Softball splits MIAA double-header at home vs. Lincoln

Joplin, Mo. - Behind a shutout from freshman pitcher Sarah Williams, the Missouri Southern softball team split a double-header at home this afternoon against the Lincoln University Blue Tigers falling in game one 4-3 in eight innings before winning game two 5-0.

Throwing seven shutout innings in game two to pick up her seventh win of the year, Williams held the Blue Tigers (14-17-1, 6-12 MIAA) to six hits allowing no runs with five strikeouts and two walks while lowering her ERA to a team-low 2.52. After dropping a heartbreaker in extra innings in game one, the Lions (23-23, 10-14) would rebound in game two scoring five runs on 11 hits.

The Lions would get two hits apiece in the nightcap from first baseman Dawn Grass, designated player Haley Pypes and catcher Rachel Harding. Starting the scoring in the bottom of the first, center fielder Alana Hester would lead off with a single advancing to second an a error from the pitcher. Moving to third on a groundout from second baseman Brooke Swadley, a sacrifice fly from right fielder Shelby Romines would score the Lions' first run.

Holding the Blue Tigers off the board, Southern would tag on four more runs in the fifth when Grass would lead off with a double to right center. Pinch running for Grass would be Brooke Smith who would come around to score after a Pypes single would move her to third scoring on a single from third baseman Brooklyn Farrell. Shortstop Michala Wood would follow with a double to center field scoring Pypes and moving Farrell to third. Knocking out the Blue Tigers' starting pitcher Star McLeod out of the game, left fielder Chloe Brown would groundout to second plating Farrell and moving Wood to third. Finally, Wood would come around to score on a wild pitch to score the Lions' fifth run of the game.

Despite a tough luck loss in game one, freshman Haley Kinnison would keep Southern in the game throwing all eight innings allowing only six hits, four runs, only one earned with four strikeouts.

With Lincoln taking a 3-1 lead with a run in the top of the sixth, Southern would tie the game at 3-3 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning when Brown would leadoff the inning with a solo home run to left field, her first of the year. Hester would follow with a hit by pitch moving to third on a sacrifice bunt from Swadley and would come home to score on a perfectly placed bunt from Romines.

With neither team scoring in the seventh, the Blue Tigers would lead off extra innings with a one-out single to left field from Shantae Duren. Moving to second on a single, Duren would advance to third on a walk loading the bases for lead-off hitter Sam Kircher, who would hit a sacrifice fly to right field plating Duren. Despite a lead-off single from catcher Kathryn Goins, Southern would be unable to get a run across as the next three Lions would be retired.

The Lions are back in action next Friday when they host the University of Central Missouri Jennies (20-18, 10-10) at Lea Kungle Field at 4 p.m. for the annual Pink Game