Texas State notebook: Softball, women’s track win Sun Belt crowns

It was a big weekend for Texas State sports: The softball team won the Sun Belt tournament on Saturday and the women’s track and field team won the conference outdoor championship on Sunday.

The softball team, after failing to get a hit in a 1-0 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the Sun Belt semifinals on Friday, staved off elimination later that evening with a 9-5 win over Troy. That led to a rematch with the Ragin’ Cajuns in the finals on Sunday; the Bobcats got eight hits in a 5-2 win, securing their first Sun Belt title.

Texas State (42-14) is the No. 2 seed in the Los Angeles regional of the NCAA tournament; the Bobcats will play third-seeded Cal State Fullerton on Friday. Host UCLA plays Sacramento State in the other game.

At the Sun Belt outdoor championship, the Bobcats women won their second straight conference title by edging Arkansas State, 139.5 to 138.5.

By winning Sun Belt titles in cross country, indoor and outdoor track in the same year, the Bobcats won the “triple crown.”

“The triple crown is a huge accomplishment for our program,” said Jody Stewart, the director of track and field/cross country. “It is an indescribable challenge to win cross country, indoors and outdoors in the same year. … We are so proud of our men and women and what they have been able to accomplish in these three short years and it is exciting knowing there is still room to grow.”

The men’s team finished second for the second straight year. The women’s team’s next meet is in the NCAA West preliminary in Sacramento, Calif. on May 24-26.

Baseball tops Lafayette: The baseball team (25-25-1, 13-14 Sun Belt) stunned Louisiana-Lafayette — which is leading the Sun Belt’s west division — by winning their series 2-1. It helped secure the Bobcats a place in the Sun Belt tournament.

Texas State dropped the first game 7-4 before beating the Ragin’ Cajuns 6-5 and 8-6.

The Bobcats’ final regular-season conference series is this weekend at UT-Arlington. They play at Texas on Tuesday for the third and final game of their series; the Longhorns have won the first two matchups.

Football gets a pledge: Mansfield Summit quarterback Brysen McKinney pledged to the Bobcats on Friday. McKinney (6-2, 190) is a two-star prospect; the Bobcats were his first offer. He’s the second commitment for the 2019 class, joining West Rusk defensive tackle Darius Richardson.

“Texas State believed in me first and that was a huge factor in me choosing them,” McKinney said. “Once I met the staff, I was really swayed by the family atmosphere and how they wanted to start a winning tradition with their 2019 class. After the junior day, I visited two more times and I knew it felt the most like home.

“And, lastly, I wanted to commit early as a (quarterback) to show all the others that it’s time to get the band together and start winning.”

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