HUNTSVILLE — The Texas State softball team claimed its fourth Southland Conference regular season title in five years, as it beat Sam Houston State on Friday, 5-1.
Friday’s victory secures the Bobcats the No. 1 seed in next week’s Southland Conference Tournament. On Saturday, the Bobcats finished the regular season with a 26-19 win over Sam Houston, bringing the team to 34-15 for the season in 17-2 in conference.
The victories gives the Bobcats momentum as they heads to the Southland Conference Tournament May 10-12, hosted by UT-San Antonio.
In Friday’s matchup with the Sam Houston, things got started in the second inning with a leadoff single to third base by Anna Hernandez.
She advanced to third on the next play in which a throwing error by the Bearkat third baseman allowed Chandler Hall to be called safe at first after a sacrifice bunt. Designated player Courtney Harris batted next as she sent the ball down the left field line to push Hernandez and Hall home to give Texas State a 4-0 lead.
Texas State added its third run when Harris scored on a Shelby Carnline double to left center. The Bobcats fourth and final run of the inning came when Carnline scored on a sacrifice fly by Masek.
The game went quiet during the third inning, but a double steal attempt by the Bobcats in the fourth allowed pinch runner Britney Garcia to score before Coralee Ramirez got caught in a pickle.
The Bobcats had a perfect game going until Sam Houston State generated its first hit in the bottom of the fourth. The Bearkats were also able to score their first run of the game when Hillary Adams hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Kim Damian.
Five runs would be all Texas State needed as it earned the four-run victory in route to the conference title.
Hall (20-6) fanned 11 batters Friday to finish the regular season with a perfect 11-0 record in the circle. Tomi Garrison (10-8) suffered the loss for Sam Houston State. Garrison struck out four batters in her complete-game effort.
In Saturday’s season finale, Texas State’s defense came up big in the bottom of the third inning when the Bearkats attempted to score from third, but Haley Lemons was able to get the ball to Megan Parten in time to get the putout at home.
After six grueling innings of scoreless ball, it was a two-out single to left field by Parten in the top of the seventh that broke the game open and scored Brooke Keel from second base.
The Bobcats followed it up with a Jordan Masek double that scored both Shelby Carnline and Parten which gave Texas State a 3-0 edge.
Sam Houston State would need to score at least three runs to stay alive, but a pair of strikeouts and a fly out would end the Bearkats chances of a come from behind victory.
The Bobcats out-hit the Bearkats, 6-3, en route to their 11th straight victory over Sam Houston State.
Anne Marie Taylor (15-8) earned the win in the circle as she finished with seven strikeouts. Sam Houston State’s Meme Quinn (5-3) had three strikeouts in the loss.