By Reily Chestnut
Assistant Sports Director
The Bobcats wanted this one. They were busting for a chance to inflict their wrath on the Longhorns for beating them back on March 21. Good news folks… they got ‘em back. The No. 24 ranked Texas State Bobcats continued their winning streak with a 2-1 victory over the Longhorns.
This game had expectations and implications from the beginning. First, the Bobcats were on a seven game winning streak heading into this battle. UT was feeling strong after handing the Bobcats their last loss before the streak started. Both teams were undefeated in conference play. That wouldn’t change… but it was fun to note. Add the fact that Randi Rupp was going on the mound with a chance to become the second Bobcat softballer with 100 career wins and you’ve got an objective to accomplish. But don’t you say that from the beginning this game was going to be easy for Texas State. They had to earn it.
It started a little rougher than expected. Rupp gave up a home run in the second inning that gave UT an early 1-0 lead. Home runs allowed has been the only troubling thing about Rupp’s stellar senior season. But Rupp worked her way around it to go the distance once again for the 20th time this season while striking out nine Longhorns. Flipping the coin tonight proved to be a true test for the Head Coach Ricci Woodard’s lineup against Longhorn ace Paige von Sprecken, but the team would find a way.
First, left fielder Mari Cranek would help Rupp get back on an even playing field after earning an RBI walk from von Sprecken to tie the game in the second inning 1-1. Blast through the middle innings where both pitchers refused to give up an inch and we move forward to the Bobcats’ sixth inning. Trouble starts to brew after von Sprecken gives up three singles and the bases are loaded with only one out. Coach Woodard elects for pinch hitter Brianna Sannem to come off the bench and be the difference. Sannem then flies out to center field and Bailee Carter comes home to score on a wild throw. Push ahead to the seventh and the Bobcats need just three outs–the three hardest of the season so far. Rupp would need the final out otherwise the Longhorns could take the lead with the bases loaded for Janae Jefferson. But have no fear, Rupp induces the fly out to Cranek and the Bobcats stand victorious on this night.
The win is No. 30 this season for Texas State after just 38 games played. This ties the fastest track to 30 wins in program history. The past Bobcats that this group joined? None other than the 2001 team that went on to win a school record 54 games. Now it sets up a true battle this weekend when the Bobcats march on to Lafayette, Louisiana to face the Ragin’ Cajuns. Watch out for this series to be the one that proves how great this team really is and if they are ready to signal a change in the SBC.
Featured image by Marina Bustillo-Mendoza.