MSU Advances to Regional Final

The No. 5 Midwestern State Mustangs got a sacrifice fly from McKenzie Sickler in the top of the seventh inning to drive in the game's only run as MSU beat No. 17 Emporia State 1-0 in the winners bracket final of the 2011 NCAA Division II South Central Regional One at Mustangs Park.

The Mustangs (49-10) scored their only marker when second baseman Amanda Potysman opened the inning with a sharp grounder to Hornet third baseman Taylor Reichard, who sailed her throw to first over the head of Katie Huffman. Potsyman advanced to second on the two-base error. She was sacrificed to third by Megan Chartier.
That's when McKenzie Sickler drove the first pitch to left center that hung up in the wind for ESU left fielder Andrea Piezuch to come in on. Potysman tagged up and just beat the Piezuch's throw to the plate for the lone run.
MSU got a superb outing from senior pitcher Brittney Tanner, who threw a two-hitter to stop the Hornets (42-15). Tanner struck out seven and allowed only one walk in her 13th shutout of the season, running her record to 29-6.
"They're fighters," said MSU Coach Brady Tigert. "They've been doing this all year. Brittney did a great job in keeping them from scoring and then obviously Pottie comes through again. We're pretty happy to be here right now."
Emporia's lone scoring threat came in the bottom of fourth when Angela Mahan broke up Tanner's no-hit bid with a leadoff double. The Hornets sacrificed her to third before Tanner got Amanda Self to fly out to shallow center and Abby Smith to ground back to Tanner to end the inning.
Emporia State pitcher Karley Schmelzer held MSU off balance in the pitcher's duel as well. She went the distance allowing six hits, with a strikeout and a walk. Her only run allowed was unearned.

The top seed in the region, Midwestern State advances to Sunday's bracket championship game that starts at 1 p.m.