Joplin, Mo. - Coming off a split in the Sonic Trophy Series match-up against Pittsburg State on Tuesday evening, the Missouri Southern softball team returns home for the first time since March 30 when they host the Lincoln University Blue Tigers Friday in a MIAA double-header starting at 4 p.m.
Needing extra innings to salvage a split against the Gorillas, the Lions got a bases-clearing double from catcher Kathryn Goins to take the game 11-8 in eight innings. Entering Friday's games with a 13-16-1 overall record, the Blue Tigers are 5-11 in the MIAA, good for 12th place in the conference, one spot below the Lions who enter Friday's match-up with a 22-22 overall record, 9-13 in the MIAA. With the top eight teams making the MIAA Post-Season Tournament starting May 2, the Lions look to take advantage of their final six games being at home to make a push toward the postseason.
Coming off a sweep at home of Southwest Baptist and a split with Central Missouri on Senior Day last Sunday, the Blue Tigers enter the double-header hitting .262 as a team with three players batting over .300 led by sophomore shortstop Sam Kircher who is hitting .360 from the plate leading Lincoln in hits (32), at-bats (89), runs (13), doubles (6) and total bases (43). Senior pitcher/ designated player Kristina Hein is right behind Kircher hitting .348 on the year leading the Blue Tigers with a .434 on-base percentage.
On the mound, the Blue Tigers have a staff ERA of 3.96 with 15 complete games and 119 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .303 batting average. The staff is led by senior Clair Lorenz who has a team-high eight wins in 12 starts with a 3.13 ERA. The Pilot Grove, Mo. native has thrown nine complete games, two shutouts, with 86 strikeouts in 109.2 innings of work.