WICHITA FALLS, TX - Midwestern State's attempt at a fourth-straight NCAA Sweet 16 appearance came up short Monday afternoon as the 17th-ranked Mustangs fell to No. 15 Cameron for the third time this season with a 5-2 defeat in the NCAA South Central Region #2 Championship at the Streich-Henry Tennis Complex.
The second-seeded Aggies earned a pair of wins in doubles play before posting three straight-set singles victories with 18th-ranked Paula Gutierrez clinching the match for Cameron at No. 1 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 33 Maddie Schorlemmer.
Cameron collected its fifth regional title in program history and the first since 2012 while improving to 22-3 on the season. The Aggies move on to face California (Pa.) at the NCAA Championships on Wednesday, May 18 in Denver, Colo.
Midwestern State ended the season at 18-10 after making its 16th NCAA Tournament showing and fourth-straight postseason appearance.
The careers of seniors Maddie Schorlemmer, Lauren Pineda and Lindsay Nochowicz also came to an end Monday as the trio combined for a 285-113 (.716) record while donning the Maroon and Gold. Pineda and Schorlemmer finished their four-year careers ranked fifth and sixth on the all-time wins list, respectively, with Pineda posting a 118-43 career record and Schorlemmer recording a 113-40 mark. Nochowicz totaled a 54-30 record in two seasons with the Mustangs.
Both teams battled throughout doubles competition as the Mustangs hung tough against a Cameron squad that had beaten them just a week prior in the Lone Star Conference Championship.
Cameron took an early lead on MSU as Gutierrez and Angie Torres rallied back from a 4-1 deficit to hand sophomore Amy Clifton and freshman Greta Lazzarotto an 8-5 defeat at No. 2 doubles. However, the Mustangs answered right back with an 8-5 win on court three with Schorlemmer and junior Abby Whiteposting their fourth-straight victory. Schorlemmer and Lazzarotto both finished the season with 24 doubles wins to tie for the third most in a single season in program history.
At No. 1 doubles, Nochowicz and freshman Eirini Kontaki battled the 15th-ranked duo of Alina Gorina and Zhenia Shviadok in a match that came down to a tiebreaker.
After winning a combined five games against the CU duo in the previous two meetings this season, Nochowicz and Kontaki claimed a 7-6 lead on the Aggies before the nationally-ranked tandem held off four match points and recorded a 9-8 (3) win to give CU a 2-1 lead heading into singles.
White evened the match up at 2-2 with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Mathilde Thibaudat at No. 6 singles, improving to a team-best 19-4 on the season.
Just moments later, Gorina and Shviadok recorded wins seconds apart at No. 2 and 3 singles, respectively, to put the pressure on the Mustangs with a 4-2 lead. Shviadok collected a 6-2, 6-2 win over Lazzarotto while Gorina earned a 6-1, 6-3 decision over Kontaki to push the Aggies back in front.
At No. 1 singles, Gutierrez came back from a 3-0 deficit in the second set to record the clincher and send the Aggies to the national championships with the straight-set win.
No. 15 Cameron 5, No. 17 Midwestern State 2
May 9, 2016 at Lawton, Okla. (Streich-Henry Tennis Complex)
1. No. 18 Paula Gutierrez (CU) def. No. 33 Maddie Schorlemmer (MSU) 6-3, 6-4
2. Alina Gorina (CU) def. Eirini Kontaki (MSU) 6-1, 6-3
3. Zhenia Shviadok (CU) def. Greta Lazzarotto (MSU) 6-2, 6-2
4. Angie Torres (CU) vs. Amy Clifton (MSU) 5-7, 6-1, 2-1, unfinished
5. Samantha Wood (CU) vs. Lindsay Nochowicz (MSU) 6-1, 5-2, unfinished
6. Abby White (MSU) def. Mathilde Thibaudat (CU) 6-0, 6-3
1. No. 15 Alina Gorina/Zhenia Shviadok (CU) def. Eirini Kontaki/Lindsay Nochowicz (MSU) 9-8 (7-3)
2. Paula Gutierrez/Angie Torres (CU) def. Amy Clifton/Greta Lazzarotto (MSU) 8-5
3. Maddie Schorlemmer/Abby White (MSU) def. Samantha Wood/Mathilde Thibaudat (CU) 8-5
Midwestern State 18-10; National ranking #17; Regional ranking #3
Cameron 22-3; National ranking #15; Regional ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (6,3,2,1)
NCAA II South Central Region #2 Championship
Midwestern State seniors Haley Howerton and Katelyn Vinson earned their second all-region accolade of the season Monday afternoon as the duo were named to the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association All-South Central Region Second Team, voted on by the region's sports information directors.
The pair also captured National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-South Central Region Second Team honors last week with Vinson earning her third NFCA all-region award and Howerton collecting the first all-region honor of her career.
Howerton concluded her MSU career as a four-time All-Lone Star Conference selection, earning first team honors for the first time two weeks ago prior to the Lone Star Conferece Championship. The Lewisville native led the Mustangs with 79 hits, 58 runs scored and 25 stolen bases, and ranked third with a .383 batting average while making all 58 starts in center field this season. Howerton ranked second in the LSC in hits, third in runs and sixth in stolen bases in 2016.
Howerton finished her career second in the MSU record books in hits (267), runs (193) and stolen bases (80) while setting the at bats record with 743 trips to the plate. She also finished the season ranked in the top five on the NCAA Division II Active Career Leaders list in at bats and runs scored.
Vinson garnered all-region accolades for the first time since 2014 when she was also tabbed to the region's second team after earning first team honors and being named an NFCA First Team and Daktronics Third Team All-American during her freshman campaign in 2013. The Southlake native was named the 2016 LSC Player of the Year and a top 25 finalist for the 2016 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player of the Year after leading MSU with a .438 batting average, 52 RBI, 50 walks and 13 home runs. Making 53 starts at third base this season, Vinson ranked first in the LSC in walks and on base percentage (.578), second in home runs and slugging percentage (.791), and third in batting average.
In 2016, Vinson set school career records in batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, home runs, RBI, total bases and intentional walks while also becoming the LSC career home run leader after finishing with 66 career bombs. Vinson led the NCAA Division II Active Career Leaders list this season in home runs and ranked second in RBI (224) and total bases (492).
Vinson was a four-time all-LSC selection with three first team honors, being tabbed the 2013 LSC Freshman of the Year. She was also named the Daktronics South Central Region Player of the Year in 2013.
A total of 27 student-athletes and 11 schools were represented on the all-region teams with West Texas A&M leading the region with seven selections including six first team picks. WT's Kilee Halbert was named the South Central Region Pitcher of the Year while Lubbock Christian third baseman Morgan Colburn earned the region's player of the year honor.
Player of the Year: Morgan Colburn, Lubbock Christian (Texas)
Pitcher of the Year: Kilee Halbert, West Texas A&M