The No. 24 Midwestern State Mustangs upset the No. 19 Cameron Aggies 5-4 in the semifinals of the Lone Star Conference Championships Friday afternoon.
The Mustangs (17-5) won their sixth straight match since falling to the Aggies (20-3) earlier this season, and snapped Cameron's eight-match winning streak.
"I'm so proud of the way we played all the way across the lineup," said MSU coach Scott Linn. "We battled for every point and came through when we needed it."
The Mustangs won the match on the play of the bottom of their singles lineup, winning when freshman Austin Crawford, playing No. 6, outlasted the Aggies Dean Weigelt 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 for the deciding point.
"Austin showed great poise in turning around his match after dropping the first set," said Linn. "He really came through under pressure."
The Mustangs also got singles wins from sophomore Kacper Boborykin and freshman Franko Siljeg.
Boborykin beat Jorge Gerosi 6-1, 6-3 at No. 4, while Siljeg downed Joao Fazendeiro a 6-1, 6-3 at No. 5.
Midwestern got off to a solid start by taking a 2-1 lead in doubles.
The Mustangs ninth-ranked doubles team of seniors Luke Joyce and Colby Meeks beat Duje Janjic and Angelo Lencioni 8-4 at No. 1. They followed with a key 9-8 (7-3) win by sophomore Tomas Grejtak and freshman Zack Santagate at No. 3 over Dennis Merdan and Joao Fazendeiro.
"I can't tell you how big the win was at No. 3 doubles," Linn added. "That was a heated match and Tomas and Zack hung tough to win it and probably the match."
Cameron, the top ranked team in the South Central region that had not lost a match in regional play and lost only once to an NCAA II team, didn't go down easy.
The Aggies won at No. 2 doubles with Nicolai Ferrigno and Weigelt beating Kyle Davidson and Crawford 8-2.
Then in singles, the Aggies took the top three positions.
Cameron's No. 20 Ferrigno beat MSU's No. 44 Joyce at No. 1 7-6, 6-0, with Janjic winning at No. 2 over Davidson 7-6, 6-0.
The Aggies' Merdan set up the excitement for the ending by winning in three sets at No. 3 over Meeks 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
The Mustangs advance No. 16 Abilene Christian in the championship match at noon Saturday at the Southlake Tennis Center. ACU defeated Incarnate Word 5-3 in the other semifinal on Friday.
Midwestern State's Kim Jerrick and Katelyn Vinson drilled two homers each to lead the 19th-ranked Mustangs to an 11-4 win over Texas A&M-Kingsville in Game 1 here Friday night.
The win was MSU's eighth straight win as the Mustangs improved to 36-12 on the season and to 13-7 in Lone Star Conference play.
Vinson cleared the left-field fence with her 17th homer of the season to lead off the second inning before Jerrick matcher her with the team lead with her own 17th dinger - a two-run shot over the center field fence in the third inning - to give the Mustangs a 3-0 lead.
Texas A&M-Kingsville, who lost for the 21st time in 23 games to fall to 12-32 and 2-19, pulled to within 3-2 on a pair of misplays by the MSU outfield.
The first resulted in a triple for TAMUK leadoff hitter Rose Stubbs, who would score on Jaeleen Castro's infield single for the Javelinas' first run of the game. Castro came around to score on an error later in the frame to narrow the Midwestern lead to one run.
But Jerrick drilled a two-out bomb in the fifth inning for her fifth career multiple-homer game and third of the season to extend the MSU lead to 4-2.
Once again, Texas A&M-Kingsville rallied for two runs in the top of the sixth inning keyed by a run-scoring single by Lex Cordova and an RBI double by Stubbs to knot the game at 4-4.
Vinson answered with her 18th homer in a two-run blast to left field to kick start a seven-run outburst allowing the Mustangs to pull away. It was the freshman from Southlake's second 2-homer output of the season.
Vinson paced MSU's 11-hit attack with three safeties while Jerrick and Howerton added two hits each.
Kat Batey won her fifth consecutive decision to improve to 16-5 on the season. She allowed three earned runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and a walk in six innings.
Freshman pitcher Laci Belovsky weaved a one-hit shutout to key No. 19-ranked Midwestern State past Texas A&M-Kingsville 7-0 in Game 2 Friday night at Mustangs Park.
The Mustangs rolled to their ninth consecutive win to improve to 37-12 on the season while moving to 14-7 in Lone Star Conference play.
Senior second baseman Carey Campbell extended MSU's program best streak to 21 consecutive games with a home run when she drilled a two-run shot to left-field to key a four-run second inning outburst. It was the Albuquerque native's fifth long ball of the campaign.
And it proved to be more than enough cushion for Belovsky, who allowed only a two-out infield single to Bailey Offill in the second inning while improving to 21-7 on the season.
The Grangerland product notched three strikeouts on her way to a league leading sixth shutout of the season.
MSU freshman right fielder Katelyn Vinson extended her hitting streak to nine games with a leadoff pop-up double to right field in the second inning, advanced to third on Shelby Carter's single to center field and scored when Christian Roosmalen reached on a fielder's choice. Campbell followed with a two-run homer to push the MSU lead to 3-0.
The Mustangs used one of two TAMUK errors to plate a fourth in the inning as Kim Jerrick scored from first base when Haley Howerton's single to left field squirted past the fielder's glove.
Midwestern tacked on another run in the third as Vinson and Carter delivered back-to-back one-out singles and executed a double steal before Vinson scored on a wild pitch to push the Mustangs lead to 5-0.
Sophomore third baseman Kelley Schaefer highlighted a two-run fourth inning with a two-run single through the left side to push the MSU edge to 7-0.
Howerton paced the Mustangs' attack with her fifth consecutive multi-hit game. The freshman from Lewisville finished 3-for-3 with a run scored while Vinson and Carter added two hits each.
Jerrick saw her 12-game hitting streak come to an end despite reaching base in three of her four plate appearance with the last coming by way of an intentional walk with two outs and a seven-run lead in the fifth.
Denise Arnold took the loss for Texas A&M-Kingsville falling to 6-17 on the season. She allowed seven runs on nine hits with four walks and two strikeouts in six innings.
The Javelinas dropped to 12-33 and 2-20.
Despite winning the Lone Star Conference Championships by 29 strokes, Midwestern
State remained third in the latest South Central Regional rankings released by
the NCAA Division II Men's Golf Committee.
In fact, there was no change in the top five spots in the rankings.
Abilene Christian stayed first in the field as one of three from the Lone Star Conference in the top four, followed by Colorado Mines of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Midwestern State is third with Cameron fourth.
St. Edward's of the Heartland Conference is fifth, followed by the RMAC's Colorado-Colorado Springs who moved up to sixth, with Dallas Baptist of the Heartland seventh. The RMAC's Colorado State-Pueblo fell to eighth, with the LSC's Incarnate Word ninth and the RMAC's Western New Mexico 10th.
This is the last of the three regional rankings issued by the NCAA Division II Men's Golf Committee prior to announcing the field for the NCAA Tournament on Friday, April 26. The top 10 teams and top four individuals not on those teams from the region will be selected to play in the NCAA Division II West/South Central Super Regional is May 6-8 at the The Home Course in DuPont, Wash.
MSU has already claimed the Lone Star Conference's automatic berth, with two others going to the winners of the Heartland and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournaments. There are seven at-large bids also available.
The top five teams and top two individuals from the super regional tournament advance to the NCAA Division II Championship May 20-24 at the Hershey Country Club in Hershey, Pa.
The Mustangs are in action again Monday and Tuesday in the Lone Star Conference Championships at the Golf Club at Champions Circle in Fort Worth.