The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Missouri Southern Sports

April 22, 2012

Lions keep MIAA softball postseason tournament hopes alive

TOPEKA, Kan. — Missouri Southern kept its MIAA Postseason Tournament hopes alive Saturday afternoon by splitting a doubleheader at Washburn.

The Lions, ahead 7-1, held on to edge the Lady Blues 7-6 in the first game, snapping a 14-game league losing streak. Washburn rolled past the Lions 11-2 in five innings in the nightcap.

Missouri Southern (16-33, 5-13 MIAA) slipped into last place in the conference standings, percentage points behind a trio of 6-14 teams.

However, the Lions can jump into a tie for seventh with Northwest Missouri State by sweeping today’s 1 p.m. doubleheader at third-place Fort Hays State (27-17, 11-7), which beat Pittsburg State 5-1 and 7-5 on Saturday.

Should the Lions win two games, they would be the No. 7 seed in next weekend’s conference tournament because they swept the Bearcats last month. A split would leave the Lions tied for eighth with Southwest Baptist, Lincoln and Truman State at 6-14, and Lincoln holds that tiebreaker with a 5-1 record among those four teams.

Brooke Hurley and Alysha Poteat drove in two runs apiece for the Lions in the first game. Breanna Volkmann, Hurley and Brooklyn Farrell all had two hits.

The Lions grabbed a 4-1 lead in the third, loading the bases on an infield hit by Farrell, single to center by Brianna Fulkerson and bunt single by Volkmann.

Shelby Romines reached on a fielder’s choice as Farrell was forced out at the plate, but Hurley singled to right to score one run, and another continued home on an error. Poteat then doubled to left-center to score two runs.

Missouri Southern loaded the bases again in the fourth on Farrell’s single right-center, an error and a walk. Hurley’s flyball to left field was dropped for an error, allowing two runs to score for a 6-1 lead. A third runner attempted to score but was out at the plate.

Hurley’s two-out homer to left-center, her sixth of the season, gave the Lions a seemingly comfortable 7-1 advantage in the seventh.

Haley Pypes (10-9) held the Lady Blues to one run and two hits through six innings, but Washburn’s first six batters in the seventh reached base, including a two-run single by Shelby Erickson that made it 7-5. Hannah Cooke replaced Pypes and retired the next three batters on a foulout to third and two flyballs, the first scoring a run on a sacrifice fly.

Pypes struck out six batters and walked seven.

Washburn rapped 16 hits off three Lion pitchers in the second game, including three apiece by Lindsey Moore and Alex Zordel. Zordel drove in three runs with a solo homer in the first inning and two-run shot to left-center in the second.

The Lions avoided a shutout with two runs in the fifth when Volkmann’s single to center and Hurley’s double to left each plated a run. Volkmann and Hurley had two hits apiece.

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