By MICHAEL WRIGHT
DENTON – After losing their two opening games Saturday at the Quality Inn & Suites Invitational in Denton, the Texas State softball team responded with two wins on Sunday. In the first day of action, the Bobcats lost 4-0 to Creighton and then 6-2 to Tulsa. Texas State rebounded the second days with a 5-4 win over Creighton and 5-2 win over North Texas.
In the first game, Creighton shortstop Bailey Dawson hit a game-winning grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the seventh off Ragan Blake to lead Creighton to a 4-0 victory. The Bobcats left 2 runners on base twice during the game. In the 1st inning, Texas State had runners at 2nd & 3rd with only one out but the next two batters popped out to end the inning. The other time was in the 6th inning with runners at 1st & 2nd with 2 outs but the next batter struck out. Blake entered the 7th inning only giving up 3 hits, 0 earned runs and 7 strike outs. After striking out the first Creighton batter, the next two batters singled and walked to put runners at 1st & 2nd with only 1 out. Blake struck out the next batter but walked the next to load the bases for Dawson’s grand slam. Blake finished the game with 9 strike outs, 4 earned runs on 6.2 innings pitched. Right Fielder Taylor Hall lead the offensive attack with 2 hits (2 singles).
Texas State gave up two runs in the 1st to Tulsa in the 2nd game but fought back and scored their first run of the season in their half of the 1st when Alex Newton hit a sacrifice fly to score Kristina Tello. Tulsa scored 3 runs in the 4th to make the score 4-1. Newton homered in the bottom of the 4th to bring the score to 4-2. Tulsa scored once more in the 6th to finish the scoring. Katie Garnett took the loss for the Bobcats, allowing five earned runs on eight hits in four innings. Elizabeth Dennis relieved Garnett to pitch the final three innings, allowing only hit and striking out three. Texas State was held to 3 hits for the game but were led by Newton who finished with a home run and 2 RBI’s.
Texas State’s first game on Sunday was a rematch with Creighton. The Bobcats put up 2 in the 2nd inning when Jenna Emery and McKenzie Baack hit back-to-back doubles after an Ali McCormack single. Creighton responded with 2 of their own in the top of the 4th to tie the score. At the end of regulation, the score was still tied at 2. Creighton left 4 runners on base while Texas State left 5 on base in the last 2 innings. Neither team did much in the 7th inning as only one runner reached base on a walk. After Creighton scored in the 8th, Texas State responded with a run of their own. Ryan Kos hit a two out double to bring in Jetta Weinheimer to tie it all back up at 3 apiece. Creighton once again scored in their half of the inning to take the lead 4-3. Jill Kloesel scored in the Bobcat 9th to tie the game again at 4. With no outs, Kristina Tello who had led off the inning with a single was sitting at 3rd base after the passed ball that had scored Kloesel. Taylor Hall was intentionally walked to put runners at 1st & 3rd with no outs. Hall then stole 2nd to put runners at 2nd & 3rd. Alex Newton was then intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs. Freshman Allyce Rother then singled to left to drive in Tello for the victory. Katie Garnett (1-1) pitched a complete game and allowed two earned runs on seven hits and four walks while striking out four to earn her first win in a Bobcat uniform. Offensively, Tello finished the game going 2 for 5 and scored the winning run. Kos went 2 for 3 with an RBI.
The final game of the tournament was against North Texas. After North Texas jumped out to an early 1 run lead in the 1st, Texas State answered with three runs in the bottom of the second. Ryan Kos doubled in the first two runs before scoring herself on a Kristina Tello single. The Bobcats extended their lead to 4-1 in the next inning when Jenna Emery drew a bases loaded walk scoring Taylor Hall. Emery drove in another run in the fifth when she reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Alex Newton. Ragan Blake (1-1) threw a complete game and struck out 12 batters while allowing two runs on six hits and walking four. Tello finished 2 for 4 at the plate while Emory had 2 RBI’s.
Texas State now returns home for its season home opener against No. 22 Texas on Wednesday, February 13 at 6 p.m.