College Softball: Texas State makes quick work of Western Kentucky
By TYLER MAYFORTH
Prior to Saturday’s 11-2 run-rule win over Western Kentucky, Texas State head coach Ricci Woodard drilled home an effective four-word phrase into her players’ minds — “So what? Next pitch.”
No matter what happened in the previous at-bat or the current at-bat, Woodard wanted her team to focus on the task at hand. Woodard felt if her team did that, success would follow with just eight games left until the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
“We’re not really worrying about wins and losses,” Woodard said. “At the end of the day, we’re worrying about what we do. We need to make sure when we get to the conference tournament, we’re playing our best ball. We need to do that from pitch to pitch right now.”
Based on what the Bobcats did Saturday afternoon, there weren’t many pitches they saw from a trio of Lady Topper pitchers that they didn’t like.
It all started in the first inning when Kelli Baker and Timishia North belted back-to-back home runs off WKU starting pitcher Emily Rosseau. Baker pinged the right-field scoreboard with hers and North soon followed with a no-doubt-about-it blast over the wall in left-center.
By the time Courtney Harris ended the game with a two-run home run off Janna Scheff — Texas State’s fourth big fly of the contest — Woodard’s team made quick work of the Lady Toppers.
“When you start the game with back-to-back home runs, that tells you you’re being fairly aggressive at the plate,” Woodard said with a smile. “It just got better from there. They did a great job of being confident and attacking good pitches.”
Woodard couldn’t have been happier with the approach her team took at the plate one day after leaving 20 runners on base and only scoring one run in 14 innings of a doubleheader. Needless to say, the Bobcats were swept last Friday and were hungry to get back on the field on Saturday.
“We got frustrated, because we haven’t been playing to our full potential and kept dwelling on all of the bad that’s happened,” said Texas State sophomore first baseman Kendall Wiley, who hit a solo home run in the second inning. “Once we got out here today and Coach Woodard talked to us before the game, we let it all go. We were like, ‘Yes. Unload.’”
Other than a tough third inning in which WKU scored its only two runs of the game, the Bobcats got another solid start from Rayn House. The senior picked up her 19th win of the season, struck out seven batters in the process and only allowed three hits.
Texas State also found its way back in the win column for the first time since April 6 and gained some needed momentum as the regular season winds down. Just seven games remain in the regular season and the Bobcats will play their final mid-week game of the season Wednesday night against the Texas Longhorns inside the Bobcat Softball Stadium.
“I know we’ve been struggling, but I also know what we’re capable of when we play like we know how,” Baker said. “Every time we step on the field, we know we should win no matter who else is in the other dugout.”