Texas State softball drops twin bill to Texas Tech
It was a quiet offensive day in both games at Bobcat Ballpark for the Texas State Bobcats softball team on Tuesday afternoon as the Texas Tech Red Raiders swept the doubleheader in two onerun games.
The No. 25 Bobcats by D1 Softball (18-9) were coming into this final non-conference tune up with a lot of momentum after knocking off two top-10 nationally ranked teams: the University of Alabama and the University of Texas over the weekend. Offensively, the bats could just not generate enough runs in each game losing 4-3 and 3-2 to the Red Raiders.
“We are leaving way too many runners on base in the middle of our lineup, we have to do a much better job at hitting with runners on base,” said Bobcat head coach Ricci Woodard.
“You just can't leave nine runners on base against a good hitting team like this.” In game one, sophomore Jessica Mullins got the start in the circle for TXST, who was just announced as the Sun Belt Conference player of the week, after her performance over the weekend started out hot, striking out two of the first three Red Raider hitters. Mullins went the distance in the circle finishing with four strikeouts.
The Bobcats continued to battle at the plate and would get baserunners on, but just was unable to drive them home.
“We have to get the barrelhead on the ball,” Woodward said about what her team needs to improve upon in this weekend’s conference series against the University of Troy. “That is the bottom line, we can’t leave runners on base. It takes a lot of singles to score runs the way we are doing it right now.”
In the fourth inning, down 3-0 after Texas Tech’s second home run of the ballgame, sophomore Piper Randolph was able to rip her second double of the season, then junior Sara Vanderford scored Randolph on a double of her own.
TXST would tie the contest up at 3, as junior JJ Smith had a two-RBI single plating Vandeford and sophomore Anna Jones. Texas Tech then was able to regain the lead on a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning putting the Red Raiders up 4-3.
In the nightcap, Woodward started sophomore pitcher Karsen Pierce in the circle for the Bobcats, who was able to pitch a scoreless game through the first five innings.
After two straight hits by Randolph and sophomore Hannah Earls in the first inning, she would score on a sacrifice fly by Vanderford to put the Bobcats ahead 1-0.
Pierce seemed to be in a groove as she held the Red Raiders hitless from the second inning to midway through the sixth inning. Before walking the leadoff batter, giving up a double to advance the runners, then Texas Tech’s Ellie Bailey drove the Red Raiders’ third home run of the afternoon to dead center field over the wall to seal the victory.
“We gave up a walk and a home run,” Woodward said. “You can’t do that against a good team.”
The Bobcats struggled to sustain long innings after getting runners on base all afternoon as they left nine runners on base in the second game.
“We need to go after better pitches, and we need to have better atbats,” Earls said.
TXST will head onto the road for just the third time this season for their conference opener against Troy playing a three-game series beginning Friday March 17.
“They were pretty good last year, so I think it will be good competition,” Earls said. “As long as we keep hitting like we have been and playing defense like we have been, it should be pretty easy.”