Southern softball closes regular season hosting Southwest Baptist & Central Missouri

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Joplin, Mo. - Looking to make a playoff push, the Missouri Southern Lions softball team wraps up the regular season this weekend at home hosting Southwest Baptist Saturday at 2 p.m. for Senior Day and Central Missouri Sunday at 1 p.m. for their annual Pink Game.

Honoring senior pitchers Kayce Moore and Hannah Cooke between the first and second games on Saturday, the Lions enter this weekend with a 23-23 overall record, 10-14 in the MIAA, tied for 10th place in the MIAA and look to finish the season strong and make a push up the standings toward the top eight who make the MIAA Softball Tournament next week in Overland Park, Kan. Wearing their pink jerseys Sunday, the Lions will be selling autographed team photos in their pink jerseys for $5 to benefit the Hope 4 You Breast Cancer Foundation. 

The Lions enter the weekend with four players hitting over .300 led by junior Shelby Romines, who looks to wrap up an outstanding season this weekend hitting .368 on the year leading Southern in hits (53), doubles (12), home runs (7), RBI's (34), total bases (88) while scoring 32 runs and slugging a team-high .611. Brooklyn Farrell, Haley Pypes and Alana Hester are also hitting above .300 as Hester lead the Lions with 36 runs scored and is tied for second in the conference in stolen bases with 25 swipes on the year.

On the mound, the Lions have been led by a pair of freshman who also look to finish the regular season strong in Sarah Williams and Haley Kinnison. Williams, ninth in the conference in ERA at 2.62 leads Southern with seven complete games in 12 starts throwing 93.2 innings with 46 strikeouts holding opponents to a .260 batting average. Right behind Williams is Kinnison who has a 3.21 ERA starting a team-high 16 games throwing 91.2 innings with 88 strikeouts.

Southwest Baptist Bearcats: (4-44, 0-24 MIAA): The Bearcats are coming off a pair of losses at home to Washburn on Thursday hitting a collective .185 as a team led by freshman first baseman Caitlyn Cooner who leads Southwest Baptist hitting .275. The Bearcats have a 7.13 staff ERA with 106 strikeouts.

Central Missouri Jennies: (23-19, 13-11 MIAA): Coming off a 3-1 weekend at home sweeping Nebraska-Kearney and splitting with Fort Hays State, the Jennies enter the weekend tied for 7th place in the MIAA with Truman hitting .295 as a team with a team ERA of 3.31. With five players hitting over .300, the Jennies are led by junior shortstop Braylyn Bivens who is hitting .390 on the year leading the team in hits (55) and runs (44) while driving in 24 runs and totaling 67 bases.  Junior right fielder Medora West is not far behind Bivens hitting .365 with 54 hits, nine doubles and scoring 35 runs. On the mound, Central Missouri is led by sophomore Jakki Prater who has a team-high eight wins and 2.39 ERA. Pitching 10 complete games, Prater has thrown 102.1 innings with 84 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .245 batting average.