MSU roundup: tennis teams win, softball drops 2 in NM

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The 24th-ranked MSU Texas women's tennis team snagged a 5-4 upset of 20th-ranked St. Edward's on Thursday at the Austin Tennis Academy to win their fifth-straight match and improve to 9-5 on the season.

Midwestern State swept all three doubles courts for the fifth-straight match to grab an early 3-0 lead. MSU's tandem of Bianca Duff and Greta Lazzarotto picked up an 8-6 win over Laura Galvan and Elisa Guillen at the No. 2 flight to get the Mustangs on the board and win their 11th-straight match to move to 11-0. The 17th-ranked pair of Maddy Coffman and Ashley Ramirez fought off 31st-ranked Beth Hayward and Valentina Martinez, 8-4, at No. 1 to stretch the lead to 2-0. The Mustangs duo of Daria Panferova and Maddie Rowe remained unbeaten at 8-0, finishing off the sweep, 8-6, against Marissa Williams and Paola Carpio at No. 3.

The Mustangs quickly clinched the match in singles, picking up straight-set wins on the No. 2 and No. 3 courts. Panferova made quick work of Martinez, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 3 moments before 66th-ranked Duff rolled over Galvan, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 2.

The Hilltoppers pulled closer with wins on the final four courts, including three wins in super-set tiebreakers.

Men roll to 4th-straight win, 6-3 at SEU

The 16th-ranked MSU Texas men's tennis team earned a 6-3 decision against St. Edward's on Thursday at the Austin Tennis Academy. With the win, Midwestern State wins its fourth-straight match to improve to 12-4 on the season.

Featuring two nationally ranked doubles teams, the Mustangs took a 2-1 lead into the singles matches. The 23rd-ranked duo of Alex Martinez Roca and Angel Palacios quickly took down Andre Mercado and Zac Robinson, 8-1, at No. 3 to improve to 12-1 on the year. The pair of Vasudev Vijayaraman and Denney Norrie was unable to fend off a late rally from Davor Ivkovic and Chase Morehouse, 8-4, at No. 2 to tie the match at one. Shortly thereafter, MSU's 30th-ranked team of Dillon Pineda and Nolan McCaig closed out doubles with a flurry, taking down Luis Diaz and Chase Bartlett, 8-6, at No. 1.

The Mustangs got wins on the first three singles courts to clinch the match. Roca downed Logan Buignet, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 6 for his fourth-straight win, moving to 12-3 on the season and stretching the MSU lead to 3-1. 27th-ranked Vijayaraman earned his third win over a nationally-ranked opponent, besting 23rd-ranked Bartlett, 6-4, 6-0, to push the advantage to 4-1. 44th-ranked Palacios posted his 14th-straight victory with a 6-1, 6-4 decision against Gabriel Zuniga at No. 3. Palacios trails only former standout Michael Turner's 16-straight wins in 1999 for the most in program history.

Midwestern State returns to the courts on Friday, March 30, for regional matchups with Arkansas-Fort Smith on the road. First serve for both the men and women is set for noon.

Softball drops both ends of twinbill in Silver City

The MSU Texas softball team pushed across a combined 16 runs in a pair of setbacks on the road to Western New Mexico. Midwestern State dropped both games, 8-7 and 12-9, to the Mustangs at WNMU Softball Field in Silver City.

Junior first baseman Taylor Brintzenhoff led off the top of the third with a hit-by-pitch before freshman second baseman Marley Eller reached on a fielder's choice. After a popup to third, sophomore outfielder Tucker Caraway deposited a single down the right field line to put two aboard. Sophomore outfielder Kelsey Eropkin lined a two-out single into left to give MSU a 1-0 lead.

MSU added to the lead in the fourth to stretch the advantage to 2-0. Senior catcher Amanda Thomas rifled a leadoff double into the left field corner when a groundout to the left side allowed the backstop to move up to third. Brintzenhoff pulled a two-out single through the left-side of the infield, plating Thomas easily from third.

WNMU rallied to grab the lead in the bottom of the frame. Victoria Arganda wore a pitch with one out and quickly moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Dominique Gonzalez singled up the middle to put runners on the corners. After an RBI single from Tycee Coplan, Ariana Maldonado hit a three-run shot to give the Mustangs a 4-2 advantage.

The Maroon and Gold responded with a five-spot in the top of the fifth to take the lead for good. Caraway led off the inning with a single to center and Eropkin was hit-by-pitch to put the first two aboard. Sophomore outfielder Lauren Lindgren reached on a bunt single, bringing home Caraway from second. Thomas drove an RBI single to center before a passed ball scored Lindgren and gave MSU the lead. Brintzenhoff belted her second long ball of the season, a two-run tater to center, to stretch the lead to 7-4.

A two-out, two-run home run off the bat of Brooklyn Misenhimer cut MSU's lead down to one in the bottom of the fifth before eventually pushing across the equalizer in the bottom of the sixth. After two quick outs, Mariangela Garcia was hit by junior pitcher Abbie Lancaster's 3-2 offering to extend the inning. A two-out single from Grisdey Paredes moved the tying run into scoring position. Alicia Habitzreu hooked a double into left to tie the game at seven.

MSU stranded two aboard in the top of the seventh to give WNMU the walk off opportunity. Gonzalez reached with one out via a hit-by-pitch. Coplan dropped down a bunt and an errant throw allowed both runners to move into scoring position with one out. Maldonado lifted a fly ball to right field, scoring Gonzalez and give the Mustangs the walk-off win, 8-7.

In the nightcap, MSU put up three runs in each of the first two innings, but surrendered a five spot in both the second and third innings, hindering the comeback bid.

Eropkin and Eller each logged three hits in the setback while Thomas went 2-for-3 with a three-run blast in the second.

Trailing 12-6 in the top of the seventh, MSU mounted a rally to bring the tying run to the on-deck circle. Eller collected her third hit of the day on a leadoff single up the middle and Brintzenhoff followed with a double down the left field line. Shortstop Caycee Griffin loaded the bases on a one-out hit-by-pitch before a fielder's choice brought home the first run of the inning. Eropkin rifled a two-run double down the left field line to score Caraway and Brintzenhoff, but a groundout quelled the rally by the Mustangs.

Midwestern State is back on the diamond tomorrow to wrap up the four-game series with Western New Mexico. First pitch for the doubleheader is slated for 1 p.m. in Silver City.

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