The Lady Buffs (35-17) move on to face the winner of the upcoming #1 Angelo State and #8 Cameron quarterfinal Saturday at 2:30 p.m., while the Wildcats (29-16) return to Abilene, hoping they'll still earn a berth in the NCAA Championship. The selection show airs Monday, April 30 at 9 a.m. CT on NCAA.com.
The first LSC semifinal (Saturday at noon) features Incarnate Word and Midwestern State.
For the Wildcats, today's game was one of repeated missed chances as they didn't score their first and only run until the sixth when senior catcher Erin Gilliland drew a bases-loaded walk that plated Sara Vaughn.
In the end ACU left eight runners left on base, including three in the sixth and two in the first. Even more disappointing was the fact that five of ACU's seven leadoff hitters reached base with nowhere to go afterward. The Wildcats didn't even go down in order until the seventh where West Texas starter Marci Womack (20-10) induced three ground-ball outs to end the game.
West Texas grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first off ACU starter Peyton Mosley (11-8). ACU recorded the first two outs on a pair of nice defensive stops by Vaughn and the all-conference first team pitcher, but then Kim LeComte drew a walk and stole two bases before coming home on Meghan Brown's RBI double.
Two plays later, Mallory Wyatt skied one to right field which Lyndi Smith lost in the sun, leading to the second Lady Buffs' run.
Another challenging fly ball gave WT a 3-0 lead as Madison Buckley and Vaughn bumped each other in shallow left field. Vaughn, however, retrieved the ball in time to gun Wyatt down at home plate.
The Lady Buffs nearly made it a 5-0 game in the second, but Keanna Winkfield made a leaping catch at the wall in centerfield to rob LeComte of a home run.
Mosley nearly escaped the third, but with two outs and a runner at third, Lacey Seidl scorched a RBI line drive over the outreached glove of third baseman Courtney Flanary. WT went up 4-0 on that hit, thus ending Mosley's outing after 2.2 innings pitched.
Mosley walked four and struck out one, with three of her four runs ruled earned despite the pair of miscues.
Caitlyn Crain relieved Mosley with Seidl at first and struck out Mercedes Garcia swinging to end the threat.
The ACU junior retired the first seven batters she faced, including five by strikeout, before getting into trouble in the sixth.
With one out, Seidl bunted her way on base and reached second on Crain's throw in the dirt. Then after the second out, Meghan Slattery lifted a high fly ball to left that got caught up in the wind and blown past Buckley's reach.
Seidl scored on the hit to give WT its final run and 5-1 advantage.