SAN ANGELO, Texas - No. 3 Midwestern State was forced to take the hard road at the 2011 Lone Star Conference Crossover this weekend at the Texas Bank Sports Complex.
And the Mustangs nearly ran the guantlet as they claimed an 11-1 run-rule win over Texas Woman's University before falling in the finale 2-1 to Tarleton State.
MSU finished in a three-way tie with East Central and Central Oklahoma for the tournament's top record at 5-1, but claimed its second consecutive title by allowing five runs to ECU's nine and UCO's 10.
The three teams helped the North Division dominate the South 29-11 as no North squad finished below .500.
The Mustangs jumped on TWU for a run in the first inning, the McKenzie Sickler highlighted a four-run third inning with a bases loaded, bases clearing double to the right-center field gap to give MSU a commanding 5-0 advantage.
Midwestern tacked on two more in the top of the fourth inning courtesy of Megan Chartier's run-scoring infield single following by Kim Jerrick's bounding double down the left-field line to plate another run as the Mustangs led 7-0.
The Pioneers (21-17) scrapped for their lone run of the game in the bottom of the inning as Bailey Vrazel advanced all the way to third when MSU starter Brittney Tanner air mailed a throw over the first baseman's head to lead off the inning. She would then come plateward on Jordan Readicker's single to right field.
The Mustangs put the game away with four more runs in the fifth which included a double steal of home plate and RBI hits by Chartier, Mallory Mooney and Tanner.
Tanner picked up the win to improve to 21-2 while allowing an unearned run on one hits with six strikeouts and a walk.
Midwestern took an early lead in the finale against Tarleton State as Chartier reached on an infield single, stole second and third before scoring on a wild pitch.
But that would be all the Mustangs could muster against TexAnns ace Samantha Swanda, who limited MSU to one run on four hits while striking out six and walking two to even her record at 9-9.
Tarleton tied the game on Katie Welborn's solo homer to lead off the fifth inning off of MSU starter Kristina Gutierrez, who yielded to Tanner to start the sixth. Gutierrez allowed one run on five hits with four strikeouts in five innings.
Tanner managed to strikeout the side in the sixth, but Swanda connected for her ninth homer of the season for the difference in the game. Tanner took the loss to fall to 21-3.
Tanner paced MSU's 4-hit attack by going 2-for-3 while Mooney added a double to go along with Chartier's first inning infield single.
Midwestern State (35-4) returns to LSC North Division play next weekend three-game set at Southwestern Oklahoma State. The teams play one game Friday beginning at 3 p.m. then play a twin bill Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.
- Junior third baseman Mallory Mooney led the Mustangs' attack during the LSC Crossover by hitting .438 (7-for-16) with five doubles and drove in five runs.
- Sophomore outfielder Megan Chartier hit .412 with six stolen bases and six runs scored.
- Senior pitcher Brittney Tanner allowed one earned run on six hits in 18 innings with 27 strikeouts and four walks. She delivered a pair of two-hit shutouts against No. 2 Angelo State and No. 15 West Texas A&M while going 3-1 with a 0.39 ERA.