Softball sweeps opening day of Seven State Classic

Bentonville, Ark. - The Missouri Southern Lions softball team won a pair of one-run games on Friday at the Seven State Classic defeating Arkansas-Monticello 6-5 in eight innings and Oklahoma Christian 1-0.

The Lions (5-1) would get things started in the top of third against Arkansas-Monticello when Southern would score a pair of runs off an error by the Blossoms as Brooke Smith and Michala Wood would come around to score on the play. The Blossoms would answer back with two runs in the bottom of the third and tack on another in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead.

The Lions would tie the game at three in the top of the sixth when rightfielder Shelby Romines would lead off the inning with a single to right field. Romines would advance to second on an error by the Blosoms right fielder putting Dawn Grass on first. Haley Pypes would pinch hit for pitcher Haley Kinnison lacing a single to centerfield plating Romines. 

With centerfielder Alana Hester nearly scoring in the top of the seventh, the Lions would get out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh brining on freshman pitcher Sarah Williams in relief to force extra innings.

Southern would do their damage in the top of the eighth tacking three runs on the scoreboard. With one down, catcher Kathryn Goins would reach first on an error by the Blossom's shortstop. Wood would follow with a single advancing Goins to second. With Brooklyn Farrell coming into pinch-run for Goins, third baseman Lexie Gardner would hit a single to center field plating Farrell from second. The Lions would not be done scoring as they would load the bases, with two outs, for second baseman Brooke Swadley as she would drive in a two-run RBI single to right field plating Wood and Gardner.

Arkansas-Monticello would make it interesting in the bottom of the seventh adding two more runs, but Williams would get the final Blossoms batter to groundout to Wood giving the Lions their fourth victory of the year.

The Lions would turn around and play Oklahoma Christian later in the day. Trying to keep their offense going, the Lions would get on the board right away in the top of the first as Romines would smack a solo home run to left field to give the Lions a early 1-0 lead. Grass would follow with a single up the middle, but that would be the end of the threat. 

The Lions would hold the Eagles off the scoreboard all afternoon as senior pitcher Hannah Cooke would throw a complete game three-hitter going seven strong innings striking out four batters.

Southern returns to action in Bentonville, Ark. tomorrow with games at 10 a.m. and noon against Illinois-Springfield and Rockhurst.