LAWTON, OK (KAUZ) - The MSU Texas softball team got outstanding pitching performances from senior Gracie Bogle and junior Abbie Lancaster as the Mustangs beat Cameron 3-2 on Friday at McMahon Field in Lawton to take the series opener. Bogle and Lancaster combined for a four-hitter with a season-high nine strikeouts.
After getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first, the Aggies struck for a run in the bottom of the inning. Brenna Busby drew a leadoff walk before Kaylyn Smith beat out an infield single to put two aboard. A groundout back to starting pitcher Gracie Bogle allowed the runners to both move into scoring position. Smith came home when Bogle's first offering to Callie Busby sailed over catcher Amanda Thomas' glove to give Cameron a 1-0 edge. Bogle stranded Smith at third, striking out Busby and Osterdeck to get the Mustangs back in the dugout.
MSU pushed across the equalizer in the top of the third. Third baseman Kelcee Thompson worked a one-out walk before back-to-back singles from first baseman Samantha Loos and Thomas loaded the bases. Second baseman Carli Woolsey lifted a deep fly ball to left, allowing Thompson to score easily and tie the game.
With Bogle putting up zeroes in the circle, the Mustangs broke the 1-1 draw in the top of the sixth. Outfielder Lauren Lindgren drew a four-pitch walk and junior Misty Muniz followed with her second hit of the day on a line drive to the left-center alley. Shortstop Caycee Griffin was plunked to load the bases. Outfielder Tucker Caraway hooked a single through the left-side of the infield to score one. Thompson was hit by Willmon's first offering to plate another run for the Mustangs.
Bogle was lifted in the bottom of the inning after a leadoff double and a walk as Cameron cut the deficit in half. The senior scattered three hits and six walks over 5.1 innings for a pair of runs and exited with two runners on-base. With junior Abbie Lancaster in the circle, the Aggies loaded the bases on an infield single and scored on a walk. Lancaster worked out of trouble with back-to-back strikeouts.
Despite stranding the bases-loaded in the top of the seventh, Lancaster made quick work of the Aggies to earn the save. Lindgren made a phenomenal running catch in center to take away extra bases from Bethany Hines. A groundout and strikeout secured the win for the Mustangs.
Midwestern State is back on the diamond Saturday, March 17, wrapping up the three-game series with Cameron in Lawton with a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
After coming one match shy of upsetting fourth-ranked Hawaii Pacific on Wednesday, 12th-ranked MSU Texas raced to a quick victory against No. 9 Azusa Pacific on Friday in the Spring Break finale at the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas.
The win is the Mustangs first over a team ranked in the Oracle/ITA top 10 since defeating No. 10 Southwest Baptist, 6-3, on March 16, 2016.
Midwestern State opened the match with three straight wins in doubles before back-to-back singles wins clinched the win before the Cougars got on the board.
In doubles, senior Daria Panferova and freshman Maddie Rowe paired up to defeat Mikayla Rinker and Courtney Page, 8-3, at the No. 3 flight to start the day, earning their sixth-straight victory together. Shortly thereafter, MSU's tandem of sophomore Bianca Duff and junior Greta Lazzarotto fought off Toby Miclat and Kara Hinton, 8-6, at No. 2 to push the lead to 2-0 and improve to 9-0 on the year. Junior Maddy Coffman and sophomore Ashley Ramirez completed the doubles sweep, topping Diana Baumgartnere and Petra Ivankovic, 8-6 at No. 1.
MSU never looked back after doubles, getting wins in straight sets at the No. 2 and No. 3 flight to clinch the match. Duff rolled through Ivankovic, 6-0, 6-2, at No. 2 to push the score to 4-0. In the lone ranked matchup of the day, 20th-ranked Panferova made short work of 32nd-ranked Baumgartnere, 6-2, 6-2, to secure the win for the Maroon and Gold.
With the match already decided, APU rattled off wins on the final four singles courts to close the gap. Coffman dropped a 6-2, 6-4 decision to Miclat at No. 1 and sophomore Emilija Segetlija fell to April Wong, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 5. Lazzarotto and Ramirez split the first two sets with Jackie Resler and Hinton, respectively, before bowing out in super-set tiebreakers in the third.
The 20th-ranked MSU Texas men's tennis team closed out play in Las Vegas on Friday with a 7-2 setback to No. 6 Azusa Pacific at the Darling Tennis Center. Midwestern State finished 2-2 against four top-20 teams to move to 8-4 on the year.
In doubles, sophomore Angel Palacios and freshman Alex Martinez Roca took an 8-4 decision over APU's Ryan Nuno and Jesse Haas at the No. 3 flight to improve to 8-1 on the year. Playing against a pair of top-10 doubles teams, including the nation's top-ranked tandem, the 1-0 lead for the Mustangs was short-lived. Senior Vasudev Vijayaraman and sophomore Denney Norrie lost 8-4 to the Cougar's 10th-ranked pair of Jakob Schnaitter and Tony Pejic at the No. 2 line. Junior Dillon Pineda and freshman Nolan McCaig hung with the nation's top-ranked duo of Oliver Frank and Christian Schmid before eventually falling, 8-5 at No. 1.
Palacios provided a bright-spot for the Maroon and Gold in singles. The reigning Lone Star Conference Player of the Week won his 10th-straight match, upsetting 26th-ranked Schnaitter, 6-2, 6-4, to improve to 11-1 on the year.
The Cougars quickly clinched the match in singles, winning in straight-sets on five of six courts. McCaig was unable to overcome Ronald Kang, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 4 and Pineda faltered against ninth-ranked Schmid, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 2 to move the score to 4-1. A pair of losses by Roca and Norrie at the No. 5 and No. 6 flight allowed APU to clinch the victory. Vijayaraman was unable to force a third-set against Frank, 6-4, 7-6 (6), taking the No. 2 player nationally to the wire.
Both Midwestern State teams return to the courts on Friday, March 23, for doubleheader matchups with Colorado State-Pueblo and Colorado Mesa in Pueblo.