The #5 Midwestern State Mustangs rallied late, but they'd dug just a bit too much a hole to climb out of, falling 3-2 to #1 Alabama-Huntsville in their opening game at the NCAA II Softball Championship at the Moyer Complex in Salem, Va.
Brittany Tanner (30-9) struck out 11 in a complete-game effort, allowing three runs (one earned) to take the loss.
She was also 2-3 from the plate, driving in Courtney Bingham with the Mustangs' first run in the sixth inning, then scoring MSU's other run later in the inning on a UAH error.
But Chargers freshman pitcher Whitney Toler (19-2) went 5+ innings, allowing just those two runs (one earned) to get the win.
Alex Lewis came on in the sixth and got the final six outs for her 15th save of the season.
Midwestern St. will face Indiana (Pa.) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Central time in an elimination game.
With a win, MSU would face the loser of Friday's winners' bracket matchup between #1 UAH and #2 North Georgia.