Joplin, Mo. - The Missouri Southern Lions softball team returns to action this weekend hosting MIAA double-headers against 24th-ranked Missouri Western Friday at 4 p.m. and Northwest Missouri Saturday at noon at Lea Kungle Field.
Coming off a sweep at Lindenwood last Saturday winning 12-0 in five innings and 3-2 in 10 innings, the Lions (17-13, 4-4 MIAA) will look to continue their strong play against the Griffons and Bearcats this weekend.
Hitting a collective .295 as a team on the year, the Lions have six players batting above .300 on the year led by junior right fielder Shelby Romines, who is hitting .400 (38-for-95) with six home runs, nine doubles and 23 RBI's while slugging .705 % with a .509 on-base %. Sophomore second baseman Brooke Swadley is second on the team hitting .387 (29-for-75) with four doubles, a triple and 10 RBI's. Junior third baseman Brooklyn Farrell is also off to a great start hitting .381 (24-for-63) on the year with seven doubles, three triples and 16 RBI's. The junior from Webb City has been especially hot over Southern's last 12 games batting .500 (16-for-32) with two home runs, four doubles and 10 RBI's while slugging .875%.
The Lions have been led on the mound this year by a pair of freshman in Haley Kinnison and Sarah Williams. Leading the Lions with a 6-2 record on the year, Kinnison is second on the team with a 2.97 ERA in 59.0 innings pitched while leading Southern with a team-high 66 strikeouts, including fanning a school record 14 against Northeastern State at home on March 16. Williams leads the Lions with a team-low 2.31 ERA while going 4-5 on the year while holding opponents to a .251 batting average.
#24 Missouri Western (20-8, 4-2): The Griffons come into Friday's games on a eight-game winning streak having last played last Saturday at home sweeping a non-conference double-header over Northern State (S.D.) winning game one 11-6 before taking game two 15-1 in five innings. Western has seven players batting over .300 on the year led by senior third baseman Sarah Elliott, who is hitting .390 (32-for-82) on the year. The Griffons are led on the mound by junior pitcher Jackie Bishop who sports a 10-3 record with a 1.80 ERA in 93.1 innings pitched with 12 complete games.
Northwest Missouri (15-7, 3-3): The Bearcats come into this weekend's games having last played last Friday at home sweeping a non-conference double-header against Northern State (S.D.). Before coming to Joplin on Saturday, Northwest will travel to Pittsburg State to face the Gorillas in an MIAA double-header Friday afternoon.
The Bearcats are led by senior second baseman Hailee Hendricks with a .434 (23-for-53) batting average with six doubles and three home runs. Senior outfielder Candace Miller is not far behind batting .391 (34-for-87) on the year. Hitting a collective .334 as a team, the Bearcats have 57 extra base hits on the year, including 17 home runs led by six from junior infielder Stephanie Price. Northwest is led on the mound by senior pitcher Jenna Creger who is 7-3 with a 1.38 ERA pitching 71.0 innings striking out 81 batters while holding opponents to a .181 batting average.