Senior Pitcher Krista Jacobs winds up for the pitch against the Panthers.

Bobcats Obtain Another Sun Belt Sweep

By Connor MacKinnon, Thomas Mejia and Garrett Martin
Sports Reporters

Texas State softball dominated Georgia State at home this weekend and took all three games, outscoring the Panthers 15-3 in total. Great performances from the circle and from the batter’s box left the Panthers clueless on how to stop the Bobcats.

Game 1

Texas State started off the opening game of the series with a 5-0 shutout. A large part of the Bobcat’s success was because of sophomore pitcher Megan King. She pitched in all seven innings and struck out five Panthers, while only allowing one hit and one walk.

The ‘Cats took advantage of the young Panther core by scoring two runs at the bottom of the first. Junior catcher Haleigh Davis got the first run of the day from a sacrifice fly. Bobcat senior Kennedy Cline hit a single out to left field to get the second run of the day on the board making it a 2-0 lead.

In the third inning, the Maroon and Gold added to their lead by scoring two more runs making it a 4-0 game. Freshman designated player Samara Lagway was responsible for those scores as she had two RBIs on the day.

Moreover, Bobcat Sophomore Tara Oltmannalso contributed an RBI at the bottom of the sixth to give the ‘Cats their final score.

Junior outfielder Christiana McDowell had two hits in the game and which was her fourteenth multi-hit game of the year. King kept her hot streak going with her third shutout in the last five starts.

This game gave the Bobcats their seventh straight victory as they continued their stellar play.

Game 2

The Bobcats pulled off a walk-off win over the Panthers in a 4-3 victory.

King earned her second victory of the series also improving her overall record to 11-8. King pitched the last two innings allowing three hits, two runs scored and striking out one batter.

McDowell got the offense started in the first inning by putting the Bobcat’s on the board from a wild pitch. McDowell finished the game going one for two with two walks.

It took some time, but Georgia State would answer back with an RBI single to tie the game 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the fifth inning Texas State was looking to take the lead with bases loaded and two outs. Walks from Cline and Freshman pinch hitter Cat Crenek would drive in two runs for the Bobcat’s to carry a 3-1 lead heading into the sixth inning.

With runners on second and third and two outs the Panthers were threatening to tie or regain the lead over the Bobcats. However, McDowell shut those threats down with a inning ending catch in center field.

In the next inning, Georgia State would tie the game back up 3-3 following an RBI double and an RBI single.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Texas State had runners on third and second with Cline at the plate. Cline was able to bring in sophomore ArieAnn Bell for the winning run on a fielder’s choice from Georgia State’s second baseman.

The win helped keep Texas State’s win-streak alive at eight games. It also improved their overall record to 18-15 and their conference record to 7-4.

Game 3

The Bobcats had another phenomenal team win against the Panthers on Sunday to extend their winning streak to nine games. Texas State beat Georgia State 6-0 to sweep the Panthers and relied on fantastic pitching from senior pitcher Krista Jacobs.

The scoring started early for the Bobcats, with an RBI single from Davis in the first inning. The Bobcats kept threatening though. The ‘Cats put on two runners in the second inning and had two runners on in the fourth before a scary moment paused the game for a few minutes.

Senior outfielder Kennedy Cline had runners on first and second base when she was struck with a pitch near her forehead. Lucky to be wearing a helmet, Cline fell to the ground and rolled in the batter’s box after the pitch hit her. When she stood up, she showed the crowd and her bench a two-inch cut above her eyebrow that had resulted from getting hit. She left the game, but a runner came to fill her spot at first to load the bases. After Cline’s at-bat, the scoring ramped up.

In the same inning, senior outfielder Mari Cranek forced a fielder’s choice that scored a run and left the bases loaded. The Panthers found a way to get two outs with a double play that seemed to limit scoring chances, but the Bobcats kept finding ways to add more runs.

Junior Bailee Carter singled in another run. After Carter stole second base, Cranek stole home to force in another run for the Bobcats. Then, Oltmann added another run with an RBI single, scoring Carter. This proved to be the most productive inning offensively all game and all weekend.

As for Jacobs, she threw 6.0 solid innings of work and allowed the Bobcats to take advantage and pull away from the Panthers. Woodard praised Jacobs on her performance today and explained how it’s her pitcher’s performance that determines winning and losing.

Head coach Ricci Woodard said, “My opinion is, it starts in the circle. Usually when the pitcher keeps us in the ball game, and is throwing strikes and attacking the zone, we do a better job all the way around. We usually do a better job on offense and a better job defensively.”

The Bobcats had excellent pitching this weekend against Georgia State, and fans and Woodard hope that continues to be the case moving forward toward tougher opponents and more Sun Belt Conference teams.

On Wednesday, Texas State will travel up to Austin to take on number six ranked Texas and their talented ball club. Texas State looks to keep their win-streak alive in one of the most important games of the year for the Bobcats. You can catch the action on txstatebobcats.com.

Featured Photo courtesy of Texas State Athletics.

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