Mustangs finish LSC-opening series sweep at UTPB

ODESSA, TX (KAUZ) - The Midwestern State softball team's pitching staff of Tucker Caraway and Abbie Lancaster stymied UT Permian Basin in the series finale, 3-1, holding the Falcons to just one hit on the day.

Junior second baseman Samantha Loos continued her hot streak, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored while junior right fielder went 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Much like the earlier games in the series, the Mustangs jumped right on the Falcons, scoring in the top of the first to break the seal. Loos singled down the left field line to open the game and sophomore outfielder Kelsey Eropkin followed with a bunt single. Senior third baseman Kelcee Thompson moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt before Woolsey plated both runs with a single to center, staking MSU a 2-0 lead.

Tucker Caraway got the start for the Maroon and Gold. The junior scattered four walks over the first two innings while striking out one before being lifted for junior reliever Abbie Lancaster in the third.

MSU added an insurance run in the top of the fifth to expand the lead to 3-0. Loos pulled a leadoff single through the left side of the infield to get things going. After a popup and a wild pitch, Thompson launched a double into the right-center alley, easily scoring the junior.

Caraway and Lancaster combined to keep the Falcons off the hit column until the bottom of the fifth before things got dicey. Vanessa Alonzo reached on a leadoff error, advancing to second on the Mustangs' miscue. With Amanda Aldridge running for Alonzo, Sloan Springfield rolled a grounder to first, allowing Aldridge to move up 60-feet. Lizzie Souza followed with the first hit of the day for UTPB, an RBI single to center to cut the MSU lead to 3-1. A pair of walks sandwiched around a groundout had the bases-loaded for UTPB, but Lancaster induced a routine popup to third in foul territory to get the Mustangs out of the jam.

After the threat in the fifth inning, Lancaster put the game on ice, retiring the final six batters to earn her third win of the season. The Idabel, Okla., finished with one unearned run on one hit and three walks while striking out three over the final five innings.

Midwestern State recorded its first Lone Star Conference sweep since sweeping Western New Mexico on April 1, 2017. It's the first opening LSC series sweep since MSU swept ENMU on March 9, 2013. The Mustangs 8-2 record is the best start to a season since opening 22-1 in 2011.

Midwestern State is back on the diamond Tuesday, Feb. 20 in a midweek doubleheader with Oklahoma Christian. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. in Oklahoma City.

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