Texas State drops regular season finale, fall to No. 4 seed in Sun Belt
The Bobcats were half an inning away from becoming the No. 3 seed in the Sun Belt Conference Softball Championship.
Texas State sat on a 7-3 lead entering the final frame of its final regular season game at UT Arlington. The teams split the first two games of the series (5-2, 1-4), leaving Sunday as the tiebreaker.
But the Mavericks scored five runs, hitting a two-RBI walk-off single to take an 8-7 come-from-behind win.
The visitors did a good job batting throughout the game. Sophomore first baseman ArieAnn Bell hit a two-run homer in the third for the first score of the day. Sophomore shortstop Tara Oltmann did the same in the next inning. The team used three sacrifice flies to earn its final three runs of the outing.
It still wasn’t enough. Junior shortstop Whitney Walton was the first to reach base for UTA in the seventh with a double down the left field line. A bunt from senior left fielder Krista Rude pushed her to third base. The Mavericks then hit consecutive singles to make it a one-run game with one out and one on base.
Junior catcher Reagan Wright used a double to left field to put two runners in scoring position and sophomore designated player K.J. Murphy brought them both home with a single to the pitcher, ending the game at 8-7.
Oltmann and junior third baseman Hailey MacKay led the team going 3-4 at the plate. Oltmann and Bell drilled two RBIs each. Senior right-handed pitcher Krista Jacobs (2-6) took the loss allowing one earned run on four hits and a walk in the opening 2.1 innings. Junior and sophomore right handers Dalilah Barrera and Meagan King finished the remaining 4.0 innings in relief, combining for six runs on eight hits and striking out one.
The game resulted in the school swapping places in the league standings. UTA (29-24, 17-10 conference) will now be the No. 3 seed in the Sun Belt tournament, as Texas State (28-23, 16-10) will be No. 4. Both teams receive a bye in the first round of the tournament. The Bobcats are scheduled to play on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. against the winner of No. 5 Appalachian State (31-22, 13-13) versus No. 8 Louisiana Monroe (11-40, 7-17).