Junior catcher Kim Jerrick homered and extended her hitting streak to 22 games leading a 17-hit Midwestern State onslaught in a 10-9 win over No. 13 Emporia State Friday night in the Courtyard by Marriott Invitational at Mustangs Park.
But it was senior center fielder Elena Bennett's infield that plated freshman Haley Howerton with the walk off run in the bottom of the seventh that allowed MSU to come away with the victory to improve to 12-4 on the season.
Jerrick, Bennett , Howerton and Shelby Carter each had three hits each as the Mustangs rocked ESU ace Karley Schmelzer, who entered the game 7-0 with a 0.90 ERA, with 10 runs - all earned - on 17 hits to give the senior right-hander her first loss of the season.
Emporia State didn't make it easy as the Hornets struck MSU starter Laci Belovsky with three runs in the first before rallying with six more in the sixth to take a brief 9-8 lead.
In between, the freshman right-hander allowed just three hits in four scoreless frames, but Belovsky struggled with her command hitting five batters and walking three more while allowing 10 hits. However, she battled through it all to improve to 7-2 on the season.
Carter and Bingham delivered two-out, two-run doubles in the first two innings allowing the Mustangs to rip a 4-3 lead away from Emporia State.
Bingham keyed a three-run fourth with a two-run double to center field and Jerrick blasted an opposite field shot against a stiff north wind for her sixth homer of the year in the fifth inning to give the Mustangs an 8-3 cushion heading into the sixth.
After the Hornets rallied to take the lead in the sixth, Katelyn Vinson and Howerton came through with back-to-back one-out singles in the seventh before senior second baseman Carey Campbell drew a walk to load the bases.
Schmelzer pitched carefully to Jerrick before forcing in the tying run with another free pass before Bennett pushed a slap through the heart of ESU's drawn-in infield.
Amanda Self and Taylor Zordel had two hits each to pace the Hornet attack.
Midwestern State continues tournament Saturday with games against Northeastern State and St. Mary's at 1 and 3 p.m., respectively.
2013 Courtyard by Marriott Invitational
Wichita Falls, Texas
Friday, March 1
St. Mary's 4, Northeastern State 3
Northeastern State 10, Oklahoma Panhandle State 1
Abilene Christian 10, Oklahoma Panhandle State 2
Midwestern State 10, Emporia State 9
Abilene Christian 3, Emporia State 1
Saturday, March 2
Northeastern State vs. Oklahoma Panhandle State, 9 a.m.
Oklahoma Panhandle State vs. Emporia State, 11 a.m.
Midwestern State vs. Northeastern State, 1 p.m.
Midwestern State vs. St. Mary's, 3 p.m.
Abilene Christian vs. Emporia State, 5 p.m.
St. Mary's vs. Abilene Christian, 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 3
Emporia State vs. St. Mary's, 9 a.m.
Northeastern State vs. Abilene Christian, 11 a.m.
Midwestern State vs. Oklahoma Panhandle State, 1 p.m.
Midwestern State vs. Northeastern State, 3 p.m.
Midwestern State opened Lone Star Conference play in style as the 40th ranked Mustangs took down the 33rd ranked Cardinals 6-3 at the MSU Tennis Center Friday.
The Mustangs (4-1, 1-0 Lone Star Conference) claimed five of the six singles points for the come-from-behind win after dropping two of the three doubles points to the Cardinals (4-1, 0-1 LSC).
"We're learning our lessons from our earlier matches," said MSU Coach Scott Linn. "We bounced back from our doubles setback and really finished in singles."
MSU's No. 2 doubles team of Madeline Schorlemmer and Lauren Pineda collected the doubles win with an 8-3 win over Nicole Karaklis and Malisa Vatanadilok.
But the Cards grabbed the lead with the other doubles points as Ivana Katavic and Andi Botha edged MSU's No. 1 team of Taylor Coffman and Sarita Adhikary in a tie break 8-7 (4). The No. 3 point went to UIW's Taryn Strahl and Jennifer Betancourt who downed Kayla and Kendra Casey 8-6.
However MSU roared back in singles.
Coffman won at No. 1 over Katavic 6-2, 6-1, and Adhikary swept Botha 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2. Kayla Casey was a winner at No. 3 over Strahl 6-2, 6-3, and Schorlemmer won at No. 4 over Vatanadilok 6-2, 6-2.
Incarnate Word's Karaklis claimed the Cards only singles point at No. 4 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Fatima Clementino.
But the singles match of the day was at No. 6. MSU's Pineda dropped the first set 6-2 and trailed 4-0 in the second before coming back to beat Betancourt 2-6, 7-5, 14-12 to end the match.
"What can I say about Lauren," Linn said. "She made a great turnaround in the match and I'm proud of the way she stepped up."
MSU faces Oklahoma Christian tomorrow at the MSU Tennis Center. First serve is at 10 a.m.