February 23, 2014

Softball splits doubleheader at Drury

Springfield, Mo. - The Missouri Southern Lions softball team split a doubleheader at Drury University this afternoon falling 5-3 in game one before prevailing 6-3 in game two.

The afternoon saw a pair of Lions (4-6) have great days from the plate offensively as seniors Chloe Brown and Dawn Grass both hit the ball around the yard. Brown collected four hits in her five at-bats smacking a double and home run, her second of the year, while driving in three runs. Grass went 4-for-7 with two doubles and a pair of RBI's. Three other Lions also had multi-hit games as Southern tallied 19  as a team in the two games.

In the first game, the Lions threatened right away in the top of the first as they had runners on the corner with two-outs, but were unable to get a run. After getting two more hits, but no runs in the second, the Lady Panthers (3-11) struck the scoreboard first as they plated a pair of runs on a RBI triple to right field. After a scoreless third, the Lions finally crossed the plate in the fourth as they cut DU's lead in half as Brown sent a solo shot to left field.

Responding to the Lions score, Drury tacked on three more runs in the bottom half of the inning on a pair of singles to take a 5-1 lead. Southern responded with a pair of runs in the fifth as catcher Kathryn Goins led off the inning with a solo homer to left field. After a single by Alana Hester chased Drury's starter from the game, Hester came around to score on a RBI double by Grass. With runners on second and third with one out, the Lions looked to cash in on more runs, but a pair of groundouts ended the threat as they only got one more hit in the final two innings falling by a final of 5-3. Haley Kinnison took the loss in game one pitching 3.2 innings striking out four before being relieved by the duo of Shelby Mitchell and Sarah Williams, with the latter retiring all five batters she faced.

The second game of the doubleheader saw the Lions have more success as they jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Hester and Michala Wood scored runs for Southern. Tagging on two more in the third thanks to a two-run RBI single up the middle by Brown that drove in Grass and Kinnison, the Lions held a 4-0 lead after three innings. After adding a run in the fourth on a Grass sacrifice fly that plated Brooklyn Farrell from third, Drury got on the board with an unearned run in the fifth. The Lions responded with a single run of their own in the sixth as Hester scored her third run of the day leading off the inning with a single, stealing second and third and then coming around to score on a sacrifice fly by Wood.

Drury added two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI double to make it a 6-3 game, but starting pitcher Williams completed her second complete game in as many days retiring the final two batters in the seventh to pick up her second win of the year as she only allowed five hits and struck out five. 

Southern returns to action on Friday as they host the Teri Mathis Zenner Memorial Tournament at the Joplin Athletic Complex (3301 West 1st Street) starting with the first game at 3:30 p.m. against Sioux Falls. The tournament will also run on Saturday and Sunday as it will feature 18 teams playing 40 games with action going on four different fields on Saturday and Sunday.