The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 8, 2013

Southern softball opens with two wins

The Joplin Globe

DURANT, Okla. — Thanks to late-inning heroics, Missouri Southern opened its softball season with two victories Friday in the Southeastern Invitational at the Durant Multi-Sports Complex.

The Lions, scoring all their runs in the last two innings, decked Ouachita Baptist 10-2 in their opening game. The Lions then scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to beat Arkansas Tech 5-4.

The Lions have two more games today, facing Drury at noon and Northeastern State at 2 p.m.

Missouri Southern had nine hits against Arkansas Tech, five of them during a three-run fifth to take a 4-3 lead. Michala Wood doubled to left-center with one out and scored on pinch-hitter Sarah Williams’ two-out single to center. Alana Hester tripled to right field to score the tying run, and Brooke Swadley followed with a single to left to give the Lions the lead.

The lead was short-lived as the Golden Suns tied it on a bases-loaded walk in the sixth. Arkansas Tech threatened in the ninth with a runner on  third base with one out. But center fielder Hester caught a flyball, then threw out the runner at the plate to end the inning.

Using the international tiebreaker rule, Dawn Grass was placed on second base to start the bottom of the ninth. She remained on second after two groundouts to the left side, but Wood singled up the middle to score Grass.

Hester, Swadley, Shelby Romines and Wood all had two hits.

Starting pitcher Hannah Cooke gave up four runs and six hits in five innings, walked one and struck out two. Haley Pypes pitched four hitless innings, walked four and fanned three.

In the first game the Lions trailed Ouachita Baptist 2-0 after five innings.

But the Lions grabbed the lead with four runs in the sixth. Hester scored the first run on an error, and Sara Stearns’ double plated the tying run. Wood then put the Lions ahead with a two-run double.

Lexie Gardner’s three-run home run capped a six-run seventh inning. The first three runs scored on Romines’ double, Stearns’ groundout and Kathryn Goins’ single.

Goins went 3-for-4 to lead the Lions’ 13-hit attack. Hester, Swadley, Romines and Wood each contributed two hits.

Haley Kinnison won in her collegiate debut, yielding one earned run and three hits, walking six and striking out eight.