Kristina Gutierrez tossed a one hit shutout while the Mustangs scattered seven hits at the plate to take a 5-0 victory over Drury University at Mustangs Park on Sunday. The win closes out the first MSU Invitational of the 2011 season.
The Mustangs may have felt like they were playing extra innings against the Lions as Drury was the only team MSU did not beat by run rule. Midwestern finishes the tournament 4-0, taking each win by shutout and outscoring opponents 36-0.
Gutierrez continued her hot start to the season, striking out 14, walking none, and hitting two batters to improve to 7-0. A Brittney Smith single with one out in the seventh inning spoiled the no-hitter bid by Gutierrez. The Pearland native already had one no-hitter in the tournament against Eastern New Mexico on Friday.
At the plate, Nicki Duff and Kim Jerrick would have multiple hit games as the top of the lineup provided most of the offense for MSU. Duff also swiped three bases in the game, while Courtney Bingham continued to be a run producer with two RBIs.
Caitlin Krebs would go the distance in the circle for Drury, giving up five runs on seven hits and walking seven. Krebs is now 0-3 on the season.
The score could have been more lopsided than it was, but the Lions worked out of danger in the first inning. A one out double by Duff was followed by Bingham reaching base by a hit batter. A double steal would put runners at second and third.
Jerrick walked to load the bases, but the Mustangs came up empty when Mallory Mooney hit into a fielders choice and Alyson Reynolds grounded out to end the inning.
The Mustangs threatened again in the second inning, but again came away with nothing. Carey Campbell and Amanda Potysman walked to start the inning before McKenzie Sickler popped up for the first out. Elena Bennett grounded out to first, but the runners advanced to second and third on the play.
Duff walked to load the bases with two outs, but Krebs got Bingham to pop up to end the inning with no damage done.
While Gutierrez cruised in the circle, MSU finally broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth on a double steal.
Amanda Potysman walked with one out and was replaced by pinch runner Megan Chartier who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sickler. Bennett singled to put runners on the corners then stole second and moved to third on a throwing error after Chartier stole home.
After Duff walked and stole second unchallenged, Bingham increased the Mustangs lead to 3-0 with a two RBI single to right before the Lions could get out of the inning.
RBI singles by Duff and Jerrick in the sixth inning would add two insurance runs Gutierrez wouldn’t need. Smith’s single was the only blemish for the senior pitcher in the seventh inning as she struck out the other three batters to end the game.
Drury ends the MSU Invitational 1-3 and is now 1-4 overall on the season.
Midwestern State improves to 15-1 overall this season.
The Mustangs will travel to Abilene for a double header against Abilene Christian on February 22, then gear up for another tournament in Wichita Falls. The Holiday Inn at the Falls MSU Invitational begins March 4 at Mustangs Park.
Midwestern begins the tournament on the opening day with a 3 p.m. game against Abilene Christian.