Kearney, Neb. - The Missouri Southern softball team split a double-header at MIAA newcomer Nebraska-Kearney this afternoon falling in game one 3-1 before winning game two 11-1 in six innings.
The Lions' (21-21, 8-12 MIAA) would be led on the day by center fielder Alana Hester who would combine to go 3-for-7 on the day scoring three runs in the two games. Six other Southern players would have two hits on the day including shortstop Michala Wood who went 2-for-6 with a double, three RBI's and two runs scored.
With the Lopers (8-22, 3-11) scoring a single run in each of the first and second innings of game one to take a 2-0 lead, Southern would cut Kearney's lead in half in the top of the fourth when designated player Haley Pypes would hit a one-out single to center field. Moving to second on a groundout by Brooklyn Farrell, Wood would follow with a RBI single to center field plating Pypes. The Lopers' would add a run in the fifth inning on a solo home run to take game one 3-1. Despite going six strong innings giving up only seven hits and three runs, two earned with five strikeouts, starting pitcher Sarah Williams (5-6) would be the hard luck loser.
The Lions' offense would get going in game two scoring 11 runs on 11 hits while Kearney would commit five errors. Southern would score in the first inning on a dropped fly ball and would add a run in the third inning on a Dawn Grass RBI single to give the Lions a early 2-0 lead. Kearney would add a run in the bottom of the third to cut the lead in half before Southern would add five runs in the top of the fourth to open up a 7-1 lead.
Scoring five runs on four hits with the help of a error from Kearney, the Lions' would score runs on a RBI double from Wood, a RBI single from left fielder Chloe Brown scoring Wood, a RBI single from Hester scoring catcher Rachel Harding before finishing the inning scoring a pair of runs on a error by Kearney's third baseman as second baseman Brooke Swadley would get on base scoring Hester and Brown.
Southern would add four runs in the top of the sixth inning on RBI's from Wood, Brown, Harding and pinch hitter Lexie Gardner to take a 11-1 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth. Kearney would lead off the inning with a single and walk, but starting pitcher Haley Pypes would retire the Lopers' final three batters to pick up her team-high seventh win of the year. Pitching six strong innings, Pypes (7-7) would only allow three hits, one unearned run with four strikeouts on the day.
Southern returns to action Wednesday afternoon when they make their final MIAA road trip of the regular season to Pittsburg State to face the Gorillas (19-19, 7-11) in a double-header starting at 5 p.m. in Pittsburg, Kan.