Southern softball sweeps doubleheader Tuesday during home opener

Feb. 27—Missouri Southern freshman pitcher Kiki Pickens (5-2) gave up just three hits and one walk while striking out four in a complete game 5-0 shutout of Delta State (Mississippi) during the first game of a home opener doubleheader Tuesday at Pat Lipira Field.

MSSU (13-4) was aggressive on the base paths, logging seven stolen bases while capitalizing on a trio of Delta State errors.

MSSU scored its first run when Taylor Nuckolls singled to left field to plate Kylee Jacks in the bottom of the first.

Southern made it 2-0 when Madison Grimes scored on an error in the bottom of the second. Adrianna Young followed with a score on another Delta State error, and Jacks gave the Lions a 4-0 lead when she slid home on a wild pitch.

Jacks scored the Lions final run on yet another Delta State error in the bottom of the sixth to give MSSU the 5-0 lead heading into the final frame.

Nuckolls went 1 for 4 for MSSU with two RBIs and a stolen base. Jacks was 1 for 2 with three runs and two stolen bases. Yazmin Vargas was 1 for 3 with an RBI and a stolen base. Abby DeSanto swiped two bases and Madison Grimes also recorded a stolen base.

Delta State's Audry Rumsey (1-3) was saddled with the loss after giving up four runs on one hit, while walking three and hitting two batters. Delta State fell to 2-10 with the loss.

MyCala Helms went 2 for 2 for Delta State, and Abbi Cataldo was 1 for 3.

Game 2

In the second game, the Lions amassed 11 runs on nine hits and junior Avery Tallman gave up five hits and no runs in an 11-0 game shortened by the run rule.

Tallman (4-0) struck out three and walked none in the win.

The Lions logged 10 of their 11 runs in the bottom of the second inning, including a three-run homer from Hannah Duin and a triple from Nuckolls.

Abby DeSanto was 1 for 1 with 3 RBIs. Nuckolls was 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs.

The Lions return to action at noon Saturday with a doubleheader against Truman State at Pat Lipira Field.