Mustangs Win Two on Opening Day

Mustangs Use 5-Run Fifth to Top Western New Mexico

LUBBOCK, TX (KAUZ) - A five-run fifth inning propelled Midwestern State softball to an 11-8 season-opening victory over Western New Mexico in Lubbock Christian's Lady Chaps Invitational Friday afternoon at Lubbock Christian School's Eagle Park.

Facing a 6-4 deficit after a four-run fourth for Western New Mexico (0-2), freshman second baseman Misty Muniz sparked a five-run fifth inning for the Mustangs with a solo home run to begin the rally.

Senior center fielder Haley Howerton was the tying run for Midwestern State (1-0), stealing second after an infield single before coming home to score on a WNMU error for a 6-6 contest. A single by junior pitcher Erin Knox put the Mustangs in front, scoring junior left fielder Taylor Bermudes before a double from junior shortstop Tammy Viliamu gave MSU a 9-6 advantage.

The Mustangs stretched their lead to 11-6 in the seventh with junior designated hitter Baylee Voigt bringing home senior third baseman Katelyn Vinson, who doubled earlier, on a single up the middle for a 10-6 game. Sophomore catcher Kara Tilton rounded out the MSU scoring with a single through the right side to plate Voigt for an 11-6 score.

MSU held off a seventh inning rally from WNMU, who added two runs in the bottom half of the inning, for a final 11-8.

The Mustangs started off swinging in the first with Voigt going yard to bring home Bermudes for a 2-0 MSU lead. WNMU evened the contest in the bottom half of the inning with two singles and a walk.

After the Mustangs regained the lead at 4-2 in the fourth, WNMU took its first lead of the game with a four-run frame. A double from sophomore shortstop Mariangela Garcia drove in two runs before a triple by senior first baseman Thailyza Ramirez pulled WNMU ahead at 6-4.

Knox earned the win in the circle for the Mustangs, throwing 4.0 innings with three strikeouts while allowing seven hits, five earned runs and a pair of walks. Redshirt freshman Peyton Helton collected the save with 3.0 innings in the circle and two strikeouts while giving up four hits and one earned run.

Mustangs Rally for Extra-Innings Win over OPSU

Junior shortstop Tammy Viliamu blasted a three-run home run to tie the game up in the sixth inning before freshman second baseman Misty Muniz delivered a walk-off single for a 5-4 eighth-inning win over Oklahoma Panhandle State Friday evening in the Lady Chaps Invitational at Lubbock Christian's PlainsCapital Park.

In the sixth, back-to-back walks for Midwestern State set up a one-out home run to left center by Viliamu to even the game at 3-3 with Oklahoma Panhandle State (0-2).

Both teams threatened in the final frame with OPSU putting two in scoring position before freshman pitcher Makenzi Harris worked out of the jam with a strikeout and groundout to end the Aggies' at bat. A single by senior center fielder Haley Howerton and a walk from junior left fielder Taylor Bermudes put two on with no outs for the Mustangs in the bottom half of the inning but two flyouts and a strikeout sent the game to extras.

With the international tiebreaker rule in effect, the Aggies went in front thanks to a single from junior first baseman Darcie Wilson and a sacrifice fly from sophomore catcher Brooklyne Bolton to plate a run for a 4-3 OPSU lead.

A sac bunt from sophomore catcher Kara Tilton moved junior first baseman Erin Knox 60 feet from home plate to lead off the eighth inning for the Mustangs. Viliamu came through once again, recording her fourth RBI of the night with a game-tying single to center. After a walk for freshman right fielder Taylor Mordecai, Muniz sent a 1-1 pitch up the middle to bring home Viliamu for the walk-off victory.

With the win over the Aggies, Midwestern State begins the season 2-0 for the first time since the 2013 season, also earning a win over future Lone Star Conference foe Western New Mexico in the season opener earlier today.

OPSU struck first in the top of the third with a leadoff home run to center from Barbosa to put the Aggies ahead 1-0.

The Mustangs threatened in the bottom half of the inning by loading the bases. Howerton reached on a fielder's choice before Bermudes reached on a single through the left side. A walk by senior third baseman Katelyn Vinson put three runners on before a popup to the shortstop ended the frame for MSU.

The Aggies added another runner in the fourth with freshman pitcher Janna Ruether starting OPSU off with a leadoff double down the right field line. A walk and fielder's choice moved Ruether to third before a fly out to center by senior shortstop Ashley Jarzombek plated Ruether for a 2-0 advantage.

The long ball hurt the Mustangs once again in the fifth with junior catcher Madison Heathington blasting a leadoff homer to center field to extend the OPSU lead to 3-0.

Harris collected the win in her first appearance wearing the Maroon and Gold, tossing 3.2 innings with four strikeouts while allowing four hits and one run.

Howerton finished the night with a team-best three hits while Viliamu tallied two hits with her team-high four RBI.

Midwestern State continues play in the Lady Chaps Invitational tomorrow beginning at noon with a doubleheader against No. 21 Regis (Colo.) and host Lubbock Christian.