Joplin, Mo. - After going 1-3 last weekend at Washburn and Emporia State, the Missouri Southern softball team looks to rebound this weekend traveling to #14 Fort Hays State on Friday and Nebraska-Kearney Saturday for their final weekend of play on the road in the MIAA.
The Lions (19-19, 6-10 MIAA) will travel to Hays, Kan. for a double-header Friday at 3 p.m. at Tiger Stadium before traveling to Nebraska-Kearney to face the Lopers in a 1 p.m. double-header Saturday at Dryden Park in Kearney, Neb.
With six players batting over .300 for the season, the Lions are led by Shelby Romines who is hitting .398 (47-for-118) on the year starting all 38 games in right field. Tied for the 10th-highest average in the MIAA, Romines leads the Lions with seven home runs and 31 RBI's while hitting 11 doubles and scoring 28 runs. Ranking fifth in the MIAA in total bases with 81, Romines is also in the top ten in the conference in slugging percentage slugging .686% and on-base percentage with .493. Third baseman Brooklyn Farrell continues to have a nice season as she is batting .345 (29-for-84) on the year with eight doubles, four triples and three home runs along with 21 RBI's. Another Lion having a strong season is center fielder Alana Hester who leads the MIAA with 22 stolen bases while ranking second on the team with 41 hits and leads the team with 29 runs scored.
On the mound, the Lions hold a collective a 3.70 ERA and are led by a pair of freshman in Sarah Williams and Haley Kinnison. Williams leads the Lions with a 2.80 ERA going 5-5 on the year starting ten games pitching a team-high 75.0 innings while only surrending 30 earned runs on the year. Not far behind, Kinnison is second on the team holding a 3.00 ERA with a 6-4 record with two shutouts while striking out 74 batters and holding opponents to a .227 batting average in 74.2 innings.
#14 Fort Hays State Tigers (33-5, 13-1 MIAA): Sitting atop the MIAA standings at 13-1 in conference play, the 14th-ranked Tigers bring a 11-game winning streak into this weekend and are 20-2 since March 12. Boasting the reigning NFCA/Louisville Slugger National Pitcher of the Week and five-time MIAA Pitcher of the Week in Maddie Holub, the senior pitcher leads the MIAA with a 0.76 ERA with a 18-1 record including 14 complete games while striking out 215 battters and holding opponents to a .124 average. Holub also leads the Tigers with a .432 (51-for-118) batting average with a MIAA-leading 14 home runs and 107 total bases.
Hitting .300 as a team, sophomore center fielder Amanda Vaupel is second on the team hitting .415 and is tied with Holub for the team lead with eight doubles while driving in 29 runs. Freshman Paxton Duran is the other half of the Tigers' 1-2 punch in the pitcher's circle going 13-4 on the year with a 2.09 ERA and 85 strikeouts.
Nebraska-Kearney Lopers (7-21, 2-10 MIAA): Falling in eight of their last nine matchups coming into this weekend, the Lopers come into Saturday's matchup in a tie for 13th place with Lincoln in the MIAA. Hitting .237 as a team, the Lopers are led by sophomore shortstop Mallory Noakes with a .276 average while junior outfielders Jennifer Kramer and Whitney Frederick are both batting .275.
The Lopers are led on the mound by junior pitcher Brittnie Kreiser with a 3.42 ERA who sports a 2-3 record in five starts. As a team, the Lopers have a 4.33 ERA with eight complete games while opponents are hitting .323 off of them for the year.