Mustangs power way to split with #6 Valdosta State

- Midwestern State let one get away in the season opener Saturday morning at the West Florida Spring Tournament falling 6-5 in 10 innings to No. 6-ranked Valdosta State.

But Chelsey Wall and Kelley Schaefer ripped three-run homers to lead the Mustangs to a 6-3 win over the Blazers in Game 2 at the UWF Softball Complex.

"I'm really happy with where we are it," MSU coach Brady Tigert said. "We beat ourselves in the first game. Our whole issue is making sure our pitchers can keep us in the ball game. They did a great job. They are just freshman and they have some maturing to do but I'm very happy with what they did today."

Erin Knox battled her way through 9 2/3 innings allowing four earned runs on five hits in the opener while striking out two and walking three allowing the Mustangs' lineup to ease into the season against the defending South Region champions.

"It was the first game, we made base running mistakes and had 11 strikeouts," Tigert said. "They spin it well. We were chasing pitches we don't need to chase. Once we settled down, we got into our grove. We're not where we need to be yet, but can't wait to get there."

MSU senior catcher Kim Jerrick launched a two-run opposite field shot to right field in the third inning to tie the game at 2-2 and Schaefer gave the Mustangs' the lead with an RBI-single through the right side to plate Katelyn Vinson, who lined a double down the left-field line to lead off the sixth inning.

The Blazers tied the game with a run in the bottom of the sixth, while MSU suffered some tough luck with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh when Jerrick was ruled to leave third base early on Schaefer's lineout to left field.

The Mustangs were unlucky again in the 10th inning when Schaefer line drive down the left field line was snagged by VSU third baseman Hannah Strickland, who doubled Vinson up at the third base to end the inning.

The Mustangs earned the split on a pair of three-run homers in the second game as Wall clubbed her sixth career homer over the center field fence in the fifth and Schaefer drilled her 18th collegiate round tripper over the left-center fence in the sixth inning.

Katlyn Holmes allowed three earned runs on four hits to earn her first career victory. She allowed five walks and fanned three.

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