Bentonville, Ark. - The Missouri Southern softball team split a pair of games on day two of action at the UAM Eight-State Classic at Memorial Park and Bentonville High School falling to Southern Nazarene 9-8 before downing Ouachita Baptist 8-4 for their first win of 2014.
The Lions (1-3) were led on the day by senior first baseman Dawn Grass, who went 4-for-6 from the plate in the two games, including hitting a solo shot in the win over Ouachita Baptist and scored two runs. Shortstop Michala Wood collected three hits in six at-bats scoring two runs while adding a two-home run and a double while driving in six runs, giving her seven RBI's on the year through four games. Haley Kinnison and Chloe Brown also had multi-hit games collecting two hits apiece. Five other Lions scattered one hit each on the day.
Southern Nazarene 9, Missouri Southern 8
Playing as the home team in the first game, after the Crimson Storm (3-4) tagged on two run in the top of the first, Southern responded in the bottom of inning with five runs as Alana Hester led off the inning with a walk. After Brooke Swadley reached on a hit by pitch and Shelby Romines got on base thanks to a fielder's choice, Grass hit a single to left field loading the bases for Kinnsion, who proceeded to smack a one-out single to right field. After Jessica Castoe pinch-ran for Kinnison, she came around to score on a groundout by Dru Coleman. Southern added two more runs on a double from Wood to take a 5-2 lead after one.
After SNU scored single runs in the second and third inning, Southern scored one in the second, but the Crimson Storm broke open a 9-6 lead in the top of the 4th collecting five hits in the frame. The damage could have been worse as they left the bases loaded before starting pitcher Sarah Williams escaped the inning with a groundout to Wood. The Lions attempted a late comeback platting a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out two-run homer by Wood, but pinch hitter Rachel Harding popped up to third to end the game. Williams took the loss as she pitched four innings allowing nine earned runs, walking eight and striking out two. Shelby Mitchell pitched the final three innings allowing no hits or runs.
Missouri Southern 8, Ouachita Baptist 4
Again playing as the home team in game two, the Tigers (2-5) got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second tallying a run. Southern again responded to the deficit positively tagging on three runs in the bottom of the frame on four hits to take an early 3-1 lead. Grass tacked on her solo home run in the bottom of the third, her first of the season, as the career leader in home runs now has 23 in her career. The Tigers cut the Lions lead to 4-3 with a pair of runs in the fifth, but the Lions added four runs in the bottom of the sixth as insurance to seal the victory. The four-run inning RBI's by Wood and a three-run bases clearing double from Brown. OBU added a run in the seventh, but starting pitcher Haley Kinnison got one final strikeout to give the Lions their first victory of 2014.
Kinnison pitched a complete game allowing eight hits while surrendering four runs, three earned, and struck out seven hitters to pick up her first win of the season.
The Lions conclude action at the UAM Eight-State Classic on Sunday playing William Jewell (1-3) at 11:30 A.M. on Field 5 and Southwestern Oklahoma State (3-3) at 3:30 p.m. on Field 6 at Memorial Park in Bentonville.