Gray wins 100th game at Southern as Lions split a pair of games Sunday

Oklahoma City- The Missouri Southern Lions softball team split a pair of games Sunday at Ann Lacy Stadium to go to 11-4 on the year. The Lions defeated Illinois-Springfield 10-9 and fell to Oklahoma City University 7-1. With the win, the Lions secured head coach Bill Gray's 100th career victory at Missouri Southern.

The Lions would win their opening game Sunday in a wild 10-9 game over Illinois-Springfield. With freshman Haley Kinnison starting on the mound, the Lions would give up three runs in the bottom of the first, but would answer right back in the top of the second notching three runs on the board. Michala Wood would hit a one-out single to left field. Kathryn Goins would get hit by a pitch to put runners on second and third. Third baseman Brooklyn Farrell would follow with a triple driving in Wood and Goins to cut the Stars lead to one run. Centerfielder Alana Hester would hit a RBI-single driving In Farrell to tie the game at 3 piece.

The Prairie Stars would add a run in the bottom of the second to take a one-run lead, but the Lions would add five more runs over the next two innings, including a two-run home run by Kathryn Goins, her first of her career, to take a 8-4 lead after four innings. Illinois-Springfield would add a run in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run, but the Lions would add two key insurance runs in the top of the sixth when Wood and Goins would hit back-to-back RBI singles driving in Shelby Romines and Wood. Illinois-Springfield would tack on four runs in the bottom of the seventh, but relief pitcher Kayce Moore would come on in relief and get the final two outs getting the final Prairie Star to groundout to Wood to seal the win.

The Lions would find less luck offensively in their second game as they were held to one run, on four hits. The Lions would make the first mark on the scoreboard in the top of the first when Romines would hit her sixth home run of the year over the left field fence to give the Lions an early 1-0 lead. Oklahoma City would answer back with three runs in the bottom of the first to take a 3-1 lead. The Stars would add a run in the bottom of the third, two more in the fourth and one more in the sixth to make the game 7-1. The Lions would try to threaten in the top of the seventh when Rachel Harding would hit a single to left field, but that would be as much of a threat as the Lions would pose falling 7-1.

Haley Kinnison would get credit for the win in the first game throwing 5.2 innings giving up seven hits, five runs, three earned runs, while striking out eight batters. Sarah Williams would fall victim to the loss in the second game pitching three innings while giving up five hits and four runs, but only one earned.

The Lions return to action next Saturday when they host Central Missouri and Upper Iowa in the Border Battle hosted by Missouri Southern in Joplin.