10PM SPORTSCAST: MAY 7, 2010
DURANT, Okla. - Central Oklahoma's Kacie Edwards' two-run double to the left-field gap plated the winning runs as the Bronchos eliminated No. 3 Midwestern State 6-4 in 10 innings Friday afternoon in the Lone Star Conference Championships at the Durant Multi-Sports Complex.
The Mustangs (50-8) were dismissed from the tournament, but will most likely host the one of the two NCAA Division II South Central Regional four-team, double elmination tournaments to be played next Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The 2010 NCAA Division II Postseason Tournament field will be announced Monday morning at 9 a.m. on NCAA.com. A watch party is set for the Mustangs and fans at Shawnee Theater in the Clark Student Center.
The Bronchos (32-18) move on to face East Central, which lost 4-1 in the winner's bracket final to Angelo State, for the right to advance to Saturday's championship round later Friday night.
"We had some tough games and I feel good that we fought through some games," MSU coach Brady Tigert said. "This is good because I feel like we needed some games to get ready for regionals. This is what we've played for all year - to win a regional championship."
The Mustangs broke out to an early lead keyed by back-to-back run-scoring singles by Lauren Craig and Brittney Tanner in the first inning to jump out to a 2-0 lead.
Tanner, who pitched brilliantly through nine inning in a no decision, limited the Bronchos to a single hit over the first four frames but ran into trouble in the fifth.
Tanner battled Nicole Hunt for a 10-pitch at bat before narrowly missing a called third strike on the outside corner of the plate before Hunt drilled her second homer of the season to pull UCO to within 2-1.
Midwestern State committed a crucial error that allowed Kayce Raines to reach on a line drive to left field before Megan Bentley pop-up eluded Mallory Mooney's sprawling effort to set the Bronchos up with runners on first and second with one out in the fifth.
Rachel Lowery followed with an RBI-double to left field to tie the game before Edwards, who would go 2-for-5 with four RBIs, drilled a two-run single to center field to give the Bronchos their first lead of the game at 4-2.
The Mustangs fought back in the sixth inning when Alyson Reynolds led off with a double down the left-field line before MSU drew back-to-back walks to lead the bases with no outs.
MSU pulled within a run after Natalie Rodriguez's sacrifice fly to center field allowed each of the runners to advance before Elena Bennett reached on a fielder's choice when it appeared the Mustangs were about to reload the bases.
However, UCO shortstop Kelsey Tiger caught McKenzie Sickler in a rundown as the junior first baseman strayed too far off the bag between second and third for the second out of the frame.
The Mustangs managed to tie the game when Duff scored on Amanda Potysman's infield single to the circle.
MSU had its chances to win as it stranded runners in seven of the 10 innings for a total of 12 before the Central Oklahoma took the lead for good when the game advanced to the International Tie-Breaker in the 10th inning.
Molly Shivers led off the 10th with a single off of reliever Katie Petersen, who had come in relief of Tanner to start the frame.
Tanner had allowed one earned run on seven hits while striking out eight and walking none.
"Brittney did a heck of a job," Tigert said. "She was mowing them down, then they got lucky on a pitch. That really put us on our heels and we never recovered. I was proud of the way she responded."
Edwards followed with a two-run double for the difference in the game.
Shivers, who started and finished the game as one of four UCO hurlers, claimed the decision to improve to 15-11 on the season. She yielder two runs on four hits to go along with four strikeouts and a walk.
Petersen took the loss to fall to 24-4 allowing one earned run on two hits with one strikeout in an inning of work