Joplin, Mo. - Despite fighting back from a five-run deficit in game one, the Missouri Southern softball team was unable to complete the comeback dropping the front-end of their doubleheader to Fort Hays State 9-5 in eight innings before dropping game two 5-1.
The Lions (14-30, 6-14 MIAA) were led at the plate on the day by left fielder Chloe Brown as she went 4-for-8 from the dish scoring a run. Kathryn Goins and Dawn Grass collected three hits apiece as they combined to score three runs with Goins hitting her fourth home run of the season.
Game one saw the Tigers of Fort Hays State (25-16, 14-8) jump out to an early 5-0 lead scoring a pair of runs in the third, adding two more in the fourth and one more in the fifth before Southern broke through on FHSU's starter Paxton Duran in the bottom of the frame scoring four runs. Brown led off the action with a one-out single up the middle moving to second on a single by Shelby Romines. Grass followed with a double up the middle platting Brown and Romines before Goins kept the hitting attack going smacking a two-run home run to center to cut the score to 5-4.
Southern added a run in the sixth to tie the action up at five apiece as Michala Wood scored from second on a error by the Tigers' shortstop that allowed Romines to reach base. The Lions attempted to plate the winning run on the next play as Grass singled to right field, but Brown was gunned down at the dish attempting to score from second. After a scoreless seventh, the game went to extra innings where Fort Hays added a pair of home runs, one solo and a three-run shot down the left field line to take a 9-5 lead. The Lions were unable to come back with only a single in the bottom of the seventh as they dropped a hard-fought game. Sarah Williams started in the circle pitching all eight innings striking out a pair.
Game two saw the Tigers jump out to a 1-0 lead after one, but the Lions quickly responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the second as Rachel Harding singled to center driving home Goins from third to tie the game at one. With runners on second and third, Southern threated for more runs, but Wood grounded out to the shortstop ending the threat.
Hays answered with a run in the third to re-take a 2-1 lead and added a run in the sixth on a solo home run before ending their scoring with a two-run home run to left field in the seventh as they won the finale 5-1. Haley Kinnison pitched all seven innings of game two striking out six.
The Lions return to action on Saturday hosting Nebraska-Kearney (10-24, 8-14) for Senior Day as they take on the Lopers at noon at Lea Kungle Field. The Lions will honor seniors Brooklyn Farrell, Brown, Romines and Grass before the game.