Mullins and Tori McCann held A&M off the scoreboard through six innings, throwing a combined eight innings while allowing just one earned run, three walks, nine hits and three strikeouts.
It was a redemption of sorts for McCann, who in her last game against the Aggies, allowed four hits, three runs, three walks and no strikeouts, while getting through only three innings of work in a 8-0 loss to Texas A&M.
Coming in for relief in the middle of the third inning, this time McCann allowed only four hits with one unearned run, no walks and one strikeout.
“Tori came in and pitched a great couple of innings,” Woodard said. “The plan was always to bring her in in the middle and she did well.”
Despite the tight pitcher’s duel, Texas State was able to punch a hole through the tough Aggie defense in the sixth inning.
Shortstop Hannah Earls reached first base on a A&M fielding error to give the Bobcats a baserunner.
Following a fielder’s choice which allowed the baserunner to move to second base, Earls then moved up 60 feet following a wild pitch.
Catcher Megan Kelnar then hit a deep fly into right field, which allowed Earls to score, as the Bobcats took the lead at 1-0.
Heading into the bottom of the 7th inning, A&M was down to their last opportunity.
Following an A&M leadoff single, Mullins was brought back in to close the game out.
The Bobcats were able to get back to back outs following a force out and a flyout.
On the next at-bat, the Aggies connected on a single into right field.
The baserunner then advanced to third base, as the Bobcats attempted to throw the runner out.
However, the throw overshot third baseman Sara Vanderford, which allowed the runner to score as the Aggies tied the game up in exciting fashion.
Though the error was costly, Vanderford was quick to note it wasn’t the sole reason Texas State lost the game.
“The idea was there, the execution wasn’t and we got beat because of it,” Vanderford said. “If we swing the bats better earlier in the game and make adjustments as Coach tells us to do, then we’re not in that spot.”
Despite having the bases loaded, Mullins was able to get the batter to flyout to left field as the game went into extra innings.
After the Bobcat offense went down in order, the Aggies were in prime scoring position following a two out triple.
The A&M faithful were sent home happy on the next at-bat as the Aggies hit a walkoff single to seal the victory and a date with arch-rival Texas.
Texas State will look to avoid elimination as the Bobcats square off with Seton Hall before time of press.
The winner will face the loser of Texas-Texas A&M.
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