The Joplin Globe
Missouri Southern starts the final month of the softball season with a 10-game road trip.
The Lions have doubleheaders this weekend at Washburn at 2 p.m. today and at Emporia State at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Missouri Southern (18-16, 5-7 MIAA) is tied with Pittsburg State and Central Missouri for eighth place in the conference standings. The Gorillas (17-15, 5-7) play today at Emporia State and Saturday at Washburn while the Jennies are at home against Truman State and Lindenwood.
Coach Bill Gray’s Lions went 1-3 last weekend at home against Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri State, two of the top seven teams in the league. The Lions had the tying run thrown out at the plate to end their second game against the Bearcats.
The Lions are batting .282 as a team, led by right fielder Shelby Romines at .385 with six home runs and 24 runs batted in. Other .300 hitters are Brooklyn Farrell (.365), Brooke Swadley (.341), Haley Kinnison (.333) and Alana Hester (.306, plus 20 stolen bases in 23 attempts).
Pitcher Sarah Williams is 5-5 with a 2.01 earned run average. Kinnison is 6-4 with a 3.04 ERA, and Haley Pypes is 5-4 with a 4.35 ERA. Williams and Kinnison have both pitched 69 innings, 13 more than Pypes.
Washburn (7-19, 3-7) also has lost three of its last four games. The Lady Blues’ Deidra Jones is batting .406 with four homers and 15 RBI.
Pittsburg State is looking to snap a four-game skid. Kreslee Ketcham is batting .364 with nine homers and 25 RBI. Pitcher Kyndel Shelburn has a 6-5 record, a 2.40 ERA and has struck out 101 batters in 87 innings.
Emporia State (22-9, 9-3) is fourth in the league but only one game behind co-leaders Fort Hays State and Central Western and percentage points behind third-place Missouri Western.
Cacy Williams (.402 average, 8 homers) and Stephanie Goodwin (.380, 10 HR, 32 RBI provide a 1-2 punch for the Lady Hornets. Pitcher Karly Schmelzer is 15-4 with a 2.16 ERA and 100 strikeouts.