Bobcats sweep Applachian State
Photo by Gerald Castillo
Texas State (20-4, 5-0 Sun Belt) completed a three-game sweep over Appalachian State (11-12, 0-3) with a three-run walk-off home run from junior shortstop Ariel Ortiz in the bottom of the eighth on Sunday.
The Bobcats’ claimed the weekend series with an 11-0 and 9-1 win on Saturday and a 4-1 victory on Sunday. The Bobcats’ performance against the Mountaineers was the product of good hitting combined with strong pitching. Ortiz paved the way with three three-run home runs and 11 RBIs and senior third baseman Corrina Liscano went 5-for-8 with four doubles.
Ortiz said the team has been working hard to improve its batting after a slow start at the plate this season.
“We didn’t start how we wanted but we’ve all been working really hard and putting in extra (work),” Ortiz said after Saturday’s doubleheader. “Working on believing what the coaches have been telling us and trusting that we can do it. That’s what we’re doing now.”
The opening game began with three strikeouts from Bobcat junior pitcher Randi Rupp. Texas State backed up Rupp’s performance with five runs in the second inning, including a leadoff home run from junior Jaelyn Young. The Bobcats added five more runs in the following inning and added a run in the fourth inning before ending the game with an 11-0 win in the fifth inning.
Rupp struck out six to record her 12th win of the year, while Young led Texas State with four RBIs.
Ortiz started the Bobcats’ offensive output in the second game of the series with a three-run home run in the bottom of the first and Texas State claimed a 4-0 lead after the frame was over.
Appalachian State scored a run in the top of the fourth with a solo home run from senior second baseman Cara Parker but it was the lone run the Mountaineers scored. Ortiz pushed the Bobcat advantage out to 7-1 with her second three-run homer of the game.
Texas State added two runs in the sixth inning to end the game with a 9-1 win.
Rupp put together another strong outing during Sunday’s game with a 13 strikeout performance in eight innings of work. Head coach Ricci Woodard said throwing strikes was key to Rupp and the Bobcats having success in the circle.
“You see in (Saturday’s) ballgames we threw a lot of strikes,” Woodard said after Saturday’s games. “Our goal is to attack hitters and so as long as we work ahead in the count the pitching staff really does a great job.”
Appalachian State took its first lead of the series in the second inning of Sunday’s game with a 1-0 advantage. But the Bobcats responded with a run of their own in the bottom frame.
Both teams couldn’t break the tie until the eighth inning. Texas State freshman Bailee Carter led off the inning with a single, freshman utility Christiana McDowell got on base on a one-out bunt and Ortiz ended the game with her three-run walk-off home run to claim the game 4-1.
The Bobcats’ Sunday win improved their winning streak to seven games.
After three good games at the plate, Woodard is confident about where Texas State is headed.
“I think the biggest thing is they keep working at it,” Woodard said after Saturday’s games. “We didn’t swing the bats well in February and so, you know, our goal is to swing it better in March and be in a great spot going into April. So, if we keep going on the route we’re going, we can be in a good spot.”