by, Jen Lawson
BOONE, N.C. – The Texas State softball team captured the three game sweep of Appalachian State Saturday afternoon, winning games two and three by scores of 5-2 and 14-5. Texas State has now won the last six straight conference games going into the final series of the season. The Bobcats improve to 33-18 on the year and 12-9 in Sun Belt Conference play.
The Texas State offense recorded 38 hits this weekend against the Mountaineers including a season-high 18 in game three. Texas State took the early lead in both games Saturday to pull away from Appalachian State.
The 18 hits scattered in the second game Saturday was the most hits recorded this season. Kelli Baker, Kimberlin Naivar, and Ariel Ortiz all recorded four hits for Texas State on Saturday.
Appalachian State threatened in game one of the day by having the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning down 5-1. Bianca Prado, however, made a line drive catch on the run in centerfield to end the inning and save any Mountaineers from scoring.
After taking game one of the day, the Texas State offense went back to work immediately by tallying five hits to start game two. Texas State put runs up in every inning of the back half of the doubleheader.
WHO STOOD OUT
The Texas State offense tallied 26 hits Saturday afternoon and 38 for the weekend. Here is how it broke down.
- Alex Cruz got the start in game two Saturday as the designated player. She reached base safely in all four at bats by going a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk. She recorded her first career home run at Texas State in the top of the fifth inning just after Jaelyn Young hit her second of the year. Cruz was one of two Bobcats to have three RBIs in game two. With a hit in game one of the series, Cruz went 4-for-4 from the plate.
- Kelli Baker finished Saturday by going 4-for-7 from the plate with two runs scored, three RBIs and her second home run of the season. Baker recorded two hits in each game Saturday.
- Kimberlin Naivar also went 4-for-7 from the plate with three runs scored, and two RBIs. She also, like Baker, recorded two hits in each game.
- Ariel Ortiz hit her second home run of the weekend in game one Saturday and finished the day going 4-for-8 from the plate.
- Corrina Liscano also recorded a hit in each game Saturday including two in game two of the doubleheader. She finished the weekend with a team-high six hits and five RBIs.
- Bianca Prado recorded hits in each game this weekend and was one of two Bobcats to have RBIs in each game Saturday.
- Nine home runs were hit this weekend by eight separate players. Ortiz was the Bobcats with two home runs.
- Texas State stole five bases this weekend against the Mountaineers.
- As a team, the Bobcats hit .447 while achieving an on base percentage of .539.
Randi Rupp and Quincy Charleston each earned victories Saturday. With her 24th victory this season, Rupp has now tied the number of wins she achieved last season. She finished the weekend allowing zero earned runs in 11.1 innings pitched with 19 strikeouts. Charleston got the start in game two and improved to 4-4 on the year.
- Top 1st – Back-to-back singles by Kelli Baker and Kimberlin Naivar led off game one. Before Naivar’s single, Baker stole second. With runners on first and third, Ariel Ortiz drove in the first run of the day with a ground out to second. A wild pitch two batters later scored Naivar for the second run of the game. (2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on base)
- Top 3rd – Naivar registered her second hit of the day with one out in the top of the third inning. In the next at bat, Ortiz hit her second home run of the weekend to give Texas State a 4-0 lead. (2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on base)
- Bottom 5th – A solo home run to lead-off the fifth cut the Bobcat lead down to three, 4-1. Appalachian State continued to threaten in the fifth, but left three runners on base after Randi Rupp returned to the circle and forced a line out to Bianca Prado in center. (1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 3 left on base)
- Top 6th – Prado got the run back for Texas State in the top of the sixth with a solo shot to left field. (1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 left on base)
- Top 1st – Texas State went through the line-up in the top half of the first inning with five hits and four runs scored. The first run of the game came after Ortiz singled to left field to score Naivar. Ortiz advanced to second after her hit when the left fielder bobbled the ball. She came around to score the second run of the inning on a single down the left field line by Corrina Liscano. Alex Cruz drove in the other two runs of the inning with a double to center. Taylor Webb and Liscano scored on Cruz’s hit. (4 runs, 5 hits, 1 error, 2 left on base)
- Top 2nd – Baker led the inning off with a five pitch walk. A wild pitch in the middle of Naivar’s at bat advanced Baker to second before she was thrown out at home trying to score on Ortiz’s single. Although Baker was thrown out at home, back-to-back singles by Liscano and Webb drove home Ortiz to make it 5-0 Texas State. (1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 left on base)
- Top 3rd – Five straight Bobcats reached base to start the fifth inning. With the bases loaded, Baker drove in one run with a single to right. Naivar then stepped up to the plate and drove in two more with a single up the middle. Cruz, Prado, and Wiley all scored for Texas State. (3 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 left on base)
- Top 4th – Texas State scored four more runs in the fifth on five hits. Jaelyn Young got the ball rolling in the fourth with a single down the left field line. With one out and runners on second and third, Prado singled to right center to score the first two runs of the inning. A home run by Baker in the next at bat scored Prado. (4 runs, 5 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on base)
- Bottom 4th – Cara Parker led the Mountaineer fourth inning off with a single up the middle, which broke up Quincy Charleston’s no hitter. Parker ultimately scored after a single through the left side two batters later. (1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on base)
- Top 5th – Back-to-back solo home runs by Young and Cruz lifted Texas State to a 14-1 lead. It was Cruz’s first career home run at Texas State. (2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base)
- Bottom 5th – A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases with two outs for Appalachian State. A throwing error by the Bobcats allowed two runs to score. The inning continued after the error when a single to right field scored two more runs. (4 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 2 left on base)
- With two home runs in game two, this was the first time this season that the Bobcats had multi-home run games back-to-back. Texas State then made that three-straight multi-home run games after recorded three in game three.
- Texas State finished the weekend with nine total home runs, bringing its season total up to 27.
- Texas State registered 18 hits in the third game of the series. This was not only a season-high, but it was the most hits Texas State had recorded since February 7, 2015 when the Bobcats had 18 against Sam Houston State. Prior to that, the Bobcats notched 19 hits back on March 6, 2013 against Sam Houston State.
- This is the second conference series this season that the Bobcats earned the sweep. The other was against South Alabama last weekend.
- Texas State now owns a 6-0 record against Appalachian State since the Mountaineers joined the conference in 2015.
Texas State has one more series remaining on the 2016 regular season schedule in UT Arlington next weekend. The Bobcats and Mavericks will play a three-game series at the Bobcat Softball Stadium beginning with a doubleheader Friday evening at 5 p.m. Live stats, live audio, and live video will be available at www.txstatebobcats.com.