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Bobcats shut out App State 2-0, advance in Sun Belt tourney

Texas State Softball
Wednesday, May 11, 2022

No. 3 seed Texas State shut out No. 6 seed Appalachian State on Wednesday in the teams’ opening game of the Sun Belt tournament in Mobile, Ala., 2-0.

“Well, obviously we kind of survived that game just like we have been the last few games with (sophomore starting pitcher Jessica) Mullins on the mound,” Bobcats head coach Ricci Woodard said. “You know, my theory is if the other team doesn't score, we can't lose. So I thought she threw a heck of a ballgame. She struggled a little bit early with her control factor but ended up finding it and kind of dominating the game in my opinion.”

The maroon and gold got on the board with a run in the bottom of the second. Sophomore right fielder Anna Jones led the frame off with an infield single and senior catcher Caitlyn Rogers followed it up with a walk. Senior designated player Cat Crenek used a sacrifice bunt to move both runners in scoring position and a sacrifice fly from sophomore second baseman Claire Ginder allowed Jones to tag up from third base for the first score of the game.

Mullins pitched the complete-game shutout, surrendering just two hits and three walks while striking out four. The newly-minted Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year received the win, improving to 26-11 on the season.

“She attacks the zone,” Woodard said. “You know, her job is to go throw strikes. And so as long as she's throwing strikes, she's gonna be hard to beat. She can throw the ball in, she can throw the ball out, she can throw it up, she can throw it down and she can change speeds. So if all that's working for her, she's going to be hard to hit.”

Texas State still only led the Mountaineers (29-24, 10-15 Sun Belt) by one with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Rogers and Crenek each swung for base hits and Ginder drew a walk to load the bases. Woodard sent in freshman Kaitlyn Dutton to pinch-hit for junior first baseman Tori McCann in the next plate appearance — the first of Dutton’s career.

Dutton earned a walk on a full count, scoring Rogers on a free run. Mullins went on to retire the side in the top of the seventh to secure the 2-0 victory.

“I just felt like Tori hasn't done a real good job with runners in scoring position lately. And so you know, Dutton looked good yesterday during practice, swung the bat well the entire time,” Woodard said. “I think she's just a kid that's been working at it the last month or two and I felt like she would handle the situation probably a little bit better in that spot.”

The Bobcats (36-17, 19-8) are now on a 16-game winning streak and will play again at 1 p.m. on Friday, facing the winner of No. 2 seed South Alabama (24-19, 16-6) versus No. 7 seed Georgia State (20-31, 9-15).

“I think this group just wants to play ball and win ballgames right now, so I don't think they're too worried about which game of the day it is or who the opponent is right now, which is why I like the feel of this group right now,” Woodard said. “They just want to go out and play ball games.”

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666