Joplin, Mo. - The Missouri Southern softball team split a MIAA double-header this afternoon at home to Northwest Missouri defeating the Bearcats 1-0 in game one before falling 2-1 in game two.
Despite only getting two hits in game one, the Lions (18-16, 5-7 MIAA) would use a strong game by starting pitcher Sarah Williams to get the 1-0 win. Pitching a complete game shutout, Williams (5-5) only allowed two Bearcat hits on the afternoon while striking out three. Getting hits from first baseman Dawn Grass and leftfielder Chloe Brown, the Lions would use Brown's lead-off double in the bottom of the sixth to get across the game's only run.
With Brown on second, center fielder Alana Hester would lay down a sacrifice bunt moving Brown to third. Second baseman Brooke Swadley would reach base on a fielder's choice sacrifice bunt moving to second on the play. Right fielder Shelby Romines would follow with a sacrifice fly to right field plating Brown and give the Lions' the win.
The Lions would get another strong pitching effort in game two from Haley Kinnison (6-4) who pitched into the sixth inning before giving way to Haley Pypes. With the Bearcats scoring a run in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice bunt, the Lions would answer in the bottom half of the inning when third baseman Brooklyn Farrell would lace a RBI triple to right center scoring Grass from first base to tie the game at one. The Bearcats would score the game-winning run in the top of the sixth when they would get a lead-off triple due to a Lions' error in centerfield. That run would come in to score in the next at-bat on a wild pitch by Kinnison.
The Lions would threaten in the bottom of the seventh as shortstop Michala Wood would get a one-out single to center field. Catcher Kathryn Goins would trade places on first base with her as she grounded into a fielder's choice as Wood was out at second. Brown would follow with a double to left field and the Lions would send Goins home on the play, but she would get thrown out at the plate by the Bearcats' third baseman, ending the ballgame. The Lions would outhit the Bearcats seven to five in game two as Farrell went 2-for-3 to increase her batting average to .365, second highest on the team.
The Lions return to action Friday afternoon when they travel to Topeka, Kan. to face the Washburn Lady Blues (7-17, 3-7) at 2 p.m. at the Washburn Softball Complex.