Joplin, Mo. - After a walk-off home run from senior first baseman Dawn Grass helped the Missouri Southern softball team split a non-conference doubleheader at home against Saint Joseph (Ind.) on Wednesday, the Lions open up MIAA action this weekend at defending national champion Central Oklahoma on Friday and then travel to Northeastern State to battle the RiverHawks on Saturday.
The Lions (6-10) enter this weekend's action with five players batting over .300 with Grass leading the way hitting .420 on the season as she leads the team with 21 hits, five doubles and 32 total bases. Chloe Brown has also gotten off to a strong start hitting .341 (14-for-41) with four doubles, six runs and eight RBI's. Michala Wood has started all 16 games at shortstop and is hitting .308 (16-for-52) leading the team with nine runs batted in.
Southern is hitting .281 as a team with a .419 slugging percentage. The pitching staff has assembled a 4.60 ERA as Haley Kinnison leads the club with four wins and 30 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .258 batting average.
Central Oklahoma enters this weekend with a 13-7 overall record, 4-0 in the MIAA, having won six of their last seven games. They opened up MIAA action at home last weekend sweeping Lindenwood and Lincoln and are hitting .343 as a team on the year. They are led at the plate by junior outfielder Kaylee Brunson who is hitting .423 as she leads the Bronchos with 31 hits, 21 runs scored and 20 stolen bases. In the circle, UCO sports a 1.76 ERA and hold the opposition to a .223 batting average. Senior pitcher Kalynn Schrock is the ace of the staff as she has a 9-4 record with a 1.45 ERA and 83 strikeouts on the season.
Northeastern State enters action this weekend sporting a 15-7 overall record, 3-1 in the MIAA, having won 13 of their last 14 games dating back to February 22. Much like the Bronchos, they also opened up MIAA action at home last weekend with Lindenwood and Lincoln as they swept the Blue Tigers before splitting with the Lions. The RiverHawks are hitting .316 as a team with a pair of players batting over .400 as senior outfielder Madison Reed is hitting .417 and senior infielder Allyson Pogue is hitting .400. Reed leads the team in hits with 30 and Pogue leads the team in on-base percentage at .479%. In the circle, NSU has a 3.04 ERA as a staff as sophomore right-hander Kayce Wooldridge leads the team with seven wins and 40 strikeouts along with a team-low 2.00 ERA.