Joplin, Mo. - Behind a pair of complete games from sophomore pitchers Sarah Williams and Haley Kinnison, the Missouri Southern softball team swept a doubleheader in their MIAA home opener this afternoon over the Lincoln University Blue Tigers winning 8-1 before taking game two 6-1 at Lea Kungle Field.
The Lions (8-14, 2-4 MIAA) had a great day from the plate as a team as they combined to score 14 runs and smack out 23 hits. Leading the charge for Southern was shortstop Michala Wood who went 4-for-7 with a double, a triple and a pair of RBI's. Four other Lions collected three hits each, including Alexah Replogle who had a double and scored three runs and Dawn Grass who went deep for her fourth home run of the year tying the school record for career home runs with 26.
With Williams in the circle for game one, the Lions gave the Wentzville native early run support as they got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second thanks to a Brooklyn Farrell RBI single up the middle scoring Replogle from second. Southern added to their lead in the third adding three runs as Grass hit a two-run home run to center and Shelby Romines hit a RBI single to left field scoring Replogle from second after she doubled. After the Blue Tigers (2-17, 0-8) tagged on a run in the fourth on a RBI single to left center by Shantae Duran, Southern closed out the game scoring a pair a runs in the fourth on RBI's from Wood and Grass and added one run apiece in the fifth and sixth.
Williams picked up her third win of the season as she held Lincoln to three hits allowing only a single earned run while striking out two.
The Lions kept the scoring going in the second game as they exploded for a six-run fourth inning to overcome an early Blue Tigers lead. Lincoln got on the scoreboard first in the second inning as Duren led off the inning with a home run to right field. After being held scoreless and to only two hits in the first three frames, Southern did all their damage in the fourth as five different Lions drove in runs. Farrell, Kathryn Goins, Brooke Swadley, Jessica Castoe and Wood each tacked on RBI's as Southern took a commanding 6-1 lead. It was all Kinnison from there as she held the Blue Tigers to three hits in the final three innings to complete the game and register her fifth win of the season as she struck out seven batters on the day.
Southern returns to action on Wednesday as they travel to Claremore, Okla. to play a non-conference doubleheader at Rogers State (4-20) starting at 4 p.m. at Hillcat Softball Field at the Diamond Sports Complex.