The MSU Texas softball team suffered a pair of one-run setbacks to Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday at Mustangs Park. The Mustangs lost the opener, 5-4, before faltering in a 2-1, 10-inning affair in the nightcap.
In the opener, MSU's Lauren Lindgren and Amanda Thomas each went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Lindgren broke the scoring seal in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI double high off the wall in center field to pull the Mustangs within one. Thomas followed with a no-doubter to left-center, giving the Maroon and Gold a 3-2 lead.
Starting pitcher Riley Adams was lifted in the top of the fifth after a pair of walks put two on with two outs. Javelinas third baseman Rachael Longoria welcomed reliever Abbie Lancaster into the game with a three-run shot to left.
Trailing 5-3, Lindgren made TAMUK pay for a costly dropped fly ball in right, plating Tucker Caraway on a single through the infield.
In the bottom of the seventh, MSU put the tying and go-ahead runs on base with a two-out rally. Kelsey Eropkin lined a two-out double into left and advanced to third when Kelcee Thompson reached on an error. With runners on the corners, Misty Muniz hit a slow-roller up the middle, but second baseman Alex Acosta-Cantu got to the ball and flipped to second to close out the game.
In the nightcap, both teams pushed home a run in the third inning before both pitching staffs hung zeroes on the board. Kingsville's Lauren Oatman legged out a one-out triple before coming home on a double from Loren Kelly. MSU's Samantha Loos answered with a solo bomb in the bottom of the inning, her team-leading sixth home run of the season.
Senior starting pitcher Gracie Bogle scattered seven hits and three walks for one run over 7.2 innings of work. The right-hander worked out of several jams, stranding multiple runners on base in the fifth and seventh before being lifted for Lancaster with two outs in the eighth.
After a two-out walk by Lancaster loaded the bases for the Javelinas, the Idabel, Okla., native struck out Alexei Gonzalez on three pitches to end the eighth.
MSU had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the ninth to walk off as winners. Carli Woolsey reached on an error with one out before Thomas rifled a double down the left field line put a pair in scoring position for the Mustangs. The Javelinas went to Breanna Smith in the jam as the southpaw induced a pair of popups to extend the game.
In the 10th, Roxy Chapa singled to right and was lifted for Sydney Andrews as a pinch-runner. Andrews stole second and advanced to third on a deep fly ball. With one out, Haley Boyett missed on a suicide squeeze attempt. Caught between third base and home, Thomas' throw back to the bag bounced off Andrews, giving the Javelinas the lead.
MSU Texas pulled within four in the final two minutes, but Midwestern State was unable to overcome a 15-point deficit to start the fourth quarter in a 71-66 loss to Texas Woman's on Saturday.
The Mustangs shot 53.8 percent in the final period, getting 10 points from senior guard Whitney Taylor during a 12-5 run that saw MSU close the gap to four with five minutes to play. Over the final five minutes, however, the Maroon and Gold would only add two more points, missing five of six shots with three turnovers.
Senior guard Kristin Rydell led the Mustangs with 14 points, including 10 in the second half, while Taylor closed the night with 13 points. Senior guard Jasmine Richardson added 12 and junior forward Chelsea Adams tacked on nine to pace the MSU offense.
Four starters for the Pioneers recorded double-figure scoring nights, led by forward Alexis Nezianya with 20.
MSU closes the regular season at 13-13 overall and 10-10 in the Lone Star Conference, entering the conference tourney as the No. 7 seed. The Mustangs take on West Texas A&M in the opening round in Frisco next week.