Knox, Thomas carry Mustangs to 8-5 win over Metro State

Junior pitcher Erin Knox threw a complete game with a 4-for-4 performance at the plate while sophomore catcher Amanda Thomas added 3-for-4 outing in Midwestern State's 8-5 win over Metro State (Colo.) Saturday evening at the WT Invitational.

Knox matched a career-high four hits and three RBI, last recording a four-hit outing in her first career appearance as a Mustang on Feb. 2, 2014. In the circle, she improved to 3-0 on the season with a season-high five strikeouts.

Thomas also posted a stellar performance with a season-best three hits, three RBI and three runs scored for the transfer.

Midwestern State (7-7) opened up a 2-0 advantage in the bottom half of the first with singles from senior center fielder Haley Howerton and Thomas getting the Mustangs offense going early. With two outs in the inning, Knox came through for Midwestern with a two-RBI double to center field to light up the scoreboard and put the Mustangs on top.

The MSU lead wouldn't last long as Metro State (3-5) put up a three-run inning in the second. Singles from third baseman Harley Huser and shortstop Ashley Kim put two on the corners with two outs for the Roadrunners before a throw to second on Kim's steal brought home Huser for a 2-1 game. Second baseman Brooke Lovas immediately followed with a triple before coming home on a double by left fielder Hayley Fields to take a 3-2 lead.

The Mustangs overtook Metro with a four-run frame in the bottom half of the second. After walks from senior third baseman Katelyn Vinson and Howerton, Thomas launched a pitch over the left field fence to put Midwestern back in the lead at 5-3. Senior first baseman Chelsey Wall and Knox followed up with back-to-back singles before freshman designated hitter Makenzi Harris drove in another run for the Mustangs with a single to left field to stretch the lead to 6-3 after two.
Midwestern made it a 7-3 ballgame in the third after a Vinson single drove in freshman second baseman Misty Muniz, who had previously walked and moved to second on a passed ball.

Thomas racked up her third hit of the night in the sixth with a one-out double to left field. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Thomas came home on a Knox single to give the Mustangs a comfortable 8-3 advantage heading into the final inning.

Metro State attempted a comeback in the seventh with a single and double to lead off the inning for the Roadrunners. A sacrifice fly by catcher Serena Espinoza plated one run for Metro with two outs before a single from first baseman Carissa Terry made it an 8-5 contest. However, Knox would not allow the Roadrunners to come any closer as she closed out the game with a strikeout.

After recording a win over Chadron State earlier today, the Mustangs will look for another sweep tomorrow on the final day of the WT Invitational. Midwestern will first take on Adams State (Colo.) at 10:30 a.m. before facing Colorado State-Pueblo in a 3 p.m. matchup to conclude the weekend.

Veterans lead Mustangs to comeback win over Chadron State

Midwestern State scored six runs in the final two innings to overcome a four-run deficit and record a 9-7 win over Chadron State Saturday afternoon at the WT Invitational.

With the game tied at 7-7, junior left fielder Taylor Bermudes drove in junior pinch runner Jennifer Quintero for an 8-7 advantage with one out in the seventh inning. After senior third baseman Katelyn Vinson was intentionally walked to load the bases for the Mustangs, senior center fielder Haley Howerton added an insurance run for the Maroon and Gold with a single to first for the 9-7 lead.

In the bottom half of the inning, redshirt freshman pitcher Peyton Helton kept the ball in the infield for a quick 1-2-3 inning to complete the comeback for the Mustangs.

Bermudes matched a career-best three hits to join Howerton in leading the Midwestern State (6-7) to a 14-7 advantage at the plate. With two runs on the day, Howerton moved into a tie for fourth on the MSU all-time runs scored list with 146. Vinson also climbed up the list to sixth with her 142nd run.

Helton (2-5) earned the win in relief, allowing three hits and two runs while striking out one in 3.2 innings.

The Mustangs grabbed a 2-1 lead in the top of the second, loading the bases with no outs before a groundout from sophomore catcher Kara Tilton put the Mustangs on the board for a 1-1 contest. MSU went in front on the ensuing at bat as Bermudes lifted a 2-1 pitch to center field to drive in another score.

In the third, a single to right field from freshman shortstop Makenzi Harris added a run for the Mustangs to push the MSU lead to 3-1.

Chadron State (4-3-1) recorded a six-run frame in the fourth after four hits, a pair of walks and a throwing error in the MSU infield to take the momentum with a 7-3 lead.

However, the Mustangs weren't quite finished yet as Vinson carried a 2-1 pitch over the center field wall with a three-run bomb to cut the MSU deficit to 7-6 with no outs in the sixth. Back-to-back singles from senior first baseman Chelsey Wall and Bermudes led up to Vinson's three-run homer in the inning. Howerton followed with a walk and stolen base before advancing to third on a passed ball and coming home on a groundout from junior shortstop Tammy Villiamu to even the game at 7-7.

Midwestern State will face Metro State at 4:45 p.m. in its final game on day two of the WT Invitational.

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