SAN MARCOS – The Texas State Bobcats scored three unearned runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and got a shutout performance from Randi Rupp to pull out a 3-0 win over Sam Houston State in the season opener for both teams at the Bobcat Softball Stadium.
The game, which is the opener of the four-day Bobcat Classic, was a 0-0 deadlock for nearly six innings before a two-out rally by the Bobcats (1-0) proved to be the difference. Three walks in the inning set the table, but it was a three-base error in right field off the bat of Christiana McDowell that pushed across the game’s only runs.
That was more than enough for Texas State starter Randi Rupp, a 2017 all-American and the reigning Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year, as she allowed just three base runners after the first inning and just one hit after the first batter of the game. She would punch out 14 and walk just one on the night.
That effort negated an otherwise solid effort from Bearkat (0-1) junior Lindsey McLeod, who matched zeros with Rupp for five innings before surrendering the three unearned runs in the sixth. McLeod would take the loss, striking out four and walking five while allowing just three hits in 5.2 innings.
Freshman Sheridan Fisher would have the first Bearkat hit of the night, beating out an infield single to open the game, while fellow freshman Brooke Malia had a two-out single in the seventh. Megan McDonald would also draw a walk and Codi Carpenter would be hit by a pitch, making up four of the five Bearkat base runners on the night.
The Bearkats will continue the Bobcat Classic on Friday morning when they take on Portland State for the first of two times on the weekend. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. at the Bobcat Softball Stadium and can be followed via live stats at samhouston.statbroadcast.com or by following @BearkatsSB on Twitter.
TOP OF THE FIRST
Sam Houston was not able to take advantage in its first at-bat, despite getting each of its first two hitters of the game on base. An infield single by Fisher was followed by a walk to McDonald, and after a sacrifice bunt from Tiffany Thompson moved the runners up, the Kats were in business. But Rupp worked out of the jam, getting a key strikeout of Bailey White for the inning’s second out before getting Carpenter to foul out to leave a pair of runners stranded.
BOTTOM OF THE THIRD
A pair of bunts and a hit by pitch quickly had the Bobcats in business in the home half of the third. McDowell led off with a bunt single and moved all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt before Kourtney Pock was hit by a pitch to get runners on the corners. But the Kats got out of it as Mcdonald kept the game scoreless, throwing out McDowell at the plate on a line drive to center field off the bat of Tara Oltman.
BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH
McLeod looked to have an easy time of things in the fifth, but had to dig deep to get out of a two-out rally by the Bobcats. The junior righty got the first two outs of the inning quickly, but a single to left field by Kourtney Pock kept things going for Texas State. Mari Cranek would then draw a walk, pushing the go-ahead runner into scoring position. But McLeod was able to get Oltman once again, this time on strikes, to end the threat.
BOTTOM OF THE SIXTH
A one-out walk to Hailey MacKay got things going for the Bobcats in the sixth, but was a pair of two-out walks to Haieigh Davis and Kennedy Cline that loaded the bases and set the stage for McDowell. The Bobcat center fielder sent a ball to right field, but it was misplayed and she ended up on third base, driving in the only runs of the game.
TOP OF THE SEVENTH
The Bearkats did not go quietly in the visiting half of the seventh. Despite Rupp getting the first two outs of the inning, Sam Houston would get the tying run to the plate in the inning. Carpenter would be hit by a pitch with two outs before Malia would single through the right side to give the Kats a chance. But Rupp would finish it off, getting pinch hitter Casey Kauder on strikes for her 14th and final strikeout of the night to close the door.