JOPLIN, Mo. — The Missouri Southern softball team pulled out a split with Pittsburg State to begin MIAA competition by defeating the Gorillas 10-2 in the first game, but falling in the game two 13-4 inside the Pat Lipira Softball Complex Friday afternoon.
The Lions (7-6, 1-1 MIAA) started game one with a two-out single by Makaila Leonhart to left field in the bottom of the first to score Sidnie Hurst from second base.
Solo home runs from PSU (8-9, 1-1 MIAA) in the second and third innings put MSSU behind by one entering the bottom half of the third, before an offensive explosion from the Lions.
Leonhart doubled down the left field line to score Hurst again and tied the game up at 2-2. Then Lexi Ferrari doubled in the fifth to score two runs and put the Lions in front by two. Angel Badalamenti added an RBI-single to give the Lions a 5-2 lead to close out the fifth.
Later in the sixth, Emily Harris came to the plate with two runners on and one out as a pinch hitter. She pushed the count to 2-0 and Harris then crushed one over the left center fence for three RBIs and extended the Lions’ advantage to six. Two more runs crossed the plate which caused the game to be stopped in the bottom of sixth.
Sophomore pitcher Abby Atkin (5-1) threw her second complete game, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out four. Leonhart completed a perfect 3-for-3 spot at the plate for three RBIs and two runs scored and Lutgen went 2-for-3 with a run scored as well.
The Gorillas registered the first two runs of the game to take an early lead, but the Lions responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the first, trailing 2-1 after one. PSU answered with 11 additional runs.
Leonhart and Ferrari both logged 2-for-3 lines with a run scored, while Ferrari knocked in two RBIs. Senior Ashley Caldarella hit an inside-the-park homerun to center to conclude the scoring in the loss.
The Lions gets Pittsburg State in a non-conference matchup as the team travels to Pittsburg for the second part of the home-and-home series tomorrow slated for a noon doubleheader.