Tahlequah, Okla. - Despite taking early leads in both games, the Missouri Southern Lions softball team was unable to close the deal as Northeastern State came back to take both ends of a MIAA doubleheader this afternoon at RiverHawks Park. The RiverHawks won game one 6-3 before taking game two 8-5.
The Lions (6-14, 0-4 MIAA) were led offensively on the day by Kathryn Goins who went 3-for-3 with a RBI in the first game while four other Lions collected two hits each in the two games. A day after only getting a single run, Southern was able to generate more offense today as they collected eight runs and 14 hits, including hitting three home runs.
Southern got off to a strong start in both contests jumping out to an early 3-0 lead in game one as they plated single runs in the first, third and fourth innings. Chloe Brown hit her third home run of the year to center field to get the scoring started, while Brooke Swadley scored on a throwing error in the second and Goins hit a RBI single to center to score Shelby Romines from second in the fourth.
The RiverHawks (19-7, 7-1) answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to 3-1 before NSU piled on five runs, only one earned, in the fifth to chase starting pitcher Haley Kinnison from the game and take a 6-3 lead. The Lions were only able to get one more hit in the game as they Kinnison took the loss as she threw 4.2 innings allowing only three hits and struck out three.
The Lions again found themselves with a lead in game two as they jumped to a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first as Grass lifted a three-run home run, her third of the season, to left field driving in Brown and Michala Wood. After the RiverHawks added a run in the bottom of the first, Southern made it 4-1 in the third on a Brooklyn Farrell single to left field driving in pinch-runner Rachel Harding.
With Southern still leading heading into the bottom of the fourth, NSU added six runs, all unearned, in the frame to take a commanding 8-4 advantage. The RiverHawks were keyed by a three-run RBI triple from Allyson Pogue. The Lions added a run in the seventh as Brown hit her second home run of the game, but were unable to surmount a rally to fall 8-5. Sarah Williams took the loss as she pitched 3.2 innings striking out three.
Southern returns to action at home on Tuesday hosting their MIAA home opener as they welcome the Lincoln Blue Tigers (2-15, 0-6) to Lea Kungle Field for a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.