MSU Eliminated at LSC Tournament

No. 3 Midwestern State showed heart and determination fighting through the loser's draw of the Lone Star Conference Softball Championship Friday afternoon at Durant Multi-Sports Complex.

The Mustangs eliminated Cameron and No. 18 Angelo State before falling to West Texas A&M as victims to their second defeat via a walkoff home run.

"We put ourselves in a couple of bad situations and it cost us," MSU coach Brady Tigert said. "But we were resilient and we battled."

The Mustangs were incredible at the plate batting .409 as a team while averaging just over seven runs a contest during tournament play, but fell victim to the long ball yielding 10 homers by the opposition.

MSU stroked a combined 28 hits in 10-2 and 8-3 wins over the Aggies and Rambelles, but ran into a buzzsaw in West Texas A&M ace Shelbey Cockrell.

The Lady Buffs worked out to a 3-0 lead as the right-hander held the MSU bats at bay through the opening five frames. Then Mallory Mooney belted a 2-run homer in the sixth before Alyson Reynolds blasted a solo homer to send the game into extra innings.

"Cockrell was pitching a phenomenal game," Tigert said. "To fight through that was an achievement. It was a great day and the girls never quit."

But Kaitlyn Witte stroked an 0-2 pitch pitcher over the center field fence to end the Mustangs' dream of gunning for a third Lone Star Conference title.

It will be the Lady Buffs who will have to knock off upstart East Central two times in Saturday's finals at noon and 2:30 p.m., if necessary.

In other LSC Championship tournament game Friday afternoon, Angelo State eliminated Texas Woman's 4-2 and East Central upended West Texas A&M 6-3 in the winner's bracket final.

Midwestern State, which entered the week as the South Central Region's top-ranked team, awaits selection into the 2011 NCAA II Championships on Monday. If selected to host the regional will be held next Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Mustangs Park.

MSU vs. Cameron

Midwestern State used the long ball to eliminate Cameron 10-2 Friday afternoon at the Multi-Sports Complex.

Less than a week after Aggies' ace Carrie Harvey mesmerized MSU with a three-hit shutout, the Mustangs were having no part of that.

Junior third baseman Mallory Mooney launched a towering solo blast in the first inning before MSU chased Harvey with a five-run fifth inning highlighted by a solo shot from McKenzie Sickler and three-run shot from the red-hot Alyson Reynolds to push the advantage to 6-0.

Cameron struck back with a single by Drew Wright in the fourth inning followed by sophomore center fielder Leslie Martini's two-run homer to left field to cut the margin to 6-2, but those were the only hits MSU starter Kristina Gutierrez allowed.

Gutierrez notched eight strikeouts in a five inning complete game to improve to 20-3 on the season.

The Mustangs closed out the game with three runs in the fourth and a single run in the fifth inning.

Brittney Tanner, Kim Jerrick and Amanda Potysman joined Mooney with two hits each to pace the Mustangs' 13-hit attack.
MSU vs. Angelo St.
Angelo State rocked Brittney Tanner with three long home runs in the first two inning, but the Midwestern State ace displayed the guile and grit it takes to win 27 games by silencing the 'Belles over the final five innings as the Mustangs rolled to an 8-3 win Friday afternoon at the Durant Multi-Sports Complex.

ASU's Brittany Astle lead off the game with an opposite field homer to left field go give the Rambelles the early lead.

The Mustangs rallied to take the lead in the top of the second highflier by a pair of run-scoring singles by McKenzie Sickler and Elena Bennett to put MSU up 2-1.

But the Belles struck for back-to-back homers by Kacie Easley and DeeShanaLynn Tafiti in the bottom of the inning to stake starter Clarissa Molina to a 3-2 advantage.

Midwestern State broke the game open with four runs in the fifth inning keyed by an RBI single by Courtney Bingham, a successful suicide squeeze bunt by Amanda Potysman and a sacrifice fly by Sickler to give the Mustangs a 6-3 lead.

MSU tacked on two more runs in the seven on a Bingham's two-run single to center field.

Tanner improved to 27-6 allowing three runs on five hits with nine strikeouts and four walks, while Molina was saddled with loss for ASU to fall to 22-6 allowing six runs on 12 hits with three strikeouts in five innings.

Alyson Reynolds paced the Mustangs' 15-hit attack by going 3-for-4 while Bingham, Mallory Mooney, Potysman and Megan Chartier added two hits each.
 
West Texas A&M vs. MSU
 
Kaitlyn Witte's walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning thwarted a courageous Midwestern State comeback as West Texas A&M advanced to the LSC Championship finals with a 6-3 victory.

The Lady Buffs must defeat East Central two times Saturday to claim their first LSC softball. First pitch is set for noon with the if necessary game following about 2:30 p.m.

West Texas A&M constructed a 3-0 lead on the strength of Meghan Brown's solo homer in the second inning and a pair of runs in the fourth before the Mustangs charged back to send the game into extra frames.

MSU's Elena Bennett roped a two-out single to left field in the sixth inning before Mallory Mooney blasted her 12th homer of the season to pull the Mustangs within 3-2.

Then Alyson Reynolds stroked a one-out solo homer in the seventh inning to knot the contest at 3-3.

WTAMU's Megan Slattery roped a leadoff double to center field in the bottom of the eighth and Alyssa Lemos reached on a fielder's choice to set up Witte's blast over the center-field fence.

Kristina Gutierrez took the loss for MSU to fall to 20-4 on the season. She yielded six runs on five hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks in 7 2/3 innings.

Marci Womack picked up the win in relieve for the Lady Buffs to move to 22-8. She fanned the only batter she faced.

WT starter Shelbey Cockrell allowed three runs on six hits with 10 strikeouts and a walk in 7 2/3 innings of work.

Bennett and Mooney each went 2-for-4 to pace the Mustangs' six-hit attack.