Games 1-5 • Bobcat Classic
Thursday, Feb. 8 through Sunday, Feb. 12 • San Marcos • Bobcat Softball Stadium (1,000)

@BearkatsSB on Twitter

2018 Bobcat Classic Schedule Thursday, Feb. 8
Sam Houston at Texas State • 6 p.m.• Live Stats

Friday, Feb. 9
Sam Houston vs Portland State • 11 a.m. • Live Stats

Saturday, Feb. 10
Sam Houston at Texas State • 10 a.m. • Live Stats
Sam Houston vs Portland State • 3 p.m. Live Stats

Sunday, Feb. 11
Sam Houston vs. No. 9 Florida State • 12 p.m. Live Stats

HUNTSVILLE – The 2018 season for Sam Houston State softball kicks off on Thursday with a busy weekend as the Bearkats look to start off the 2018 season on the right foot against a tough field this weekend. The Bearkats will be taking part in five games in four days at the 2018 Bobcat Classic in San Marcos, starting with the season opener against the Bobcats on Thursday.

Sam Houston will face Portland state on Friday before having a rematch with the Bobcats Saturday morning and a second showdown with Portland State Saturday afternoon. The Kats will conclude the weekend with a big test against Florida State, a squad who is ranked No. 9 in the nation coming into the weekend and is coming off a 55-8-1 2017 campaign in which they fell one victory short of a WCWS berth.

All games can be followed via live stats and by following @BearkatsSB on Twitter. Live stat and video links for the weekend can be found by viewing Texas State’s 2018 Bobcat Classic schedule HERE.

The Kats return 12 players from a team who finished fifth place in the Southland, including strikeout ace Lindsey McLeod and their top two long ball hitters Tiffany Thompson and Megan Crosby. The roster also sports six freshmen and West Texas A&M transfer, Hunter Ervin.

McLeod was named preseason second team all-Southland Conference last week after a tremendous 2017 season in which she ranked second in the conference in opponents’ batting average and struck out 110 batters. Casey Kauder and Kaitlynn Dawson will also bring back some experience to the circle with each having logged more than 20 innings as true freshmen in 2017.

There will be a couple new faces tossing the ball for the Kats as Darby Fitzpatrick and Annie Bailey look to make impacts in the circle right away. Bailey was an all-state selection her senior year of Tom Bean High School and Fitzpatrick helped lead LaGrange High School to two state titles during her career.

Thompson and Crosby highlight what should be a strong lineup which will include four players who crushed multiple home runs last year. Thompson is looking to build off her stellar freshman campaign in which she hit .297, launched six homers, drove in 30 runs and stole five bases. The Bearkats also added several quality bats over the offseason with two-time all-state Cy-Ranch High School outfielder Karlee Canada, Cy-Fair outfielder Sheridan Fisher who put up a .564 mark her final season at Cy-Fair and West Texas A&M transfer Hunter Ervin who started 11 games for the Buffs and hit .344 in her 32 at-bats.

The weekend will also mark the opening of the final season of coaching for head coach Bob Brock, who announced his retirement earlier this week, effective at the end of the 2018 season. The 34-year head coach has amassed 1,102 wins in his career that spans stops at Baylor, Texas A&M and Sam Houston State, a mark that ranks ninth among active coaches in career wins. He also claimed national titles for the Aggies in 1983, and 1987.

He returned to Sam Houston, his alma mater, to take over the Bearkat program in 2002 and in his 16 years in charge has tallied 407 wins while leading the Kats to the Southland Conference title and NCAA Softball Tournament Berth in 2007. While at the helm of the program Brock has had 56 all-Southland conference selections with 14 of them being first team.

Following its opening weekend at Texas State, the Kats will return home to host the first ever Bearkat Softball Classic next weekend. The Bearkat Softball Classic will include Wichita State, Seton Hall, Northern Colorado and No. 4 Washington.

SERIES vs TEXAS STATE
The Bearkats are no stranger to former Southland Conference member Texas State as the two teams have a deep history of 104 matches. Texas State currently owns the advantage with a 57-47 mark against the Bearkats, but the Bearkats hold the latest victories with 6-1 and 15-6 victories over the Bobcats in Texas State’s Hampton Inn and Suites Tournament in 2015.

SERIES vs PORTLAND STATE
First Meeting.

SERIES vs FLORIDA STATE
This will be the third ever meeting with the Seminoles with the series knotted at one, Sam Houston picked up the victory the last time the squads met with a 2-0 victory on April 13, 1990.