Photo by Gerald Castillo
Texas State shut out by Troy in series opener
Texas State was just a few feet away from getting on the board.
Troy sophomore designated player Bailey Taylor smacked a two-run homer over the left field fence in the third inning of the Bobcats game against the Trojans on Friday inside Bobcat Softball Stadium to extend the visitors’ lead, 3-0. The hosts had a chance to make a comeback in the sixth inning.
Sophomore first baseman ArieAnn Bell singled to the pitcher with one out, one of three hits for Texas State. Junior third baseman Hailey MacKay launched a ball deep into center field in the next at-bat on a 2-1 count. Troy’s outfielder trekked all the way out to the warning track, but caught the fly ball for the second out of the frame. Junior second baseman Bailee Carter took the first pitch she saw to deep left field, but the result was the same.
The Bobcats could have tied the game if both balls went over the fence. Instead, Texas State was unable to conjure any scores for the game, and took the 3-0 loss in its series opener against the Trojans.
“I thought there towards the end, we started squaring the ball up pretty well. We just hit it right at them,” head coach Ricci Woodard said. “I think that was the takeaway, was that we finally made adjustments, we just made them too late in the ballgame. And they made them early in the ballgame.”
That wasn’t the only chance the maroon and gold had to score. The Bobcats (25-21, 13-8 Sun Belt) reached base in all but one inning. But the team could never string enough good trips to the plate together to bring anyone home, leaving seven stranded for the game.
Troy (35-16, 17-6) left seven on base as well, but did a better job of capitalizing on its runners’ positioning. The first run of the contest came in the second inning, when sophomore second baseman Hope Hernandez doubled to center field with senior outfielder Stephanie Snyder on second.
“Troy’s always going to be scrappy,” Woodard said. “We always know we’re going to get a tough match out of Troy because they’re never just going to let you come out and win the ballgame. You’re going to have to beat them and we already know that.”
Texas State’s final chance to score came in the seventh inning. Junior catcher Haleigh Davis led off by walking on a 3-1 count. But all that followed was a pop fly and two foul outs, ending the game at 3-0.
“Hopefully, we’ll come out and have a little bit more confidence against (Troy freshman starting pitcher Leanna Johnson) the next time you see her,” Woodard said. “Because she’s thrown the ball well for them all year. So I think that will help going in to make those adjustments earlier.”
Junior center fielder Christiana McDowell and sophomore shortstop Tara Oltmann were the only other Bobcats to register a hit, each batting for a double. Sophomore starting right-hander Meagan King pitched a complete game in the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out three.
Game two began on Saturday at 2 p.m. and ended after press time. Game three is scheduled for noon Sunday inside Bobcat Softball Stadium.
Woodard expects a tight series with the Trojans. Last year, the Bobcats lost their regular-season series at Troy, 2-1, before beating them twice in the Sun Belt tournament. The head coach hopes her team can adapt.
“This game’s kind of like a chess match and it’s whoever makes the adjustments first and then you readjust,” Woodard said. “So, we have to come back tomorrow and make the adjustments first.”