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