Midwestern State's Courtney Bingham legged out three hits and drove in five runs to lead the Mustangs to a 9-8 win over Tarleton State in the opening round of the Lone Star Conference Postseason Tournament Friday afternoon at Pioneer Field.
MSU (26-24) advances to face the winner of Friday's first round matchup between Texas Woman's and Incarnate Word in the semifinals Saturday at noon. The championship game follows at 6 p.m.
The Mustangs completed a season sweep of Tarleton, but true to form each of the games was decided to two runs or less.
Powered by Arianna Rodriguez's two-run single, the Texans jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the in the bottom of the second inning.
But MSU edged its way back into the game on the strength of a Bingham two-run triple and tied the game Mallory Mooney's run-scoring single at 3-3 in the top of the third inning.
The Mustangs continued to club away at Tarleton starter Samantha Swanda in the fourth as Kim Jerrick launched a two-run shot for her 10th homer of the season before Bingham drove in Elena Bennett with a RBI-single up the middle to stake MSU to a 6-3 lead.
Freshman right-hander Brenna Hennan (7-10) permitted just a solo homer by Katie Welborn through four innings of relief after starter Lindsi Glenn was blitzed for three runs on six hits in two innings.
The calm was enough to allow the Mustangs to extend the lead to 9-4 as Bingham drilled another two-run single to the left-field gap in the sixth inning and freshman shortstop Kelley Schaefer added a solo homer to left in the top of the seventh.
The TexAnns took full advantage of an MSU fielding miscue in the seventh to load up the bases for Rodriguez, who drilled her 18th home run of the season - a grand slam to left field - to cut the margin to 9-8.
But Hennan induced a pop out by Tarleton's Abigail Tamman to end the game.
Bingham and Bennett tallied three hits each to pace MSU's 10-hit attack, while Rodriguez led the TexAnns by going 2-for-4 with six RBIs.
Swanda was saddled with the loss to fall to 17-9 on the season allowing nine runs on 10 hits while logging seven strikeouts and three walks.
The TexAnns dipped to 31-20 on the season.