Lion softball upsets set No. 5 Central Oklahoma

Apr. 24—Missouri Southern's softball team plated four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to upset No. 5 Central Oklahoma 5-3 in the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday at Pat Lipira Field.

The Bronchos (41-9, 21-3) got on the board first when Rylee Lemos hit a solo homer over the right field fence. Jacee Minter made it a 2-0 game when she singled to left field and scored Emily Deramus.

It could have been worse for MSSU, but Lion shortstop Taylor Nuckolls threw out Terin Ritz at the plate. UCO then managed to load the bases with one out, but freshman starter Lily Rand struck out Tatum Long and induced a ground out of Layne Smith to end the threat.

Long extended the UCO lead to 3-0 with a one-run shot over the left field fence in the top of the fourth stanza. The Lions answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame when Katie Gray hit a solo homer to right field.

MSSU (31-20, 11-13) tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning when Kara Amos singled to bring Kylee Jacks and pinch runner Adrianna Young across the plate with two outs. Southern took its first lead of the game when Gray singled to right field and plated Kara Amos and Nuckolls, giving the Lions a 5-3 lead. Amos had reached base earlier on a single to right field and Nuckolls reached on a fielder's choice that saw Carsen Tinkler called out at home trying to score.

The Lions sent UCO down in order in the top of the seventh on two fly balls to centerfield and a ground out to third.

Gray finished 2 for 3 for MSSU with a run and three RBIs. Jacks was 3 for 4 with a run and Amos logged two RBIs and a run after going 1 for 3.

Rand (3-3) logged the win for MSSU, giving up two earned runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts in a complete-game seven innings.

Ritz (19-5) was saddled with the loss for the Bronchos after giving up five runs on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts on four and two-thirds innings of work.

MSSU wraps up its regular season schedule with a doubleheader Saturday against Newman (18-27, 6-18) at Pat Lipira Field. MSSU seniors will be recognized as part of the Senior Day. The first pitch of game one is slated for noon.

The 10-team MIAA tournament begins Wednesday, May 1, in Edmond, Oklahoma. UCO is currently in the No. 3 spot in league standings, with the Lions tied at seventh with Missouri Western. Pittsburg State (48-5, 22-3) is in the No. 1 spot.

The Lions dropped Game 2 of the doubleheader6-0 as UCO's Jordyn Pipkin only allowed four hits in a complete-game shutout. She walked two batters and hit two more but was able to work around those free passes.