WICHITA FALLS, TX - Senior third baseman Katelyn Vinson belted two home runs to match the Midwestern State career home run record and lead the Mustangs to a 17-2 five-inning thrashing of Colorado State-Pueblo in the WT Invitational finale Sunday afternoon at Buffalo Sports Park.
Vinson tied former Mustang Kim Jerrick's school record of 56 home runs that she set during her four-year career from 2011-14, earning NFCA All-American honors her junior and senior seasons.
Midwestern State wrapped up the WT Invitational with a 4-1 record against South Central Region opponents. With the win over the ThunderWolves, the Mustangs improved to 9-7 on the season after closing out the tournament on a four-game winning streak with wins over teams from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Colorado State-Pueblo dropped to 1-10 on the year.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the third, the Mustangs offense put up an eight-run frame to quickly take control of the game. Freshman second baseman Misty Muniz led off the inning with a walk before scoring the game-tying run after hits from senior center fielder Haley Howerton and junior left fielder Taylor Bermudes. Vinson followed with a single through the left side to drive in Howerton for the go-ahead run at 2-1 with no outs in the inning.
A fielder's choice by junior designated hitter Erin Knox increased the MSU lead before senior first baseman Chelsey Wall brought in the fourth run for the Mustangs with a single to center field. Junior shortstop Tammy Viliamu kept the hot offensive streak going by pushing the Mustangs advantage to 6-1 with a two-RBI single up the middle. Muniz made her way back to the plate for the second time in the third before crushing a pitch over the left field fence for her second career home run and an 8-1 cushion.
Back-to-back doubles for the ThunderWolves plated their second run in the top of the fourth before the Mustangs returned to the plate to put the game out of reach with a nine-run inning.
Bermudes led off the bottom half of the fourth with a walk before Vinson dialed up her first homer of the afternoon with a shot to center field to make it a 10-2 game. Three-straight singles followed by a pair of walks added two additional runs for MSU for a 12-2 score with no outs in the inning. A sacrifice fly by Muniz and a single by junior pinch hitter Baylee Voigt extended the advantage while an error by the ThunderWolves outfield pushed another run across for a 15-2 contest. Vinson ended the frame with her second long ball with a two-run blast to left center to push her RBI total to five for the day.
Vinson finished 3-for-5 while Howerton recorded a 2-for-3 outing at the plate to lead Midwestern. Muniz and Viliamu each added three RBI while a total of six Mustangs tallied two runs apiece.
The Mustangs recorded 14 hits for the second time today and for the third time this weekend after also doing so in wins over Chadron State (Neb.) and Adams State (Colo.).
Redshirt freshman Peyton Helton improved to 2-1 on the weekend, striking out four while allowing four hits and two earned runs.
Midwestern State heads to the NSU Softball Festival for its final regular season tournament next weekend, hosted by Northeastern State at RiverHawks Park and Tahlequah High School in Tahlequah, Okla. The Mustangs will begin play Saturday against Rogers State (Okla.) at 9 a.m
A seven-run third inning carried Midwestern State to a dominant 10-0 run-rule victory over Adams State in five innings Sunday morning at the WT Invitational at Buffalo Sports Park.
In the circle, junior Tayler Jerrick limited Adams State (2-9) to just four hits for the game while striking out a season-high four batters to record the first shutout of the season for the Mustangs.
Offensively, Midwestern State (8-7) belted out 14 hits for the second time in three games with senior second baseman Chelsey Wall and junior designated hitter Erin Knox each going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Sophomore catcher Kara Tilton led the Mustangs with a career-best five RBI after her grand slam in the third inning.
After two scoreless innings, the MSU bats came alive in the third frame to pull away from the Grizzlies. Senior center fielder Haley Howerton led off the inning for MSU and quickly moved around the bases after a single, stolen base and sac bunt to advance to third. Senior third baseman Katelyn Vinson then recorded the first of her two doubles on the day to right center to put the Mustangs on the board at 1-0.
The Mustangs at bat was far from over as Knox and Wall posted back-to-back singles to bring home Vinson and stretch the MSU lead to 2-0 with two outs. A walk for freshman shortstop Makenzi Harris loaded the bases for the Mustangs before Tilton blasted a pitch over the center field wall to clear the bases with her first career grand slam wearing the Maroon and Gold.
Junior right fielder Jennifer Quintero followed with a walk before stealing second and coming home on Howerton's second single of the inning for a comfortable 7-0 lead after three.
Midwestern plated two more runs in the fourth with a Wall double and Harris sacrifice fly scoring Knox, who reached on a fielder's choice earlier in the inning. Tilton drove in her fifth RBI of the morning with a single to the pitcher to make it a 9-0 contest.
The Mustangs rounded out their scoring in the top of the fifth with a double from Knox bringing in sophomore first baseman Amanda Thomas.
The Grizzlies left five on base and three in scoring position for the game as the Mustangs limited ASU to base runners in the first and fourth innings.
Midwestern State looks for its fourth-straight win at 3 p.m. in the final game of the WT Invitational against Colorado State-Pueblo.