By Daven Meredith
SAN MARCOS, Texas – South Alabama softball defeated Texas State in a three-game Sun Belt series this weekend (2-1) in San Marcos at the Bobcat Softball Stadium.
The series’ outcome brings the Bobcat’s overall record to (20-13-1) and (1-4) in Sun Belt Play. The Jaguars improve to (21-10) and (4-1) in conference play.
The Bobcats started their weekend series off Friday in a closely contested game. The Bobcats held a one-run lead through four innings thanks to an RBI single by shortstop Hannah Earls in the bottom of the second.
Bobcats pitcher Jessica Mullins threw her 10th complete game of the season, retiring the first 13 Jaguar batters she faced with four strikeouts and one walk.
Mullins held the Jaguars scoreless until the top of the seventh when Jaguars right fielder Victoria Ortiz connected on a two-run home run to give the Jaguars the lead and the win on the day.
The Bobcats could not produce a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, resulting in a 2-1 Jaguar victory and dropping Mullins’ record to (12-7) on the season. Bobcat coach Ricci Woodard said the Bobcats didn’t make the right “adjustments,” resulting in the loss.
“They made adjustments, and we didn’t,” said Woodard. “We can’t do the same thing three bats in a row. One pitch executing on the offensive side and one pitch on the defensive side is going to change a ball game.”
Saturday’s matchup saw a bounce back for the Bobcats’ offense, connecting on 11 hits for six runs.
Earls continued to light sparks this weekend, knocking in the first of the three runs scored in the top of the third. Woodard said “stringing hits together” is the key to winning ball games.
“When we start stringing hits together at the same part of the lineup, you’re probably going to win ball games,” said Woodard. “I’ve been talking about key hits and executing, and I feel like we did a better job with that today.”
Leading the way for the Bobcats’ defense Saturday were pitchers Tori McCann and Karsen Pierce, who allowed only two runs on the day. Resulting in a 6-2 Bobcat victory and the Bobcats’ first Sun Belt win of the year while tying the series one apiece heading into the series final.
In Sunday’s matchup, the Bobcats’ momentum was halted by Jaguars pitcher Olivia Lackie who held the Bobcats’ bats to only two hits and zero runs. Woodard said the Bobcats can’t get “beaten” in every part of the game if they want to win tough games.
“Games aren’t going to get any easier,” said Woodard. “We must do some things differently. We have to make some adjustments. We can’t come out and get beaten in every area of the game and think we’re going to win.”
The Bobcats had a combined six errors on Sunday and nine total in the series, compared to South Alabama’s lone error through all three games. Woodard said, “You can’t win ball games like that.”
“If you get two hits and make six errors,” said Woodard. “You probably aren’t going to win a ball game.”
In a last ditch effort in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, Bobcats catcher Karmyn Bass hit her first career triple, but JJ Smith would fly out at the next at bat resulting in the Jaguars victory and series win.
The Bobcats look to bounce back Wednesday as they take on the Baylor Bears at Bobcat Softball stadium at 6:00 p.m. where you tune in on KTSW 89.9!
Featured Image by Beau Kelly.
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