ECU softball splits vs. #15 Midwestern State

WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Kasey Barber hit a three-run homer while Laura Kuestersteffen, Hilary Kuestersteffen and Nicole Sanchez finished with two hits apiece as East Central University held off Midwestern State 6-5 in the first game of a Lone Star Conference North doubleheader Tuesday.

Midwestern State bounced back to claim a 12-2 decision in the second game, which lasted just 4 ½ innings via the run rule.

The Lady Tigers moved to 10-17 overall and 3-13 in the LSC North with the split, while the Mustangs went to 21-9 and 8-4.

ECU 6, MSU 5 (Game 1)

Barber’s three-run blast came during a four-run third inning. Laura and Hilary Kuestersteffen each had a single to set up Barber’s homer, her sixth of the season. The other Lady Tiger run came off a wild pitch as pinch-runner Brandi Goodrich raced home. Goodrich was running for Emily Kennemer, who reached on a single later in the inning.

Leading 4-2, ECU tacked on two more runs in the sixth as Laura Kuestersteffen drove in Stacia Lemons on a groundout to second base and Hilary Kuestersteffen singled in Sanchez to make it 6-2.

The Mustangs made it too close for comfort in the sixth when Alyson Reynolds and Amanda Potysman had back-to-back solo-homers and Maranda Bishop later hit an RBI double to make it 6-5.

Randee Crockett came on in relief after the double and got a groundout and pop-up to end the inning. She allowed only one hit in the final 1 2/3 innings to nail down the save, her first of the season.

Freshman starter Ellen Estabrooks (1-0) was credited with the win after working 3 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs off six hits with one walk and a pair of strikeouts. Dana McLaren pitched two innings and allowed three runs off six hits before giving way to Crockett.

The Kuestersteffen sisters each went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored while Sanchez also was 2-for-4 with a run scored.

The Lady Tigers finished with 11 hits, compared to MSU’s 13.

MSU 12, ECU 2 (Game 2)

The Mustangs struck for six first-inning runs off five hits, with the help of a Lady Tiger error and added another run in the third before plating five more runs in the fourth off five hits.

ECU was limited to just seven hits by MSU’s Brittney Tanner (10-3), who allowed just one run with no walks and three strikeouts.

The Lady Tigers’ first run came in the third when Stefanie Watson reached first on an error with one out and scored off a Sanchez double. The other score came in the fifth when Sanchez led off with a double and ultimately scored off Desiree’ Nordie’s single down the right field line.

Sanchez, ECU’s only multiple-hitter, went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and scored once.

Samantha Watson (0-2) was the losing pitcher after lasting just 2/3 of an inning. Crockett worked three innings and Chelsea Downs pitched 1/3 of a frame.

Five Mustangs – Bishop, Tabitha Yanetti, Jessica Rodriguez, Reynolds and Sarah Weary – collected two hits apiece in MSU’s 14-hit assault.

The next action for the Lady Tigers will be Tuesday, March 24, at Texas Woman’s University in Denton.

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