Lions drop two heartbreakers in extras to Missouri Western

Joplin, Mo. -- Missouri Western rallied in extra innings twice today as the Griffons swept a double-header from Missouri Southern by the scores of 10-8 in 10 innings in game one and 5-4 in eight innings in game two. 

The Lions (18-38-1, 7-11 MIAA) got off with a bang in game one, scoring three runs in the first inning to go up 3-0 after one. Kelli Bax singled to start the game and Breanna Volkmann reached on an error by the pitcher while she tried to sacrifice Bax to second. Both runners moved up on the error and Angie Turner walked to load the bases. Bax scored on a fielder's choice and both Turner and Dawn Grass scored when Megan Roark singled through the right side. 

Western (27-24, 10-8 MIAA) answered with a run in the fourth, before the Lions scored a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning when Jessica Brooks scored on a fielder's choice from Volkmann. 

The Griffons scored another run to cut the Lions lead to 4-2 in the top of the fifth, but Southern answered back with four runs in the bottom half of the inning. RBI's from Natalie Nelson and Volkmann, as well as a two RBI double from Bax highlighted the inning. 

That would be it, however for the Lions offense as Western starter Jonelle Belger held Southern scoreless for the next four innings as the Griffons scored six runs in the sixth to tie the game and added two in the top of the tenth for the win. 

Whitney Clute started for the Lions and went five and a third, allowing six earned runs, while Tiffany Bennet threw four and two thirds of relief, allowing just one earned run and striking out two. 

Bax and Volkmann had three hits and two RBIs, while Bax scored twice. Roark had a pair of hits, while Brooks and Nelson had the Lions other two hits. 

Game two saw the Lions go down 3-0 after the top of the third, but Southern bounced back with three runs in the bottom half of the inning all off the bat of Turner as the senior belted her seventh home run of the year, a three run job, scoring Bax and Kim Diaz. The home run adds to her school record of 26 for her career at Southern. 

Western scored a run in the fifth to go up 4-3, but the Lions again tied the game, this time with an RBI double from Volkmann down the left field line scoring Kelli Bax who had doubled to right center the batter previous. 

The game would again go to extras where the Griffons scored a run in the top of the eighth to put the game away. 

Turner went 3-3 with three RBIs and a run and added a walk. Volkmann had two hits and an RBI, while Bax had a hit and two runs scored. 

Bennett went the distance for the Lions, throwing eight innings, and striking out two, while walking just one. 

Southern will be back in action this Saturday at 1 pm when the Lions play host to Truman State in a double-header at Kungle Field.