In a state filled with great college softball teams (Texas A&M, Baylor, Texas) its hard getting attention but Texas State softball is at the point now where they’ve joined that elite group and can be considered with each new season to have a legitimate shot at being playoff bound.
Texas State has made the playoffs in four (2011, 2012, 2016, 2017) of the last 6 years including back-to-back appearances in 2016 & 2017. Last year seen them go 42-17 overall and 18-8 in the Sun Belt. Since the teams move to the Sun Belt Conference they have had only one losing record season under head coach Ricci Woodard.
The team should have a real good chance of capturing the Sun Belt Conference title this year with the recent turmoil caused by the firing of perennial conference powerhouse Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns’ head coach Michael Lotief and the subsequent transfer of several of its star players.
The success of this years Texas State team will once again depend on the arm of ace pitcher Randi Rupp who had very impressive stats last year, 1.22 ERA, 28-10 W-L, 264.2 IP, 325 SO, in her 44 appearances. Krista Jacobs also returns for her junior year. While she only had 6 relief appearances last season she did maintain a 1.83 ERA along with getting five strikeouts in the 7.2 innings that she pitched. Texas State will also be hoping for some help from incoming freshmen pitchers right handed Meagan King and lefties Maria Flores and McKenna Fryar to help to take some of the pitching load from Rupp.
With a shutdown pitcher like Randi Rupp you don’t need much hitting but Texas State can also put runs on the scoreboard with hitters like senior infielder Ariel Ortiz who last season hit, .343 BA, 15 HR, 47 RBI and senior Jaelyn Young can also get runs across the plate having had 9 home runs and 33 RBIs last year.
The team also has some speed on the bases finishing with 26-37 stolen base attempts last season.
With the large number of veteran faces mixed with a few fresh ones this team is set up to take a big run this year at achieving a lot of lofty goals. As long as their pitching stays strong I expect them to not only make this year’s playoffs but stay around for awhile once there.