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Texas State Bobcats split first two games of I-35 Invitational with Lamar Cardinals

Jessica Mullins comes up big for the Bobcats with seven strike outs.
Photo by Gerald Castillo

Texas State Bobcats split first two games of I-35 Invitational with Lamar Cardinals

Sunday, February 19, 2023

It was a tale of two games for Texas State at the I-35 Invitational as the Bobcats blew out the Lamar Cardinals 9-0 on Thursday and lost to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Friday 2-0.

In their loss to the Jackrabbits, the Texas State offense could only manage two hits as both the Bobcats and outfielder Piper Randolph had their struggles at the plate.

“We are not making the adjustments fast enough,” Randolph said. “We were not turning expectations into executions. She (Kniesche) is a decent pitcher but we made her look better by chasing things we shouldn’t have and working late into the count.”

With South Dakota State’s Kniesche and Texas State’s Jessica Mullins on the mound for both teams, head coach Ricce Woodard knew this matchup was going to be a low scoring affair.

“It was the game I was expecting,” Woodard said. “I knew it was going to be a pitching duel. (Kniesche) has a 0.00 ERA (this season) for a reason. I just wasn’t expecting to give up the lead early. That kind of changes our game plan. That’s where things got thrown off a little bit because we had to fight behind a tough pitcher to do that against.”

One of the problems the Bobcats faced with Kniesche was her ability to take command of her pitches and control the strike zone.

“She hits her spots,” Woodard said. “She throws the ball where she wants to and every pitch hits exactly where she wants it to.”

Despite giving up the two runs in a low scoring affair, Mullins knows she and her teammates need an improved showing as Texas State plays South Dakota State again on Saturday.

“Every pitcher isn’t going to be happy with giving up runs,” Mullins said. “I felt like I was on my game. I can tell that they came out and expected my changeup and rise and did a very good job at laying off those and capitalizing on my mistakes. That is what a good team is supposed to do and I tip my cap to them. We just have to have a better showing tomorrow when we play them next.”

The game was the exact opposite of what the Bobcat offense accomplished on Thursday as Texas State dominated the Lamar Cardinals in a 9-0 win.

Texas State took advantage of a strong 4th inning which saw the Bobcats score a whopping eight runs on route to the victory.

It was another great performance from the pitching staff as senior Tori McCann threw a complete game shutout allowing just two hits and throwing seven strikeouts.

“I loved every bit of it,” Mullins said. “Those are the types of games that you are happy to be on the sidelines. To watch Tori do her thing was motivation to me to come out here and get a job just as well for her.”

After the big win and a tough loss, Texas State looks to regroup once again with three more games left in the tournament.

“You have to have a short memory on and off the field,” Mullins said. “Everyone is going to review their mistakes and review the decisions that were made including myself. We are going to sleep through it tonight and wake up fresh ready to go tomorrow.”

For the offense, the plan is not only to recharge but attack the plate as well.

“We have to trust that we have the skills to do it,” Randolph said. “We have to be more aggressive, more energized and more focused for tomorrow.”

Texas State resumes play Saturday with another showdown with South Dakota State at 2:30 before two game series on Sunday against South Dakota at 10 a.m. and New Mexico State at 12:30 p.m. Twitter: @ColtonBMc

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