Wichita Falls, Texas -The Missouri Southern Lions softball (2-2) split decisions in the first day of the MSU Invitational, winning the first game 8-4 over Eastern New Mexico before losing their second game 13-7 to Texas Woman's University.
Southern used a six run third inning to come back from a 1-0 deficit as senior Tiffany Bennett (1-1) earned her first win in the 2011 campaign. Junior Nicole Reed coming in relief in the fifth inning recorded her first save on the season. Reed and Bennett would combine for seven strike-outs and just allowed three walks.
Junior Natalie Nelson recorded her first double of the season and senior Megan Roark lifted a three-run home run in the third to spark the Lions. Junior Alysha Poteat would would come up with three RBIs for the Lions along with Roark and sophomore Jessica Brooks would a single RBI for a team total of seven.
The Lions got off to an early start in game two against Texas Woman's University and chased the Pioneers starting pitcher after only 2/3 of an inning. After three straight walks to Nicole Reed, Poteat, and Roark; junior Brooke Hurley singled in Nicole Reed. With the bases loaded sophomore Dawn Grass stepped up and hit a grand-slam over the left field fence.
Southern would then get two more runs going up 7-5 in the top of the fifth inning. After Hurley got on with a single up the middle junior Lydia Niemegeers added the Lions' third homerun of the day.
Despite pitching just 2/3 of the fifth inning Bennett gave up six runs, all unearned, and recorded the loss (1-2). Nicole Reed started the game for Southern and allowed seven runs, all earned, on eight hits walking five and striking out four. Sophomore Kayce Moore finished the game pitching 1 1/3 inning giving up only two hits while facing six batters.
The Lions will return to action tomorrow with a match-up with the Drury Panthers at 9am followed by the host Midwestern State Mustangs at 11am. Southern will return home to host the MSSU Boarder Battle February 26-27.