WICHITA FALLS - The ACU Wildcats scored six runs in the second inning Saturday afternoon as they knocked off Midwestern State, 8-3, to salvage the last game of a Lone Star Conference softball series at Mustangs Park.
The Mustangs won the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, 7-0, to claim the series victory. The Wildcats' win in the regular-season finale pushes them to 29-15 overall and 15-11 in the LSC, while the Mustangs finish the regular season at 25-24 and 15-12.
Both teams have qualified for the single-elimination Lone Star Conference Post-Season Tournament, which will be played Friday and Saturday in Denton. ACU will be the No. 5 seed in the eight-team field and will play No. 4 seed West Texas A&M at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The winner of that game will play the winner of Friday's game between No. 1 Angelo State and No. 8 Cameron in Saturday's 2:30 p.m. semifinal game. The tournament championship game is set for 6 p.m.
After being blanked in the first game on Saturday, the Wildcats wasted little time in jumping on MSU starting pitcher Lindsi Glenn, pounding out nine hits and six runs in just two innings. All of those runs and eight of the hits came in the second inning when the Wildcats took control of the contest.
Lyndi Smith led off the second with a double, went to third on a wild pitch and then scored the game's first run on an single by Erin Gilliland. Brianna Fowlkes then homered to left-center on a 1-0 pitch to make it 3-0.
Keanna Winkfield and Madison Buckley then reached on back-to-back singles before a Sara Vaughn drove in Winkfield with a double to make it 4-0. Courtney Flanary singled to center to drive in Buckley for a 5-0 ACU lead. Kim Briggs ended the scoring with a sacrifice fly to center field that drove in Vaughn to make it 6-0.
ACU added another run in the fourth on a Smith RBI single, and then scored one more time in the fifth on Buckley's RBI double to center field.
Shelby Hall (5-2) went the distance in the pitcher's circle, scattering 12 MSU hits over seven innings, not allowing a walk and striking out two Mustangs.
In the opening game of the doubleheader, MSU freshman pitcher Brenna Hennan delivered her second shutout of the season, limiting the Wildcats to just six hits and three walks over seven innings as she improved to 6-10 on the season.
Caitlyn Crain started for the Wildcats, but she gave up six hits and four runs (three earned) in just 2 2/3 innings of work. Peyton Mosley gave up three runs and four hits in 2 1/3 innings of work before Hall finished up by throwing one inning of scoreless relief.
The Mustangs put two runs on the board in the first inning, single runs up in the second, third and fifth innings, and then two more in the sixth inning.
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