MSSU softball splits doubleheader with Drury

Mar. 5—After losing the first game of a doubleheader against Drury University, the Missouri Southern softball team regrouped for a 14-5 win in the nightcap Tuesday in Springfield.

First game

In what was a pitchers' duel early, the Missouri Southern Lions (16-5) were held hitless and gave up eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to fall 8-0 to the Drury Panthers (10-10) in the first game.

The loss snapped a five-game win streak for MSSU.

The Panthers broke a 0-0 stalemate in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Victoria Garland drove home AJ Agers with a single to right center. Brooklyn Lachappa followed with an RBI single that plated Kenna Trower, and Garland made it 3-0 after crossing the plate on a bases-loaded walk.

Lachappa scored on a Gracie Thomas single to extend Drury's lead to 4-0. Taylor Hartsell ended the run-rule-shortened game with a grand slam off of Lion reliever Lily Rand to make the final 8-0.

MSSU starter Kiki Pickens (5-3) gave up two earned and four total runs on four hits while striking out two and walking one in four innings of work. Rand gave up one earned run and four total runs on two hits with four batters faced.

Second game

MSSU got on the board first when Yazmin Vargas scored on a bases-loaded walk of Katie Gray. Vargas had reached base earlier after recording the Lions first hit of the day.

Kara Amos followed with a grand slam that drove home Gray, Abby DeSanto and Taylor Nuckolls and gave MSSU a 5-0 lead after the first inning.

Drury scored in the bottom of the second off a two-out solo homer by Lauren Beier off MSSU starter Avery Tallman that made it a 5-1 game. Drury's Maggie McKee made it 5-2 after a single and three straight steals, including home plate in the bottom of the third inning.

Kylee Jacks hit a two-out triple in the top of the fourth that drove in Adrianna Young and extended the Lion lead to 6-2. Vargas followed with another triple to plate Jacks and make it 7-2. Nuckolls gave the Lions an 8-2 cushion with a single to right field that scored Vargas.

Southern's Carson Tinkler later hit a homer over the left field fence that plated Amos to give the Lions a 10-3 lead in the top of the fifth inning.

That lead swelled to 12-3 in the top of the sixth, when Vargas scored on a sacrifice by DeSanto and Gray plated Nuckolls with a single to left field.

Drury scored twice in the bottom of the frame to evade the eight-run mercy rule at make it a 12-5 game heading into the final frame.

Southern added two runs in the top of the seventh inning for a 14-5 victory.

Tallman (6-0) gave up two runs on three hits while walking two in three innings of work.

The Lions, who are 4-0 at home, return to Pat Lipira Field for the first of 10 straight home games beginning at 2 p.m. Friday, when they open MIAA play against Lincoln with a doubleheader.