The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

March 19, 2014

MSSU softball swept by Rogers State

CLAREMORE, Okla. — A day after posting 23 hits and 14 runs during a doublehader sweep of conference foe Lincoln, Missouri Southern’s bats turned cold.

The Lions softball team was swept 9-1 and 1-0 by Rogers State on Wednesday at the Diamond Sports Complex. MSSU mustered only eight hits in the two games combined.

Rogers State (6-20) got on the scoreboard first in the opener as the Hillcats tagged on one run in both the first and second innings before adding two runs each in the third and fourth to take a 6-0 lead into the fifth.

The Lions (8-16, 2-4 MIAA) responded with a run in the top of the fifth as Shelby Romines hit a one-out single to left field. After Brooklyn Farrell walked moving Romines to second, Rachel Harding hit a two-out single to plate Romines and cut the Hillcats’ lead to 6-1. Rogers State added a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to go up eight, ending the game in six innings. The Hillcats’ Yolanda Rios pitched all six innings, limiting the Lions to only three hits as she struck out 13.

Haley Kinnison provided a strong pitching performance for the Lions in the second game. She went the distance, allowing only four hits and one earned run while striking out two.

However, Missouri Southern couldn’t provide any run support for Kinnison.

Rogers State pitchers Brooklyne Harbert and Rios combined to shut out the Lions, limiting them to only five hits. After a scoreless first, the Hillcats scored the game’s only run in the second on a one-out single up the middle by Mackenzie Kirk.

MSSU had opportunities to score runs in the third and seventh innings as both times it had runners reach second with two outs or less. In the seventh, Farrell led off with a single up the middle. After a pair of pop-ups, Alana Hester placed a bunt down the third-base line for an infield single to move Farrell to second, but Chloe Brown struck out to end the threat.

The Lions were led offensively by Harding, who collected three hits with an RBI in the opener. Hester went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles during the nightcap.

The Lions are back in action this weekend as they travel to St. Joseph, Mo. for the Missouri Western Softball Invitational, playing six games in three days. Missouri Southern’s first game will be at noon Friday against fifth-ranked Augustana (S.D.) (13-2).

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