Long ball powers Texas A&M-Commerce to sweep over Mustangs

WICHITA FALLS, TX -  Texas A&M-Commerce belted out seven home runs to earn a Saturday sweep over the Midwestern State softball team with a 9-6 game one win and 13-3 game two victory to split the season series at Mustangs Park.

In game one, Midwestern State (25-23, 10-14 LSC) recorded a five-run fifth to erase a deficit and take a 6-3 lead on the Lions. The Mustangs loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a walk before junior left fielder Taylor Bermudes drove in the first run of the inning with a single through the left side. Sophomore catcher Amanda Thomas propelled the Mustangs to a 4-3 lead in the next at bat with a two-RBI double to center. A throwing error by the Texas A&M-Commerce (33-15, 15-13 LSC) shortstop plated Bermudes before a groundout to second brought in Thomas to cap off the inning.

The Lions answered right back in the top of the sixth with a six-run inning behind a grand slam from first baseman Luci Ponce and a two-run homer from designated hitter Haley Colwell for a 9-6 final.

Senior third baseman Katelyn Vinson led the Mustangs with a 3-for-4 outing with two runs scored while Thomas and junior first baseman Erin Knox added two hits apiece with Thomas finishing with a team-best two RBI. Knox (8-6) was handed the loss in the circle, allowing six runs, five hits and four walks in 1.2 innings of work.

Colwell and center fielder Baylea Higgs each recorded three hits to lead the Lions at the plate while Katie Dean (10-3) came on in relief to earn the win with five strikeouts in 2.2 innings.

Ponce continued her big swing into the second game, blasting a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence to give A&M-Commerce a 2-0 advantage in the first.

Knox evened the contest in the third with a two-run shot of her own, sending a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall for a 2-2 ballgame.

The Lions plated six runs in the fifth with Ponce posting her third long ball of the day to give the Lions a 5-2 advantage with two outs in the inning. Right fielder Magen Lynch then stretched the lead to 8-2 with a three-run bomb to right field to complete the big inning for the Lions.

Midwestern tacked on a run in the sixth with Thomas coming around to score on a RBI single from junior designated hitterBaylee Voigt for an 8-3 score.

A&M-Commerce ended the day by posting a five-run seventh for the 13-3 final. Left fielder Kylene Hatton took first after being hit by a pitch before scoring the first run of the frame on an illegal pitch. Pinch hitter Cherie Jackson drove in two more runs with a single through the left side before shortstop Monica Cherry tallied the fourth home run of the game for the Lions to end the scoring with a two-run shot to center.

Thomas finished 2-for-3 at the plate with one run scored to lead the MSU offense. Freshman Makenzi Harris was saddled with the loss (8-5), giving up 10 hits, eight runs and one walk.

Ponce finished with nine RBI on the day with five coming in game two. Selena Rima (13-8) recorded the win in the circle, allowing just two hits, one run and one walk with two strikeouts in 4.1 innings.

Midwestern State travels to Lawton, Okla., for its final regular season road trip next weekend with a four-game series against Cameron. The Mustangs begin the series with a doubleheader Friday at 1 p.m. before a twin bill Saturday starting at noon at McMahon Field.

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