Southern falls short in offensive outburst

Joplin, Mo. – The Missouri Southern softball team dropped its opening game to Missouri S&T in the MSSU/Pitt St. Border Battle Friday evening, 15-10.  Southern (1-5) fell behind early and could not overcome six errors as they lost game one of the round robin tournament.

The Lions and Miners had 23 combined hits and Southern added two homeruns in the loss. Missouri S&T got on the board early as they posted an eight run second inning as starting pitcher Whitney Clute only made it an inning and a third. Clute was charged with six runs in the inning as the Miners only collected three hits.

Missouri Southern responded with three runs in the bottom half of the third after Megan Roark, Brianna Volkmann and Clute all reached, Kelli Bax singled down the right field line to cut the lead to five. The Lions also took advantage of a Miner error to keep the inning going as they only committed two on the night.

In the bottom of the fifth head coach Bill Gray used pinch hitter Brooke Hurley, who came through with a two RBI single making the score 5-11. After designated player Angie Turner walked freshmen Dawn Grass blasted a two out homerun to center cutting the Miners lead to three.

However, Missouri S&T would add a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth making the score 15-8. Relief pitcher Taylor Keal finished the final three innings allowing two runs and three hits while striking out three.

The Lions threatened in the bottom of the seventh as Clute walked again and was drove in by Roark who hit a no-doubt homerun over the right field fence. Missouri Southern only managed one more base runner in the final frame as they lost 10-15.

Kelli Bax pitched three innings of relief for Clute and Kayce Moore. Bax allowed four runs and five hits as she recorded the only Lion strike out on the evening.

Ashley Wallingford picked up the win for Missouri S&T going four innings and allowing eight runs, five of which were earned.

Missouri Southern resumes play tomorrow as they match up with Quincy University at noon followed by Rockhurst at 2 p.m. The Lions will finish out Saturday in the nightcap of day two against fellow conference member Fort Hays State at 6 p.m.