The Texas State softball team opened its season by hosting the Bobcat Classic, a tournament featuring Portland State, Sam Houston State and No. 9 Florida State.
The Bobcats won both games against Sam Houston — 3-0 to open the season Thursday and 3-2 Saturday morning — but lost a pair against Florida State — 4-2 Friday night and 8-0 in a run-rule game that ended in the sixth inning Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore second baseman Hailey MacKay, a transfer from Arkansas, got her first hit as a Bobcat against the Seminoles on Friday – a game-tying solo home run in the second inning. She followed that up with another solo shot in the fourth to give Texas State its only lead over Florida State 2-1.
“I just felt like I had real good control of the zone at the plate, I knew what I was looking for, and I stuck to my plan,” MacKay said. “Even in the first at-bat, after being down 0-2, I knew what I wanted. Just really sticking to the plan helped me in both of those situations.”
“Welcome to Texas State,” coach Ricci Woodard said after MacKay’s performance. “That’s why you pick up transfers along the way. That’s a kid that has worked hard, bought in and is fun to be around.”
Senior Randi Rupp was the winning pitcher in both games against Sam Houston and the losing pitcher against FSU on Friday. Rupp pitched two complete games against the Bearkats, allowing one earned run and seven hits while striking out 21. In her loss to Florida State, Rupp pitched a complete game, allowing seven hits and four earned runs with five strikeouts.
“They capitalized on my mistakes,” Rupp said after the loss to Florida State. “If I can take anything away from this game to learn from, it’s that. They didn’t hit my good pitches, which is good, but it is something that I have to work on is keeping the ball over the zone, and I think we’ll win.”
Despite the losses to Florida State, Woodard said she learned a lot about her team, which has plenty of new faces.
“It tells me that we can compete with the best in the country, which is how I’ve felt all year,” Woodard said. “I felt like we competed with a really good ballclub that has a lot of returning hitters on it. I’m dealing with a group of players that are just learning how to play together, so I’m fairly pleased.”
The Bobcats have one more game in the tournament against Portland State at 10 a.m. Sunday.