JOPLIN - The Missouri Southern softball team split a pair of games with #8 Central Oklahoma in their opening MIAA conference double-header this afternoon at Lea Kungle Field falling to the Bronchos 7-0 in game one before defeating the Bronchos 11-3 in five innings in the second game.
Held to only four hits in the first game, the Lions (12-8, 1-1 MIAA) would fall victim to the Bronchos ace pitcher Kalynn Schrock who would pitch a complete game four-hitter. Second baseman Brooke Swadley and first baseman Dawn Grass would each get a pair of hits for the Lions. UCO (15-5, 1-1) would score a pair of runs in the top of the third, two more in the fourth, and three more in the fifth to win by a final of 7-0.
The Lions would begin to find their offense in the second game as they would score 11 runs on 12 hits scoring runs in four of the five innings. Third baseman Brooklyn Farrell went 3-for-3 from the plate with a three-run home run, her first of the year. Grass would go 2-for-3, including slamming her sixth home run of the year to end the game in the bottom of the fifth as the Lions went up by eight runs.
The Lions would jump out to a 5-0 lead after the first inning tagging five runs in the bottom of the first. Starting pitcher Sarah Williams would hit a two-run single to get the scoring going for the Lions plating Alana Hester and Shelby Romines. Grass would add a run on a Bronchos throwing error to make it 3-0. Shortstop Michala Wood would follow with a single to centerfield scoring Williams. Third baseman Brooklyn Farrell would single putting runners on first and third for catcher Kathryn Goins who would follow with another single to give the Lions a 5-0 lead.
The Bronchos would get three runs in the top of the second, but the Lions would answer right back as Farrell would hit a two-out three-run home run to left field top put the Lions up by 9-3.
Farrell would lead off the bottom of the fourth with a single coming around to score on an error by the catcher to give the Lions a 10-3 lead after four innings. With Williams retiring the Bronchos in order in the top of the fifth, Grass would hit a two-out solo home run shot to center field to give the Lions the 11-3 win. Williams would pick up her third win of the year as she pitched five innings allowing five hits, three runs, only one earned while stiking out three lowering her ERA to a team-best 2.78 on the year.
The Lions return to action Saturday afternoon at 2 pm when they host the Northeastern State RiverHawks (8-14, 0-2) at Lea Kungle Field at the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex.