MSU roundup: softball drops twinbill, tennis teams advance

MSU softball lost two games to #17 Tarleton State on Friday night / Source: KAUZ
MSU softball lost two games to #17 Tarleton State on Friday night / Source: KAUZ

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The MSU softball team celebrated its senior class of Amanda Thomas, Gracie Bogle, Taylor Brintzenhoff, Tayler Jerrick and Kelcee Thompson between games on Friday at Mustangs Park, but was unable to combat a pair of big seventh innings in losses to 17th-ranked Tarleton State. Midwestern State (15-22, 9-20 LSC) dropped the opener, 11-2, before an 8-2 setback in the nightcap.

The TexAnns utilized the long ball in the opener, hitting five home runs, including three in an eight-run seventh to complete the win.

MSU's Kelsey Eropkin belted her fifth long ball of the season in the bottom of the first to cut the deficit to 2-1 after a two-run home run from Megan Durante in the top of the frame.

A leadoff round-tripper from Georgia Capell stretched the TSU lead to 3-1 in the third before MSU's pitching staff of Bogle and Kelsey Knox kept the TexAnns in check for the next three innings.

The Mustangs closed the gap to one-run in the bottom of the sixth. Junior outfielder Tucker Caraway drew a leadoff walk and promptly stole second to move into scoring position. With two outs, Thomas lined a single the opposite way, scoring Caraway and cutting the score to 3-2.

Leading 3-2 in the top of the seventh, Tarleton State's first nine hitters reached base in the frame, including a pair of back-to-back homers to open the inning. Capell capped the scoring for TSU with a grand slam to left-center, clearing the bases.

In the nightcap, Lauren Lindgren, Caycee Griffin and Thomas all logged multi-hit efforts to have the Mustangs in striking distance, but a four-run seventh proved too much.

Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth, MSU loaded the bases with one out. After an infield popup, Carli Woolsey hit a chopper to third that was booted, allowing the Mustangs to plate a run. A flyout to deep center field quelled from Brintzenhoff quelled the MSU rally.

In the bottom of the sixth, Lindgren took Megan Rosewell deep with a no-doubter to the power-alley in left-center, cutting the score to 4-2.

Tarleton hit a pair of two-run homers in the top of the seventh to prevent the upset bid by the Mustangs.

Midwestern State is back on the diamond on Saturday, April 21, wrapping up the regular season against Tarleton State. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. in the series finale.

#16 Men advance to LSC Tournament finals

The 16th-ranked MSU Texas men's tennis team overcame an early deficit despite dropping two-of-three doubles courts to take down Western New Mexico, 5-2, at the HEB Tennis Center in the Lone Star Conference Championship semifinal match. Midwestern State (19-5) advances to the LSC Finals tomorrow in a rematch of last year's championship against 44th-ranked Cameron at 10 a.m. in Corpus Christi.

For only the fourth-time this season and first-time in league play, the Mustangs were unable to win at least two doubles matches, falling behind WNMU 2-1. Previously, MSU was 0-3 when failing to grab the early lead, falling to 15th-ranked Hawaii-Hilo, sixth-ranked Azusa Pacific and Tyler JC.

The Mustangs 11th-ranked tandem of Dillon Pineda and Nolan McCaig suffered an 8-4 upset to Liam Fraboulet and Vladimir Gnilozubov at the No. 1 flight to open the match, their first loss against a conference opponent this season.

The duo of Vasudev Vijayaraman and Denney Norrie quickly evened the match, downing Niko Barr and Zachary Grabovic, 8-3, at No. 2 to improve to 16-8 on the year.

For just the second-time this season and the first-time in their last 14 matches, the 24th-ranked pair of Alex Martinez Roca and Angel Palacios fell to David Valles and Pablo Santibanez at No. 3. Martinez Roca and Palacios saw their 13-match winning streak snapped at the hands of the Mustangs, falling to 19-2 on the season.

It was all Maroon and Gold after that as MSU won in straight-sets on four singles courts to clinch the match.

77th-ranked Palacios moved into a tie with Brett Emerson (2006) for the sixth-most single season combined wins in program history, sweeping Barr, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 3 to even the match. The sophomore's 19 singles wins on the season ties Austin Crawford (2013) for the seventh-most in single season history.

Freshman Martinez Roca gave MSU the lead for good, blasting Valles, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 5 to improve to 18-4 on the year. The Castelldefels, Spain, native moved up to 11th on the single season combined wins list with his 37th-overall win of the season.

Freshman Jean Muniz toppled Santibanez after pulling out a tiebreaker in the first, 7-6 (5), 6-2 to push the advantage to 4-2. The Brazilian grabbed his fifth-straight win to improve to 14-5.

12th-ranked Vijayaraman clinched the match for the Maroon and Gold with a 6-4, 6-3 decision against Fraboulet at No. 1. The senior bolstered his record to 15-9, all at the No. 1 flight, with the win.

Pineda was tied in the third-set with Gnilozubov, 6-1, 4-6, 6-6 while McCaig was up 5-1 in the third when the match was decided.

Midwestern State takes on No. 2 seed and 44th-ranked Cameron on Saturday in the Lone Star Conference Championships finals at the HEB Tennis Center in Corpus Christi. First serve is set for 10 a.m.

#14 MSU women get revenge on Javelinas, advance to finals

The 14th-ranked MSU Texas women's tennis team avenged an early-season, 5-4, loss to Texas A&M-Kingsville with a 5-2 win over the Javelinas in the Lone Star Conference Championship semifinals on Friday at the HEB Tennis Center in Corpus Christi. Midwestern State (17-6) advances to the championship match for the sixth-straight season where it will take on 19th-ranked Cameron at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

For the sixth-straight match, the Mustangs swept all three doubles courts, improving to 17-0 when capturing an early 3-0 lead.

The duo of Daria Panferova and Maddie Rowe improved to 18-0 on the season, taking down Victoria Romanovskaia and Viviana Ortiz, 8-1, at No. 3. The 18-straight wins are the fourth-longest in program history.

MSU's sixth-ranked pair of Maddy Coffman and Ashley Ramirez proved why they are among the nation's best, toppling Laura Motalvo and Stephanie Baerman, 8-1, at No. 1 for their sixth-straight win.

With history on the line, the tandem of Bianca Duff and Greta Lazzarotto broke Monika Graff and Leah Roberts' program record, winning their 21st-consecutive match, beating Phonephathep Philavong and Valerie Ruiz, 8-6, at No. 2 to complete the sweep.

In singles, Panferova extended her dominance over Montalvo, 6-4, 6-1, running her singles winning streak to 16 and improving to 16-1 on the year. With a win tomorrow, the Mustangs' lone senior can match the school's record of 17 in a row, previously set by Monika Graff (2010) and Sara Butler (2000-01).

The Javelinas got two points back with wins at the No. 5 and No. 6 flights, but Ramirez clinched the match, winning her fifth-straight, besting Rauer in three-sets, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2, at the No. 4 flight.

23rd-ranked Coffman led Romanovskaia 1-0 in the third set after splitting the first two, 4-6, 7-6 (4) while 66th-ranked Duff led 6-5 in the second set against Philavong.

Midwestern State takes on 19th-ranked Cameron on Saturday in the Lone Star Conference Championships finals at the HEB Tennis Center in Corpus Christi. First serve is set for 2 p.m.

Copyright 2018 KAUZ Sports/MSU Athletic Communications All Rights Reserved