Fans of the long ball came away happy as Midwestern State and Incarnate Word split a softball doubleheader at Mustangs Park on Saturday. Courtney Bingham and Courtney Ford both hit home runs for MSU in an 11-5 game one win, while three Cardinals went deep for UIW in a 6-4 game two victory.
With Friday’s 3-2 win, the Mustangs take 2-of-3 games in the weekend series.
Bingham belted two home runs in game one, becoming the 10th player in program history to do so. The Arlington native hit a three run blast to center in the second inning, then turned in a solo shot with her next at bat in the fourth.
Ford’s solo home run in the third highlighted a fine day at the plate for the sophomore from Graham. Ford was a perfect 4-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored and a double in addition to the home run.
Three other Mustangs had multiple hit games, including Kim Jerrick who went 3-for-3 with a double and two stolen bases. Elena Bennett was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a stolen base, while Mallory Mooney was 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
MSU starting pitcher Brenna Hennan got in a little trouble early, with Incarnate Word putting runners on second and third with two outs. The Burkburnett High School standout worked her way out of first inning trouble and held the Cards hitless the next two innings as MSU took the lead.
The Mustangs picked up one run in the first when the speedy Bennett reached on a bunt single before stealing second and moving to third on a wild pitch. Bennett scored on a sacrifice fly by Mooney to give MSU a 1-0 lead.
Bingham and Ford increased the Mustangs lead to 5-0 before Incarnate word got on the board in the top of the fourth.
Loading the bases with a walk and a hit by pitch around a Alex Yarbrough double, UIW cut the Mustangs lead to 5-1 when pinch runner Alex Zepeda scored on a wild pitch. Hennan would get out of the inning with no further damage, and the Mustangs broke the game open.
Bingham’s second home run of the day sparked a five run bottom of the fourth for MSU. RBIs from Mooney and Kelley Schaefer increased the Mustangs lead to 8-1 before Ford put them in position for a run rule win with a two RBI double.
MSU took the 10-1 lead into the top of the fifth. The Cards quickly erased thoughts of a short game one with a little power of their own. After Chelsea Muskopf reached on an error, Sarah O’Brien homered to left center to cut the Mustangs lead to 10-3.
Hennan would give up back-to-back singles before being lifted in favor of Lindsi Glenn. UIW loaded the bases against Glenn when a funny hop caught second baseman Carey Campbell hard on the shoulder, giving Lea Padilla an infield single. Yarbrough then grounded into a fielder’s choice to bring in the Cards third run of the inning and cut the MSU lead to 10-4.
Mooney added and RBI single in the bottom of the fifth and the UIW answered with an RBI single from Monica Acuna to bring the final to 11-5.
Hennan took the win in game one, striking out three while giving up three earned runs on seven hits in four innings as she improved to 2-7 on the season.
Glenn recorded the first Mustangs save of the season, giving up one run on one hit in three innings pitched.
Whitney Waltrip took the complete game loss for UIW. Waltrip struck out three and gave up 11 runs on 15 hits as she fell to 6-6.
Glenn would get the start in game two as she faced off against Cardinals ace Briana Sanchez.
The Cards had no problem getting base runners off Glenn, they just couldn’t bring them around to score as they left five runners on base in the first two scoreless innings.
Sanchez kept the Mustangs off balance with off speed pitches, but also had control problems as she loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter in the first innings. Sanchez also escaped the first two innings unscathed before the Cards took the lead in the third.
With runners on first and second, Acuna hit a ground ball back to the pitcher that led to a throwing error. Yarbrough, who had reached on a walk, came around to score and give UIW a 1-0 advantage.
While Sanchez held MSU hitless though three innings, the Cards took a 2-0 lead on an RBI single from Lauren Salinas in the top of the fourth. The Mustangs finally broke through against Sanchez in the bottom of the inning.
A lead off walk to Ford and a single by Schaefer put runners on first and second for Christina Roosmalen. The MSU first baseman put down a hard bunt that scooted past everyone to an empty field near second base. The bunt single allowed pinch runner Megan Chartier to come in from second, cutting the UIW lead to 2-1 and leaving runners on the corners.
After the Cards recorded the first out of the inning, Bingham reach via hit by pitch to load the bases for Bennett. An RBI single from Bennett tied the score 2-2 and left the bases loaded for Mooney who dropped a single down the left field line to drive in two and give MSU a 4-2 lead.
With Hennan taking the circle for Glenn to start the fifth, the Cards cut the Mustangs lead to one on a sacrifice fly by Muskopf. UIW then turned to the long ball in the final two innings.
O’Brien belted her second home run of the doubleheader to lead off the sixth, tying the game 4-4. Yarbrough and Melanie Padilla went back-to-back to lead off the top of the seventh, pushing the Cardinals out to a 6-4 lead.
MSU threatened to comeback in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with two outs. A diving catch by O’Brien on a line drive to left by Mooney ended the game and secured the UIW win.
While the bats weren’t as lively for MSU in game two, Bennett did sneak a piece of school history into the game. The MSU all-time stolen base leader swiped three bases in game two, matching a school record.
Sanchez took the win to improve to 12-5. The Cards ace struck out seven and gave up four runs on six hits. Sanchez also dished out 10 walks in the game, the second most walks for MSU in program history.
Hennan took the loss, falling to 2-8. The freshman walked five and gave up four runs on five hits in three innings of relief.
Glenn walked three and gave up two unearned runs on six hits in four innings.
Incarnate Word leaves Wichita Falls with an overall record of 18-11 and evens their record in Lone Star Conference play at 6-6.
Midwestern State is now 14-17 overall, with a 4-8 mark in conference play.
The Mustangs step out of the ordinary for their next game on March 27. MSU travels to Lubbock to take on Division I Texas Tech at Rocky Johnson Field. First pitch for the Wednesday night match up is scheduled for 6 p.m.