WHAT THE WIN MEANS
The Texas State softball team improved to 29-19 this season after the weekend sweep. More importantly, the Bobcats are fourth in the Sun Belt Conference with an 11-6 record.
WINNING STREAK CONTINUES
The Bobcats could not have chosen a better time to get hot. Sunday’s victory over Appalachian State completed the series sweep and extended the Texas State win streak to seven games.
The opportunity to move into third place has presented itself for the Bobcats with four games remaining. Texas State is currently two games behind Troy, which is 13-7 in conference play. The Trojans’ next opponent is South Alabama, the second-ranked team in the conference.
BIG SECOND INNING
The Bobcats got on the board early Sunday after putting up five runs in their half of the second inning. Sara Rupp, freshman catcher, scored the first run of the game following back-to-back singles from Taylor Webb, freshman first baseman, and Kimberlin Naivar, sophomore outfielder.
Kelli Baker, junior second baseman, followed up with a walk to load the bases with Courtney Harris, senior third baseman, next to bat. Harris hit a grand slam, recording the 107th run batted in of her career.
All three seniors recorded a hit in their last collegiate game at Bobcat Softball Stadium. Kortney Koroll (senior utility player), Alli Akina (senior outfielder) and Harris each had one hit with a run batted in.
Harris’ grand slam was a catalyst for the Bobcats offense. Texas State did not want to give the Mountaineers any momentum after the Bobcats won both games Saturday. The early five-run lead took the pressure off the Bobcats defense and put Appalachian State in catch-up mode for the remainder of the game.
The Bobcats offense. The lineup produced nine runs on 10 hits along with three home runs.
Kendall Wiley, junior first baseman, recorded her 11th home run, breaking a tie with Koroll for the team high. Ariel Ortiz, freshman shortstop, hit her ninth home run of the season, adding to the team total of fifty-five.
Randi Rupp, freshman pitcher, threw her 26th complete game Sunday.
Rupp leads the Sun Belt with 222.1 innings pitched. The second runner-up has pitched 164.1 innings.
Rupp has carried the load for the defense all year in an impressive fashion. However, the situation leaves the question of who Coach Ricci Woodard will turn to if Rupp struggles in the conference tournament.
Kaylee Garner, sophomore pitcher, and Webb have a combined 88 innings, less than half of Rupp’s output. Neither Garner or Webb has seen enough playing time to ensure they’ll be able to come in and produce if the conference tournament gets rocky.
The Bobcats will conclude the season with a four-game road trip. Texas State is scheduled to play 25th-ranked Texas A&M Wednesday before concluding with a three-game conference series against UT-Arlington.
Follow Donavan Jackson on Twitter at @djack_02