April 16, 2013

Southern softball wins in extra innings splitting double-header at Pittsburg State

Pittsburg, Kan. - Behind a clutch bases-clearing double from catcher Kathryn Goins in extra innings, the Missouri Southern softball team used a offensive explosion in game two to split the Sonic Trophy Series double-header at Pittsburg State tonight winning 11-8 in game two after falling 5-1 in game one.

With the nightcap tied at eight apiece going into the eighth inning, right fielder Shelby Romines would lead-off the inning with a single. After the next two Southern batters would be retired, third baseman Brooklyn Farrell would slap a single to right center moving Romines to third base. With shortstop Michala Wood walking to load the bases, Goins would drive a bases-clearing double to left center giving the Lions the lead as they would hold on for the win.

The Lions' would start slow offensively on the evening in game one as they would only be able to muster a single hit in the game. Despite getting solid contact on the ball all game, Southern would be unable to find the open area all day as a single to left center by first baseman Dawn Grass to lead off the second inning would be the Lions' only hit of the game.

Falling behind 1-0 early, Southern would tie the game up at one apiece in the top of the third as catcher Rachel Harding would lead off the inning getting on base on an error by the Gorilla's second baseman. With left fielder Chloe Brown moving her over to second on a sacrifice bunt, Harding would move to third on a walk to Romines and would then come home to score on a walk by Grass. Southern would be unable to capitalize with the bases loaded situation as designated player Haley Kinnison would strike out. The Gorillas would respond with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third of a single and then add two more in the fourth to win 5-1.

Turning the page, the nightcap would be a total reversal for the Lions as they would put together their ninth game of the year scoring ten or more runs while tying a season-high with 15 hits and 11 runs batted in. Southern reached both of those marks in their 14-13 win over Southern Nazarene at the Seven State Classic. The Lions would be led by Romines who would go 4-for-5 with a double, a RBI and two runs while raising her batting average on the year to .381. Farrell would also have solid game two going 4-for-4 from the plate with two runs scored. Center fielder Alana Hester and Goins would only have one hit apiece, but each would have key bases-clearing doubles to key Southern's comeback victory.

With the Gorillas (22-20, 10-12) taking a 4-1 lead after five innings and the Lions only having four hits, Southern would catch fire and double that mark in the sixth scoring seven runs on eight hits to take a 8-4 lead. The seven-run inning would be the second-largest single inning for Southern this year after scoring eight runs in the fourth inning at Lindenwood on March 23.

Designated player Haley Pypes would lead off the inning with a single to right center and come around to score on a single by Brown cutting the lead to 4-2. With Brown at first, Goins on third thanks to a walk and Farrell on second after a single, Hester would step to the plate with the bases-loaded and deliver a double to center field clearing the bases and putting the Lions up 5-4. Knocking the Gorillas starter out of the game, Southern would add three more runs as Brooke Swadley would double driving Hester home. Romines would follow with a single to plate Swadley and finally Pypes would return to the plate and single driving home Romines.

Answering with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth, the Gorillas would tie up the game in the bottom of the seventh scoring a run on a wild pitch and add two more on a two-run RBI single.

After Goins double put Southern up by three, Sarah Williams would retire the side in order in the bottom of the eighth to secure her sixth win of the year. Coming on in relief of starting pitcher Kinnison, Williams threw 2.2 innings giving up only two hits and three runs .

The Lions return to action Friday afternoon when they play their first home game since March 30 when they host the Lincoln Blue Tigers (13-16-1, 5-11) in a double-header starting at 4 p.m at Lea Kungle Field.