Ishmael Johnson

Beyond the Game: Lauren Kirch

Incoming freshman blocker Lauren Kirch’s decision process to play at Texas State was unlike most student athletes. Kirch placed her education at an equal, if not higher, priority than her collegiate sports career, and that landed her in San Marcos.

Growing up, Kirch was always the “gentle giant” of the family as her mother, Susan, refers to her. Always being among the tallest students in her class was something Kirch had to adjust to right away. Kirch is 6 feet 2 inches, tied for the third-tallest on the volleyball team. 

“She never really liked being tall,” Susan Kirch said. “From the time she was born she was always taller than everybody else.”

Beyond the Game: Sara Rupp

“Mentally disciplined” is how Sara Rupp, Texas State softball signee, is described by her junior softball coach, Mark Tucker. Rupp, a catcher, has played with her twin sister, Randi, her entire life, but she has developed her own identity on the field.

Sara had to make an early decision in high school at Barbers Hill. She played both softball and volleyball until her sophomore year, when she realized softball was more of a year-long commitment.

“The volleyball coach was not too happy about it,” Sara said. “It was mid-season and he wanted me to be committed to that sport. But I thought about it and said, ‘I’m not going to play volleyball in the future,’ so I just focused on softball since that was my future.”

Beyond the Game: Austen Williams

A new challenge awaits Austen Williams, former Bobcat pitcher, as he enters his first season as a professional baseball player after being selected in the 2014 MLB Draft.

Before he received the phone call from a Washington Nationals scout to confirm the team’s selection, Austen learned that his dream had become reality in an unceremonious fashion.

“Nobody called me,” Austen said. “I was just watching the draft tracker, my name pops up, my family freaks out, I freak out and then I get a call five minutes from the area scout, Tyler Wilt.”

Every aspiring professional athlete imagines the day that their hard work pays off and is drafted into their respective sport, and it was the same for Austen.

Beyond the Game: Dylan Bein

When Dylan Bein was four, his father Danny lightheartedly predicted his son was going to be a pitcher at a carnival.

The game was the common carnival attraction—throwing baseballs at stacked milk bottles to win a prize.

“There are all these guys, including me, taking the balls back and trying to hit the milk jugs off,” Danny said.

Four-year-old Dylan had three balls at his disposal. He hit every target he aimed for.

“All of us were standing around like, ‘You have to be kidding me,’” Danny said. “I thought, jokingly, and told his mom, ‘This kid’s going to be a pitcher.’”

Softball season marks positive step forward

The Texas State softball team concluded its season in the first round of the Sun Belt Tournament in Louisiana.

The team finished 26-30, highlighted by a dismal 1-14 away record. However, the program’s outlook remains bright for the coming years.

After the Bobcats’ 18-38 output last year, Coach Ricci Woodard hoped for a major bounce-back this year.

The team started 7-3 and knocked off 23rd-ranked California. The team’s first significant loss was its 11-1 defeat to 12th-ranked Baylor on March 1. The loss marked the beginning of the Bobcats’ inconsistent play. The Bobcats didn’t perform well on the road, spiraling with a 7-11 finish in the final month of play. Texas State entered the Sun Belt tournament as the fifth seed.

Baseball loses final regular season game to UT-Arlington

Texas State lost its regular season finale to UT-Arlington, 1-0, to complete the Mavericks’ three-game sweep.
The Bobcats were held scoreless for the second consecutive game. 
Brad Vachon, Mavericks pitcher, struck out nine batters in seven innings.
Sophomore Lucas Humpal pitched four innings, recorded five strikeouts and allowed two hits before he was relieved by sophomore Justin Dellinger. Dellinger allowed the only run in the bottom of the sixth on a single by Michael Twichell.
Texas State’s bullpen allowed two hits after that inning. Andrew Boes and Hunter Lemke both escaped from bases-loaded jams in the sixth and eighth innings.

Baseball team loses to Arkansas-Little Rock

Texas State recorded four hits Friday night as it dropped the opening game of a series against conference opponent Arkansas-Little Rock 3-0. 
Austen Williams, senior pitcher, started for the Bobcats in their final home series of the season. Williams pitched six and one-third innings, allowing seven hits, 3 runs and striking out four batters. Justin Dellinger, sophomore pitcher, replaced Williams in the sixth inning.
The Trojans scored in the bottom of the second inning when Bryson Thionnet scored on a ground out by Drew Merten. Arkansas-Little Rock put up 2 more runs in the third and seventh innings while holding the Bobcats scoreless.

Baseball moves to second place in Sun Belt Conference

Texas State took possession of second place in the Sun Belt Conference as it swept the Troy Trojans with a 6-2 victory Sunday.
The Bobcats won the first two games of the series by seven runs.
In the third game, the team scored 3 runs on three hits in the first inning to take an early 3-0 lead.
Troy closed the gap in the top of the seventh inning to make the score 4-2, but Texas State matched with 2 runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Bobcats scored on a sacrifice fly by Granger Studdard, freshman left fielder, and a run batted in by Trey Hicks, freshman third baseman.

Column: Baseball's season set back by errors, lack of mental focus

When the schedule for the 2014 baseball season was revealed, the hype was brought back down to earth by performances marred by mental lapses.

Coming off of a 29-29 inaugural Western Athletic Conference season riddled with a porous 6-19 away record but a respectable 16-11 record at home, the team was looking to enter 2014 with momentum. Contrasting the team’s .500 record last season was the explosion of former Bobcat Paul Goldschmidt onto the national scene, giving Texas State baseball some prominence. With the season approaching, Goldschmidt finishing near the top of the MVP ballots and Coach Ty Harrington approaching career win number 500, 2014 was looking to be a historic year for Texas State baseball.

Beyond the Game: Rayn House, Senior Pitcher

Before she was the softball team’s ace pitcher, senior Rayn House was always an individual who held her faith and family close to her heart.

Rayn was born in Longview, Texas and began playing softball around age eight. She kept up with other sports including, soccer, volleyball and basketball.

“There are a lot of girls that know they want to go play college softball at 14—I was not that girl,” Rayn said. “I refused to even commit to a school until early my senior year of high school because I did not want to think about it. That was pressure to me. School isn’t hard, but school and softball, I wasn’t sure if that’s what I wanted.”


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