St. Joseph, Mo. - Despite scoring seven runs and combining for 16 hits on the day, the Missouri Southern softball team lost their opening two games of the Missouri Western Softball Invitational this afternoon dropping a hard-fought 6-5 game to fifth-ranked Augustana (S.D.) before losing 5-2 to Minnesota State Mankato at Heritage Park.
The Lions (8-18) were led at the plate by sophomore shortstop Michala Wood who went 3-for-7 from the dish with a double, run and a RBI. Four other Lions finished with two hits each as Shelby Romines, Brooklyn Farrell, Alana Hester and Chloe Brown all ended up with a pair of hits.
Playing as the visitors in game one, Augustana (14-2) got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the first as the Vikings tagged on a pair of two-out runs. Southern responded with a run of their own in the second as Farrell hit a RBI single up the middle to score Alexah Replogle from second after she got on base after a error by the Augie shortstop.
After Augustana added a run in the third to go up 3-1, the Lions took their first lead of the game scoring four runs in the fourth to take a 5-3 advantage as Brown hit a grand slam, her sixth of the year, driving in Romines, Farrell and Kathryn Goins. The Vikings answered Southern's scoring with a run of their own in the fourth, and one more in the fifth to tie up the game at five. A scoreless sixth followed by a three and out from the Lions in the top of seventh, Augustana won the game in the seventh scoring the winning run on a Jenelle Trautmann RBI double that scored Mackenzie Alstott from third.
Game two saw the Lions face the Mavericks of Minnesota State Mankato (12-6) of the NSIC as Southern was the home team. After a scoreless first three innings, MSUM added three runs in the top of the fourth on a three-run RBI double by Ashley Thell. Southern responded with two runs of their own in bottom of the frame on a double by Wood that drove in Brown from first which was followed by a single from Dawn Grass that scored Wood from second.
Mankato added a single run apiece in the sixth and seventh to go up 5-2. Only able to get two hits in the final three innings of action, the Lions were unable to plate anymore runs as Kinnison pitched all seven innings surrendering only two earned runs and striking out four batters.
Southern returns to action on Saturday for day two of the MWSU Invite taking on Central Missouri (12-10) at 1 p.m. and Concordia-St. Paul (4-12) at 3 p.m. at Heritage Park.