MSU Softball Falls to TWU, St. Mary's; Eliminated From Playoffs

MSU's Offense Stifled in 7-1 Loss to Texas Woman's

A strong pitching performance by Texas Woman's Brandie Lander compounded an opportunistic Pioneer attack spelled doom for Midwestern State Saturday in the winner's track finals as the Mustangs fell 7-1 here Saturday afternoon.

The Mustangs take on the winner of Saturday afternoon's elimination contest between St. Mary's (Texas) and Incarnate Word tonight at 7 p.m. for the right to move on to the South Central Region 1 final to face Texas Woman's again at 2 p.m.

"I'm definitely disappointed with the loss," MSU coach Brady Tigert said. "That was not the I was expecting from either side."

The winning team had scored at least 10 runs in three of the four previous between the teams this season. TWU claimed 10-7 victory over the Mustangs in last week's LSC Postseason Tournament semifinal in Canyon.

"We have been having high scoring games against them," Tigert said. "We though we could handle their pitching, but (Lander) made ball spin more today than in the past and that gave us problems."

Lander allowed just three hits, but did struggle with her command at times issuing seven walks while coming up with seven big strikeouts to strand 10 MSU runners.

MSU starter Kat Batey retired six of the first seven hitters she faced before running into trouble in the bottom of the third. The Plano native put the Nos. 8 and 9 TWU hitters on base via hit by pitches before walking Pioneer leadoff hitter Bailey Vrazel to load the bases with no outs.

TWU plated the first run of the game when Amanda Ruiz reached on a fielders choice before Batey re-loaded the bases in front of LSC Player of the Year Katie Hines, who launched a 3-2 offering over the right-field fence for her 25th homer of the season to give the Pioneers a 5-0 lead.

"We just can't give them free passes in front of the hitter of the year," Tigert said. "Then the next inning, it was errors. You just can't do that and expect to win."

The Pioneers tacked on an unearned run in the fourth and Kendra Sancet stroked her 11th homer of the season in the sixth to push the TWU lead to 7-0.

Midwestern broke up Lander's shutout bid in the seventh as Chelsey Wall scored on what was ruled a high passed ball.

Courtney Bingham, Shelby Carter and Wall accounted for Midwestern's three hits with a safety each.

Batey allowed seven runs - six earned - on seven hits with one strikeout and three walks in 4 2/3 innings to fall to 16-8 on the season.

Laci Belovsky fanned two in 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief to finish the game.

Midwestern State slipped to 43-16 on the season while the Pioneers improved to 48-12.

Carter's Big Night Not Enough, MSU Falls to St. Mary's 11-7

Midwestern State's Shelby Carter blasted a three-run homer and finished with a season-high six RBIs Saturday night against St. Mary's (Texas) at the NCAA Division II South Central Regional.

But it wasn't enough to carry the Mustangs into the final round as the Rattlers plated runs in the first five innings to eliminate MSU 11-7.

Midwestern closes the season with a 43-17 mark, while St. Mary's (45-14) moves on to face Texas Woman's for the regional championship Saturday at Pioneer Field. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.

St. Mary's took full advantage of three MSU errors to cash in for six unearned runs including a pair of gift tallies in the opening two innings.

Carter spurred the Mustangs' two-run rally in the second with a single to right field to plate Katelyn Vinson then MSU took its lone lead of the game at 2-1 when Chelsey Wall's Texas Leaguer found the right-field grass.

But Vianna Gutierrez blasted the first of three St. Mary's homers with a two-run shot to left-field as the Rattlers broke open the game with a six-run third inning to extend an 8-2 lead.

Carter added a three-run shot in the fourth and added a two-run single put he middle in the fifth to pull the Mustangs to within 9-7.

But St. Mary's struck for two more runs in the fifth inning and reliever Emily Brittain closed the door with 2 2/3 scoreless innings to earn her first save of the season.

Gutierrez earned the win to improve to 6-6 despite being touched up for five runs - all earned - on six hits in four innings.

Carter paced the Mustangs' 9-hit attack by going 3-for-3 with six RBIs while Vinson ended the season as the second Lone Star Conference to hit .500 for the season. Vinson was 2-for-3 to up her season batting average to .503.

Laci Belovsky took the loss in the circle to fall to 27-9 on the season. She allowed three earned runs on 11 hits in three innings before giving way to Kat Batey, who permitted two runs on one hit in three innings of relief.