By Miracle Robinson
Assistant Sports Director
As there is one day left before the season begins, we got to catch up with Bobcat softball coaches Ricci Woodard and Cat Osterman.
Head coach Ricci Woodard is highly pleased with the strides that the team has made during the offseason. She spoke highly of the new acquisitions in the circle. Coach Woodard expects Quincy Charleston, transfer from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Paige Williams, transfer from Temple College to step up to the pitcher’s mound and be able to relieve Randi Rupp.
Rupp has been named Sun Belt Softball Preseason Pitcher of the Year, and also named to the Softball Preseason All-Conference Team. Last year, as a freshman, she led the Bobcats and the Sun Belt with 293 strikeouts, which was also good enough for 12th in Division I. She finished the season with a 24-14 overall record with a 2.70 ERA.
As good as Rupp’s numbers were last year, assistant coach Osterman said that the Bobcats will not be able to rely on Rupp for the next three years. Osterman said that Rupp has handled the pressure of her accolades very well from last season, but with Williams and Charleston coming in, Rupp will be much more relaxed.
On the defensive end, the Bobcats are hoping that Jaelyn Young can step in at catcher and be successful behind the plate and relieve Sara Rupp. Coach Woodard expects that Corrina Liscano, another transfer, can fill in at third base for former player Courtney Harris and make a great impact.
“She’s just a kid (Liscano) that loves the game and wants to win,” says Woodard. “She’s the leader of the pack right now…when you come out to the game, you’ll see why.”
First baseman Kendall Wiley will not be forgotten about either. Along with Rupp, she was named as a First-Team All-SBC selection. For the Bobcats, she led the team with a .387 batting average. Wiley finished the 2015 season with a career-high 11 home runs, 60 hits and 49 RBI. The only player for Texas State to have more home runs than Wiley during the 2015 season was short stop Ariel Ortiz.
Coming into the 2016 season, the Bobcats are receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll. They are projected to finish fourth overall in the Sun Belt behind UL Lafayette, South Alabama and Georgia State.
The season will kick off with the annual CenturyLink Classic at Bobcat Softball Stadium on Friday. The teams invited are Abilene Christian, Oklahoma State, DePaul University and Northwestern.
Featured image by Madison Tyson.