St. Joseph, Mo. - The Missouri Southern softball dropped their final two games of the Missouri Western Invitational today falling 8-2 to NSIC opponent Wayne State (Neb.) and 8-5 to fellow NSIC foe St. Cloud State.
Southern (10-20) was led at the plate on the day by senior first baseman Dawn Grass who went 2-for-6 from the dish with a double and a pair of RBI's. Five other Lions collected one hit apiece, including Shelby Romines, who hit her fourth home run of year and 13th of her career, while Kathryn Goins and Michala Wood each hit a double.
Playing as the home team in game one against the Wildcats of Wayne State, the visitors got on the scoreboard in the top of the third as WSU plated a pair of runs. The Lions responded with a pair of runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at two as Grass led off with a double to right center. With Jessica Castoe pinch running for Grass on second, Romines followed a Alexah Replogle ground out with a one-out home run to right center.
The Wildcats responded with three more runs in the fifth as they scored a run on a RBI single and then added two more on a triple by Becca Kalhorn. Wayne State added to their lead in the seventh as they tacked on three more runs to take an 8-2 lead as they sent down the Lions in order in the bottom of the inning to take the 8-2 victory. Haley Kinnison got the start in the circle in game one as she pitched the first 2.2 innings allowing three hits, two earned runs and struck out two. Shelby Mitchell relieved her in third as she pitched 2.0 innings allowing three earned runs in the fifth to take the loss.
Playing as the visitors in game two against the Huskies of St. Cloud, the first three innings of the game were scoreless before the home team tagged on a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth. Southern responded with three runs in the top of the fifth to take a 3-2 lead. After a leadoff single by Replogle and a walk by Brooklyn Farrell, the pair each advanced a base on a ground out by Dru Coleman. With Brooke Swadley drawing a walk to load the bases, Alana Hester hit into a fielder's choice scoring Replogle and moving Swadley to second. Wood followed with a two-run RBI double bringing home Swadley and Hester.
Looking to maintain the lead, the Huskies did not comply with the Lions wishes as they answered with six runs of their own to take a 8-3 advantage after five innings. Trying to make up ground quickly, the Lions were unable to score in the sixth before adding two runs in the seventh on a single by Grass that scored Swadley and Hester to cut the lead to 8-5, but Southern was unable to surmount a rally as they fell 8-5. Sarah Williams got the start as she went 3.2 innings before being relieved by Mitchell who took the loss.
The Lions resume MIAA action on the road on Saturday as they travel to Northwest Missouri (10-16, 3-7 MIAA) to face the Bearcats at 2 p.m. at Bearcat Field.