Texas State softball (36-10 overall, 17-6 Sun Belt) swept the University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks (16-32 overall, 9-14 Sun Belt) 3-0 in its final series of the season from May 6-8.
The sweep gave the Bobcats their 25th home victory of the season which broke the school record set in 2001. The wins also give the Bobcats the No. 2 seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
In game one, the Bobcats built a large lead early in the contest. The first score on the board was an RBI single from senior infielder Tara Oltmann in the bottom of the first. Sophomore infielder Sara Vanderford took the next at-bat and hit a two-run home run out to left-center field to bring the score 3-0.
Later in the frame, senior outfielder ArieAnn Bell hit a three-run homer out to right-center extending the Bobcats' lead to 6-0.
Despite the early scoring barrage, the contest remained quiet until the bottom of the fifth. In that span, both teams went scoreless but the Mavericks managed to get three hits while the Bobcats only had one, a double from Bell in the bottom of the third.
In the bottom of the fifth, Oltmann hit a double to set up Vanderford for an RBI single. Later in the frame with the bases loaded, junior infielder Samara Lagway hit an RBI single to end the game 8-0.
Texas State freshman pitcher Jessica Mullins grabbed the win as she played all five innings allowing only three hits, no runs, with three strikeouts.
While game one was an offensive showcase, game two proved to be a defensive struggle. UTA got on the scoreboard at the top of the first off an RBI single from senior infielder Aileen Garcia to go up 1-0.
The Bobcats responded at the bottom of the third as senior outfielder Marisa Cruz hit an RBI single out to right field tie the contest. Cruz subsequently stole second base. Oltmann stepped up to the plate and hit a single out to shortstop. Cruz scored off a Mavericks' fielding error to take a 2-1 lead.
UTA had a shot to tie the game at the top of the fourth with a runner on third, but senior pitcher Meagan King struck out the next batter and forced a fly ball to end the frame.
The Bobcats substituted Mullins for King entering the sixth. In five innings, King finished the game with four allowed hits, one earned run and five strikeouts.
Mullins held her own at the top of the sixth as she only allowed a lone hit. In the final inning, the Mavericks went down in order giving Texas State a 2-1 win. King grabbed her 40th career win and Mullins got her third save on the year.
In the final contest of the series, UTA scored first with a run from freshman infielder Jessica Carreon.
Texas State came back in the bottom of the second with a solo homer from senior infielder Hailey MacKay out to deep center. Junior catcher Cat Crenek followed up with a solo shot of her own to take a 2-1 lead.
An RBI triple from Carreon at the top of the fourth tied the game 2-2. At the bottom of the inning, Vanderford hit a solo homer out to left field to take the lead. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Crenek hit an RBI single to go up 4-2.
The Mavericks went to bat at the top of the fifth but went down in order. They came into sixth but only managed to get one hit. They had an opportunity to tie in the seventh with two runners on base but grounded out to finish the contest 4-2.
The win is the 19th win of the season for Mullins. She finished the game allowing five hits, one earned run with four strikeouts in five and two-thirds innings.
With a sweep under their belt, the Bobcats will look forward to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament where they will play the winner between Georgia Southern University and Georgia State University.
The contest is set for 5:30 p.m. on May 12 at the Troy Softball Complex in Troy, Alabama and will air on ESPN+.