Claremore, Okla. - The Missouri Southern Lions softball team dropped a non-conference doubleheader this afternoon at Rogers State (Okla.) falling 9-1 in six innings in game one before narrowly losing game two 1-0 at Diamond Sports Complex.
Southern (8-16) got a great pitching performance from Haley Kinnison in game two as she went the distance pitching all six innings allowing only four hits and a single earned run while striking out two. The Lions were led offensively by a pair of players as Rachel Harding collected three hits in five at-bats driving in a run in game one. Alana Hester went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles in game two.
Rogers State (6-20) got on the scoreboard first in game one as they tagged on one run in both the first and second innings before adding two apiece in the third and fourth to take a 6-0 lead into the fifth. The Lions responded with a run of their own in the top of the fifth as Shelby Romines hit a one-out single to left field. After Brooklyn Farrell walked moving Romines to second, Harding hit a two-out single to plate Romines and cut the Hillcats lead to 6-1. Unfortunately, RSU added a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to go up eight ending the game in six innings. The Hillcats' Yolanda Rios pitched all six innings limiting the Lions to only three hits in game one as she struck out 13.
Looking to get the offense going in game two, the Lions again faced a tough task as the Hillcats played stingy defense and had great pitching as Brooklyne Harbert and Rios combined to shutout Southern limiting them to only five hits. After a scoreless first, RSU scored the game's only run in the second on a one-out single up the middle by Mackenzie Kirk.
Southern had great opportunities to score runs in the third and seventh innings as both times the visitors had runners reach second with two outs or less, but neither time the Lions were able to get a run across the plate. In the seventh, Farrell ledoff with a single up the middle. After a pair of pop-ups, Hester laid down a bunt down the third base line for a infield single to move Farrell to second, but Chloe Brown struck out to end the threat. Kinnison kept Southern right in the games as she matched the duo of Harbert and Rios, but was the hard-luck loser.
The Lions are back in action this weekend as they travel to St. Joseph, Mo. for the Missouri Western Softball Invitational playing six games in three days starting on Friday at noon playing 5th-ranked Augustana (S.D.) (13-2) at Heritage Park.