The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 26, 2013

MSSU softball set for final playoff push


The Joplin Globe

— Looking to make one final playoff push, Missouri Southern wraps up its softball season with home doubleheaders against Southwest Baptist at 2 p.m. Saturday and Central Missouri at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Saturday is Senior Day, and pitchers Kayce Moore and Hannah Cooke will be recognized after the first game.

Sunday is the Lions’ annual Pink Game. The Lions will wear pink jerseys, and they will sell autographed team photos for $5 to benefit the Hope 4 You Breast Cancer Foundation.

The Lions (23-23, 10-14 MIAA) are tied for 10th place and will need help to move up into the top eight and qualify for the postseason tournament. The Lions are two games behind Pittsburg State, which also plays Central Missouri and SBU this weekend, and three games behind eighth-place Central Missouri.

Junior outfielder Shelby Romines continues to lead the Lions’ offense with her .368 batting average. She also leads the team in hits (53), doubles (12), home runs (7), runs batted in (34) and slugging percentage (.611). She has scored 32 runs.

Other .300 hitters for the Lions are Brooklyn Farrell (349), Haley Pypes (.317) and Alana Hester (.300). Hester, the Lions’ leadoff hitter, has scored a team-high 36 runs, and her 25 stolen bases are tied for second in the conference.

Dawn Grass ranks second behind Romines in production with six homers and 25 RBI.

Sarah Williams (7-6, 2.62 earned run average), Haley Kinnison (6-5, 3.21 ERA) and Pypes (7-8, 4.18 ERA) have combined for 39 starts this season. Williams has struck out 46 batters and walked 46 in 93 innings, Kinnison 88 strikeouts and 67 walks in 91 innings and Pypes 70 strikeouts and 69 walks in 80 innings.

Southwest Baptist (4-44, 0-24 MIAA) is led by freshman first baseman Caitlyn Cooner with a .275 average. The Bearcats are hitting .185 as a team and have a 7.13 team ERA.

Central Missouri (23-19, 13-11) is tied for seventh place entering today’s games at Pittsburg State. The Jennies are led by shortstop Braylyn Bivens (.390) and right fielder Medora West (.365). Sophomore pitcher Jakki Prater has eight victories, a 2.39 ERA and 10 complete games. She has fanned 84 batters in 1021⁄3 innings.