It was a rough day for pitchers when Midwestern State and Pittsburg State closed out the 2012 Best Western Premier Spring Fling softball tournament. The teams combined for 25 hits, including four home runs, as PSU defeated the Mustangs 14-10 in Denton on Sunday.
Midwestern State out hit the Gorillas 13-12, but an eight run explosion by PSU was enough to put the game out of reach.
Four different Gorillas turned in multiple hit games, while Kreslee Ketcham, McKenzie Rynard, and Riley Campbell all homered. Rynard and Campbell led PSU with three RBIs each. Campbell was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate and led the team with three runs scored.
Courtney Bingham, Kim Jerrick, and Kelley Schaefer all had three hit games for the Mustangs, with Schaefer adding her second home run of the season and driving in four runs. Bingham was a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.
The slugfest started out looking like a pitcher’s duel between MSU’s Lindsi Glenn and PSU’s Tiffany Brown. Bingham led off the game with a double, but that would be the only hit through the top of the second. Pittsburg State changed the complexion of the game in the bottom of the second.
Ketcham belted her first home run of the season with one out in the second to end the scoreless tie. PSU used the long ball again to take a 4-0 lead when Campbell followed a walk to Rynard and a single by Breanna McCracken with a three run shot.
Glenn would get out of the inning with no further damage, and the MSU bats would answer the four run burst with one of their own.
With one out and a runner on second, Bingham drove in the Mustangs first run with an RBI single to cut the PSU lead to 4-1. A walk to Elena Bennett and a fielder’s choice left runners on first and second, setting things up for back-to-back RBI singles from Jerrick and Schaefer.
With the PSU lead cut to 4-3, a walk to Nicki Duff loaded the bases and chase Brown in favor of Jessica Barnes. Barnes would get out the predicament with minimal damage, allowing one run to score when Courtney Ford reached on an error. The game would go to the bottom of the third tied 4-4.
Brenna Hennan took over in the circle for MSU in the third. The Gorillas came up empty, giving MSU the chance to take the lead in the top of the fourth.
Carey Campbell led off the inning with a double to right center, then raced home on a single through the right side by Bingham to give MSU a 5-4 advantage.
Bingham moved to second on a walk to Bennett, then came around to score when Mallory Mooney hit into a fielder’s choice to increase the MSU lead to 6-4.
After a fielder’s choice and an error left runners on first and second with two outs, PSU head coach Elizabeth Economon brought the hook for Barnes. Hilary Erbert would come in to record the final two outs of the inning.
The 6-4 MSU lead held until the bottom of the fifth when things came apart for the Mustangs. Devon McCreath reached on an error to start the inning, but Hennan got two quick outs before the onslaught began.
Ketcham doubled down the right field line to put two runners on for Rynard who smacked her first home run of the season to jolt the Gorillas into a 7-6 lead.
A single, a walk, and a hit batter loaded the bases with two outs. Hennan would end up hitting three consecutive batters to force in two runs before head coach Brady Tigert pulled the Burkburnett native. Glenn would come back in with PSU leading 9-6.
Amanda Decastro welcomed Glenn back to the circle with a single down the left field line to drive in two runs. Brown, who had moved to designated player, added an RBI single to increase the Gorillas lead to 12-6 before Glenn could get out of the inning.
The Mustangs would set things up for a comeback in the top of the sixth when they loaded the bases with only one out. MSU could only push one run across the plate on a ground out by Christina Roosmalen.
The Gorillas tacked on two more in the bottom of the sixth on a double by Cheslyn Mitchell. With PSU up 14-7 going into the seventh inning, the Mustangs tried to mount another comeback.
Two out singles by Mooney and Jerrick put two runners on for Schaefer who empty the bases with a three run home run to cut the PSU lead to 14-10. It would be too little too late as Duff grounded out to end the game.
Hennan would take the loss, giving up eight unearned runs on four hits while striking out one and walking two in 2.2 innings. The freshman falls to 1-2 on the season with the loss.
Erbert took the win to improve to 2-3, striking out one and walking two while giving up four earned runs on four hits in 3.2 innings.
Midwestern State fell to 10-7 on the season and leave the Texas Woman’s University tournament with a 2-3 record.
Pittsburg State improves to 5-6 with their third consecutive victory. The Gorillas leave the TWU tournament with a 3-2 mark.
MSU returns to Mustangs Park to close out a rain filled month of February with a doubleheader against Central Oklahoma. First pitch for game one of the February 28 twin bill is set for 1 p.m.