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Mustangs push No.1 West Texas A&M to limit before bowing in title game

Hot hitting Midwestern State forced the if necessary game with No. 1-ranked West Texas A&M Sunday in the NCAA Division II South Central Region 1 Championships at Schaeffer Park.
CANYON, Texas -- Hot hitting Midwestern State forced the if necessary game with No. 1-ranked West Texas A&M Sunday in the NCAA Division II South Central Region 1 Championships at Schaeffer Park.

The Mustangs scored 11 runs over the final three innings to claim a 12-11 win in the first game before falling 7-2 in the deciding game.

West Texas A&M moves on to face St. Mary's in a best-of-3 Super Region series next weekend at Schaeffer Park for a berth in the 2014 NCAA Division II World Series set for May 23-26 at the Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Va.

GAME 1: Midwestern State 12, West Texas A&M 11

Midwestern State erupted for 11 runs over the final three innings while matching a school single-game record with six home runs to take a 12-11 win over No. 1-ranked West Texas A&M to force the deciding if necessary game at the South Central Region 1 Championships Sunday afternoon at Schaeffer Field.

Junior third baseman Kelley Schaefer highlighted a five-run uprising in the fifth inning as her three-run shot down the left-field line reset the game 5-5 before junior shortstop Katy Vandewater gave the Mustangs their second lead of the game at 6-5 by sending the next pitch over the left-field fence.

It was Vandewater's second homer of the game as she solo blast to left field allowed MSU draw first blood in the top of the second. It was her third two-homer game of the season as she extended her streak of games with long balls to six games. In fact, Vandewater had nine homers in the six-game stretch and 10 in her last eight contests.

West Texas A&M's Lacey Taylor drilled her second homer of the game -- a two-run shot -- in the bottom of the frame as the Lady Buffs re-established a 7-6 advantage heading into the sixth inning.

But the heroics continued for the Mustangs as sophomore Haley Howerton roped a three-run, inside-the-park homer into the left-field gap to stake MSU to a 9-7 lead.

Midwestern State added to the lead in the seventh as Schaefer led off the inning with her second homer of the game down the left-field line.

Vandewater kept the rally going with her first triple of the season to the right-field gap then scored on freshman Baylee Voigt's ninth homer of the season over the center field fence to push the advantage to 12-7.

West Texas A&M's Kaisha Dacosin ripped a three-run homer to left field in the bottom of the inning to pull the Lady Buffs to within a run before Allie Cranfill ended the threat with a fly out to left field.

GAME 2: West Texas A&M 7, Midwestern State 2

West Texas A&M jumped out to an early lead and rode the arm of ace Rita Hokianga to a 7-2 win in the deciding game of the South Central Region 1 Championship Sunday afternoon at Schaeffer Field.

The Lady Buffs evened their season series with MSU at 3-3 while improving to 54-6 overall.

WT's Alyssa Lemos led off the bottom of the first with a homer down the left-field line, while Jessica Sipe, Allie Cranfill and Lacey Taylor drove in runs to give the Lady Buffs a 4-0 lead.

West Texas A&M tacked on a run in the second and two more in the fifth to extend the advantage to 7-0.

Hokianga retired the first 10 batters she faced before allowing consecutive one-out singles to Haley Howerton and Katelyn Vinson in the fourth inning.

She closed out the inning getting Kelley Schaefer to strikeout swinging and Katy Vandewater to tap out to the circle to end the threat.

Midwestern State broke up the shutout in the sixth as Erin Knox reached on a leadoff single to right field and Kim Jerrick walked. The runners advanced on Howerton's ground out to first before Knox scored on Vinson's RBI groundout to shortstop.

The Mustangs added another run in the seventh when Shelby Carter reached on a leadoff single to center field and advanced to third on Baylee Voigt's double to right.

Carter scored on Krisha Hamm's single through the right side of the infield, but Voigt was gunned down at the plate and Hamm was out trying to advance on the throw to the dish.

Hokianga improved to 24-2 on the season allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts.

Notables
- Midwestern State clubbed 15 homers during South Central Region 1 play ending the season with a program single-season record of 95.
- The Mustangs finish the season averaging 1.72 home runs per game as a team and should jump NCAA Division II leading West Texas A&M (1.66 per game).
- MSU accounted for a program single-game record six home runs in Game No. 1 on Sunday. It was the third time the Mustangs accomplished the feat this season.
- Junior shortstop Katy Vandewater clubbed a homer in six consecutive games which included three games with two round-trippers for a total of nine during the stretch which ended with the second game against West Texas A&M on Sunday. She accounted for 10 over her final nine games in 2014.
- Vandewater became just the second MSU player to club 20 homers in a season joining teammate Katelyn Vinson, who accounted for 22 homers last season.
- Sophomore outfielder Haley Howerton extended her career-best hitting streak to 14 games with a bunt single in the fourth inning of Sunday's second game. The hit was MSU's first of the game. Howerton hit .451 (23-of-51) during the stretch.
- Howerton hit her first collegiate home run Sunday against West Texas A&M -- a three-run, inside-the-parker to give the Mustangs a 9-7 lead in the sixth inning of the Game No. 1.
- Junior third baseman Kelley Schaefer extended her season-best hitting streak to 12 games in Sunday's first game. She hit a torrid .579 (22-of-38) with four doubles, seven homers and 22 RBIs during the stretch. Schaefer was 0-for-2 with a walk in the finale.

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