By Michael Davison
Globe Sports Writer
GLADSTONE, Mo. - Missouri Southern's softball team's season ended Friday as the Lady Lions went 1-2 in the MIAA Postseason Tournament.
Hope was high after sixth-seeded Southern (23-25) beat No. 3 Central Missouri State 8-1. But those hopes were lost with a 2-1 loss in eight innings to Missouri Western, which beat No. 2 seeded Washburn in the first round.
Then the Lady Lions lost 3-1 to Northwest Missouri State to be eliminated from the tournament.
The Lady Lions had chances to score late in both losses. Against Western, the Lady Lions had runners at second and third with one out and couldn't score. Junior right fielder Kara Reed hit a rocket at first baseman Amy Beverly, who made a nifty leaping catch.
Against Northwest Missouri, sophomore Alese Woolard lined out hard to right field with runners at first and third. That came a batter after senior first baseman Kristen Armilio was robbed on a diving catch by sophomore shortstop Tara Risetter.
"The last game was like so many we've had this year,'' said Southern head coach Jennifer Jimerson. "We had so many opportunities to score but hit the ball right at them.
"The Western loss was a tough one, but they're all tough this time of year. We kept fighting, like we've been doing all year. It was tough after all we've been through this year.''
Beverly put the Griffons (18-28) up 1-0 with a homer off senior starter Jana Allison in the fourth inning.
Southern rebounded to tie it when junior left fielder Roxanne Thirion drove in Reed in the bottom of the frame.
Second baseman Shannon Benash drove in Annie Lindgren with a single to left for the winning run.
Junior Kami Weston homered in the third to give Southern a brief lead against Northwest Missouri. The Bearcats tied it in the bottom of the frame, and Risetter's two-run homer in the fourth was enough for Jacqui Handlos, who allowed seven hits and a walk but gave up just one run.
In the first game, Southern used two big innings to top Central Missouri.
Weston, playing shortstop, was hit by a pitch by Laura Ruebhausen with the bases loaded to score sophomore catcher Mary Barrow with the first run. With two out, Woolard hit a grounder to second base that Sissy Fletcher tossed to Kassie Long, who dropped the ball and two runs scored.
Reed, who had three hits and lined out hard to second, had a bases-loaded double in the sixth inning, then scored on Allison's single.
Reed also drove in Lisa Roe with a double in the fourth.
Freshman right-hander Callie Stanford picked up her 11th victory of the season, allowing five hits and three walks while striking out two.
The Jennies (32-21) had two runners on in the fourth and fifth but were unable to score. Emmie Shaw was the only Jennie with two hits and scored in the second on third baseman Megan Bax's single.
It was the final game for three Southern seniors: Allison, Roe and Armilio.
"I want to thank our seniors for all they gave us this year,'' Jimerson said. "I'm so excited for next year because we have so much coming back."
By Michael Davison
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