PITTSBURG, Kan. — The Missouri Southern softball team answered in game two with a 13-8 victory to close out the regular season series with the Pittsburg State Gorillas after falling in game one 7-4 inside the Gene Bicknell Sports Complex Saturday afternoon.
The Lions (8-7) led off with a run in the first inning after Lexi Ferrari singled through the left side to send Emilee Meyer home with two outs. PSU (9-10) scored three runs in its half of the first to take a 3-1 lead.
Southern got within one run on an RBI-single by Leonhart in the third, but the Gorillas responded again for four runs in the bottom of the third and a solo home run in the fourth to extend their lead to five (7-2) and eventually take a 7-4 victory into game two.
This time, MSSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and again PSU answered with three runs in bottom of the second to take a one-run lead into the third.
Down by one with one out and runners on first second, Ferrari crushed her third home run of the season over the right field fence to push the Lions to a 5-3 lead.
Back-to-back RBI-hits by Erika Lutgen and Leonhart increased the lead to four (7-3) which led to another huge hit from Ferrari as she doubled to center field, scoring two runs toward a 9-3 lead. Angel Badalamenti capped off the inning by driving in two runs on a single to left field as the Lions led 11-3 through one half of the fourth.
PSU cut the deficit to four on a grand slam in its half of the fourth, but the Lions added two insurance runs in the sixth, and despite the Gorillas getting another home run in the seventh, senior Taurean Guzman shut them down in 3.1 innings pitched, limiting the Gorillas to one run on two hits toward the team’s eighth victory of the season.
Lutgen recorded four hits in five opportunities, including two doubles toward an RBI and a run scored. Ferrari added a double and a key three-run bomb for a game-high five RBIs on three hits total. Meyer and Josie Tofpi each racked two hits while scoring a combined five of the team’s 13 runs in the win. Freshman Meredith Iden earned her second-career win in 3.2 innings of holding PSU to just enough when it was all said and done.
The Lions get set for their first MIAA road trip of the season at Fort Hays State on Friday, Mar. 15 for a 2:00 pm doubleheader before traveling to face Nebraska-Kearney the following day at noon (Mar. 16).