Senior outfielder Courtney Bingham drove in four runs to spur No. 19-ranked Midwestern State's quick start in an 11-5 win over Tarleton State in the Lone Star Conference quarterfinals Friday night at Schaeffer Field.
The Mustangs, who eliminated the TexAnns for the second consecutive season, move on to face top-seeded Texas Woman's in Saturday's semifinal round. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m.
Tarleton State struck first with a run off of MSU starter Kat Batey in the top of the first after Ariana Rodriguez reached on a two-out hit by pitch then sprinted plate ward on Bailey Mauldin's RBI-double off of the right-field fence.
The Mustangs quick got untracked as Kim Jerrick led off with a double to the right-field gap and scored on Bingham's 23rd two-bagger of the season to knot the game at 1-1 before scoring on Katelyn Vinson's sacrifice as MSU snagged a 2-1 advantage.
Tarleton bounced back with a single run in the top of the second before Midwestern erupted for six runs in the second.
Chelsey Wall and Carey Campbell led off with a pair of singles before Jerrick drew a walk to load the bases. Haley Howerton legged out an infield single before Bingham cleared the bases with a three-run triple to right field to give the Mustangs a 6-2 lead.
Vinson followed with an RBI-double to the left-field gap and scored on Shelby Carter's infield single to cap a six-run, seven-hit frame for the Mustangs.
The TexAnns bounced back for three runs in the third highlighted by Kelsey Latta's leadoff homer off of MSU reliever Laci Belovsky, who settled in to limit Tarleton three hits over the final four innings.
Sophomore third baseman Kelley Schaefer tacked on her 13th homer of the season in the fourth while Carter and Wall drove in a pair of insurance runs in the sixth.
Belovsky improved to 26-7 on the season allowing two earned runs on six hits with two strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
Wall paced MSU's 13-hit attack going 3-for-4 with an RBI while Bingham and Carter added two hits each.
Midwestern State improved to 42-14 on the season, while TSU ends its campaign at 26-23.
Sophomore Michelle Krezonoski and junior Melody Caldwell posted scoring seventh-place finishes to highlight Midwestern State's efforts in the opening day of the Lone Star Conference Track & Field Championships Friday night at Buffalo Sports Park.
Krezonoski posted a time of 39:06.95 finishing off of the pace of winner Emeline Crutcher of Angelo State. Crutcher finished with a venue-record time of 36:50.71.
It was the second fastest time for Krezonoski, who ran a personal best of 38:11.89 at the Texas Relays in March which stood as the top time in the LSC going into the weekend.
Caldwell took a seventh-place showing in the 3,000-meter Steeplechase with a time of 12:16.05 in a hotly contested event. Abilene Christian's Chloe Susset nudged out West Texas A&M's Brenda Sindet as both posted NCAA II provisional times of 10:54.05 and 10:54.80, respectively.
MSU freshman Tylo Farrar placed 10th with a time of 12:36.29.
Junior Abigail Gonzalez led MSU's other 10K competitors finishing 13th with a time of 40:20.08 followed by freshman Maira Salinas (15th/41:11.01), junior Heather Owens (16th/41:31.77) and freshman Brittany Adams (17th/41:47.63).
Freshman Ana Lopez narrowly missed qualifying for the 800-meter finals despite posting a personal best time of 2:17.40 in the third preliminary heat to finish less than a second behind Eastern New Mexico's Amber Saiz, who claimed the ninth and final qualifying position with a time of 2:16.59 in the second qualifying heat.
Sophomore Cara Mack recorded a 2:30.57 in the first heat, while freshman Katy Kipp finished in 2:35.61 in the second.
The LSC Championships conclude Saturday night as MSU student-athletes are set to compete in the 1,500-meter run at 5:45 p.m. and the 5,000-meter run at 7:25 p.m.
Henrietta High star Nick Powell will continue his hoops career at NCAA Division II powerhouse Midwestern State inking a National Letter of Intent to play basketball for the Mustangs beginning this fall.
"We're really happy to be able to sign a talented local kid like Nick to be a part of our basketball program," MSU coach Nelson Haggerty said. "We've been able to watch him grow up as a young man and a basketball player through our camps."
Powell earned District 8-2A MVP honors while leading the Bearcats to a postseason appearance as the league runner-up posting a 24-6 mark.
The 6-7, 190-pound forward averaged 18.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game earning Times Record News Red River 22 accolades and was named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches' All-Region I-2A squad.
"Nick is a very talented scorer for his size and can really shoot the basketball from the perimeter," Haggerty said. "He has the capability to create his shot and opportunities for others. I think he will flourish in our system with his size, athleticism and skill. He will play both the small and power forward spots."
A multi-sport standout, Powell competes on the baseball diamond and cleared the high jump at 6-feet earlier this spring.
Powell earned Academic All-District 8-2A basketball accolades for his success in the classroom.
Midwestern State claimed its fifth Lone Star Conference championship in the last seven seasons while advancing to the NCAA Division II playoffs for the eighth time in school history last season. The Mustangs earned consecutive NCAA II South Central Region titles while advancing to the Elite Eight in 2010, 2011 and 2012.