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MSSU softball earns sweep in twin bill against Fort Hays

Mar. 29—The Missouri Southern softball team logged two more MIAA wins after defeating Fort Hays State 5-2 in the first game of a doubleheader and then following that with a 4-3 walk-off win in game two Friday at Pat Lipira Field.

The Lions got a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning of game one and never trailed.

The Lions (27-10, 7-3) scored first on a Katie Gray two-out single to left field in the bottom of the opening inning that brought Kylee Jacks home.

Fort Hays (16-14) tied the game in the top of the second frame when Loren Beggs scored on an errant pitch.

Southern's Abby DeSanto belted a long solo homer to center field against a stiff cross breeze to make it 2-1 in the bottom of the second. The bomb was DeSanto's fourth of the year.

MSSU added two more runs in the bottom of the third inning when Kara Amos hit a single up the middle to plate Yazmin Vargas, and Carsen Tinkler then drove in Amos with a double to right field.

Tinkler made it a 5-1 game when she scooted home after a Savanah Egger wild pitch.

The Tigers managed to put one run across in the top of the seventh when Regan Curry hit a two-out single to left field to score Adysen Burghart, but Lion starter Kiki Pickens fanned Audrey Gillespie to drown out any hopes of a Fort Hays State rally.

Pickens (9-5) logged the complete game win after giving up two runs on five hits, while striking out six and walking two.

Jacks and Amos both recorded multiple hits in the game; Amos was 2 for 2 with a run and an RBI, and Jacks was 2 for 4 with a run.

Game two

The Tigers got on the board in the top of the second inning of game two, courtesy of an Alondra Dominguez RBI single that scored Loren Beggs from second base.

The Lions responded with a lead-off double from Katie Gray in the bottom of the frame. Gray advanced to third on a passed ball, and after a Morgan Schmidt strikeout of DeSanto and a pop fly out by Tinkler, Kate Thurman brought Gray home with a single to left center field that tied the game at 1-1 going into the third inning.

Amos gave Southern a 2-1 lead with a lead-off homer — her fifth of the season — to right field in the bottom of the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the fifth frame, Jacks hit a lead-off triple to centerfield. Amos drove her home with an infield single to pad the Lion lead at 3-1.

Fort Hays' Carly Stuke smacked a lead-off triple to right centerfield off of Lion reliever Natalie Bates in the top of the sixth and scored on a Lillian Ramirez-Johnson sacrifice fly to right field to make it a 3-2 game. The Tigers tied the game at 3-3 when Madison Pierce hit a double to right field that brought Dominguez across the plate.

The Lions logged the walk-off win in the bottom of the frame when Taylor Nuckolls drove home Vargas with a single to right field for the 4-3 win.

Pickens logged her second win of the day pitching in relief. She walked one and struck out one in 2/3 of an inning of work.

Three Lions logged multiple hits. Nuckolls was 2 for 4 with an RBI, Amos was 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a run, and Thurman finished 2 for 3 with an RBI.

The Lions return to action at noon Saturday when they host Nebraska-Kearney for a doubleheader at Pat Lipira Field.