#12 MSU Softball Sweeps Double-Header at Abilene

No. 12 Midwestern State kept rolling with a doubleheader sweep of Abilene Christian Tuesday afternoon at Wells Field.

The Mustangs whipped the Wildcats 9-1 in five innings in the first game before surviving for a 14-10 win in 10 innings in Game 2.

Senior Brittney Tanner, who claimed the decision in both games to improve to 10-1, blasted a three-run homer to highlight a five-run third inning after freshman Kim Jerrick belted her second homer of the season - a two-run shot to right center - in the first inning.

Lone Star Conference RBI leader Courtney Bingham drove in runs in the first and second innings as the Mustangs constructed an 8-0 lead, then tacked on a run when Nicki Duff delivered an RBI single to drive in Amanda Potysman in the top of the fifth.

Abilene Christian's Valentina Nabayna broke up Tanner's bid for a perfect game bid with a solo shot to right field to lead off the bottom of the fifth.

Tanner fanned eight batters to improve 9-1 in the opener.

Jerrick extended her hitting streak to six games with a two-run single to give Midwestern a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning of Game 2.

But ACU jumped on MSU starter Kristina Gutierrez for four runs in the bottom of the inning, which included a leadoff blast by Sarah Martinez and three-run homer by Brianna Fowlkes as the Wildcats surged ahead 4-2.

The Mustangs remained persistent as six straight batters reached base in the top of the second. Duff and Bingham drew bases loaded walks and Jerrick drove in her third run of the game to push MSU ahead 5-4.

Midwestern pushed the advantage to 8-4 with two more runs in the third and another in the fifth.

Then home run continued to plague Gutierrez and the Mustangs.

After allowing the first two batters to reach in the bottom of the fifth, Melissa Mendoza launched a three-run homer to left field to chase Gutierrez, who allowed seven earned runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking one in four innings.

Tanner came on in relief and struggled through her first inning of work as Nabayna reached on a walk, advanced to second on a Megan Brigance single before scoring on Fowlkes single to left field which was mishandled by Duff allowing the tying run to score.

The Mustangs were down to their last out in the seventh before Duff reached on an error, advanced to second on a Bingham single and scored when Jerrick reached on another error to push the game to extra innings.

The teams would exchange runs via the international tiebreaker in the eight then go scoreless in the ninth, but in the 10th the Mustangs finally put it away.

Carey Campbell hit a two-run single while Mallory Mooney and Alyson Reynolds each drove in runs in a four-run outburst.

Tanner shut down the Wildcats over the final five innings of relief to improve to 10-1.

She permitted three runs - one earned - on three hits in six innings while notching nine strikeouts and two walks.

Midwestern State returns to action at the Holiday Inn at the Falls/MSU Invitational March 4-6 at Mustangs Park.