Texas State softball team heads into NCAA softball tournament as Sun Belt champs

SAN MARCOS, Texas - The Texas State Bobcats are rolling into the NCAA softball tournament as newly-crowned Sun Belt Tournament champions.

The red-hot Bobcats have won eight straight games, and 13 of their last 14, including the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship.

"I think we're just getting started," said Sara Vanderford, third baseman. "I think everyone finally kind of gets like has a taste of what we could really do here."

"Super excited that this has worked out the way it has," said head coach Ricci Woodard.

And the Bobcats don't expect to cool off heading into the NCAA tournament.

"They competed against a lot of really good ball clubs this year. And the way they go about their day and their business is what has propelled them to win 45 ball games," said Woodard.

"It gives us a little bit of a confidence boost. I mean we're just able to know that we can hang with the big dogs. Or we are a part of the big dogs actually," said Jessica Mullins, pitcher.


Now, in their previous 11 NCAA appearances, Texas State has never made it past the first weekend, but that may change this time around. Earlier this year, the Bobcats swept Penn State in the College Station Regional, which they opened against earlier this year, and later beat Texas A&M in San Marcos.

"I think whenever we were put in the College Station regional, our first thought was, ‘ok we can hang with them, we can beat them, we can make it out of that.’ And so, obviously, it's, you know, going to give us some confidence. We're still going to have to show up. Play one pitch at a time. And just do what we do best," said Vanderford.

"I sure hope they don't cool off. Obviously, this weekend we probably peaked at just the right time. And so, hopefully, we carry that momentum into this, which is where you want to be in May. We talked about it all year long. We want to be playing our best ball in May. So, hopefully, that's where we'll be," said Woodard.

The No. 2 seed Bobcats open with Penn State on Friday, May 17 at 3 p.m. in College Station.