MSSU splits on senior day

Apr. 29—There was extra chalk down the first base line on Saturday as Missouri Southern recognized its three seniors at the Pat Lipira Softball Complex.

That extra chalk was in the form of the numbers "00," "8" and "11." Those are the numbers worn by Yazmin Vargas, Adrianna Young and Kara Amos.

That trio and the rest of the Lions (32-21, 12-14 MIAA) began the day with a run-rule victory over Newman University (21-33, 7-19 MIAA) by the score of 12-0.

Game 2

The Lions jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 2 after one run in each of the first three innings, but six consecutive runs by the Jets had the Lions in a hole heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.

Kylee Jacks singled to begin the seventh and was followed by Maddie Rolf, who drew a walk. Both runners moved up one base on a wild pitch from Newman's Jackie Gold.

With the table set, Taylor Nuckolls singled up the middle and drove in both baserunners to make it 6-5.

The threat stopped there as Gold got a force-out at second base after forcing Amos to roll over to the third baseman. Amos beat the throw to first but that was after the Jets got a force-out at second base on Nuckolls.

Katie Gray then lined out to shortstop and Carsen Tinkler grounded out to third base to end the game.

Gold got the save for Newman while Paola Zamacona got her fourth win of the year. Amos fell to 8-4 with the loss.

Nuckolls led the Lions with three hits in four at-bats and three RBIs. Kylee Jacks went 2 for 3 and led the team with three runs scored. Jacks was walked once. Gray finished 2 for 3 and Tinkler was 2 for 4.

Newman's comeback was sparked by freshman Malie Noda's two-run home run in the fourth inning. That was her lone hit in the game. Hayley Bonython finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs as well.

Game 1

Tinkler had two hits in Game 1 as well and highlighted the scoring spree in the third inning with a three-run homer to make it 6-0. The Lions went on to score seven in that frame alone and take a 10-0 lead into the fourth.

Amos and Jacks added two hits each in the first game of the doubleheader.

Lily Rand got the start in Game 1 but ran into some trouble in the second inning and was pulled with two runners on base after recording five outs. Her final line was 1 2/3 innings with one hit allowed, one walk and one strikeout.

Natalie Bates finished the last 3 1/3 innings and struck out three batters while walking just one and allowing three hits. Bates is now 5-1 on the year with that win.

Gold started for Newman and was handed the loss.

Up nextApril brought showers. But it was the wrong kind for the Lions. The MSSU softball team went 3-11 in the month of April. Prior to that, it was 29-10 overall and 9-3 in conference play.

The hope would be for May flowers, but none with thorns on them.

Southern's late-season slide dropped them to the ninth-seed in the MIAA tournament beginning on Wednesday, May 1. The Lions will face No. 8 Central Missouri (23-26, 12-14 MIAA) at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Top-seeded Rogers State University split the regular season conference title with No. 2 Pittsburg State after both teams finished with a record of 23-3 in conference play. Seeds 3 through 7 are: Central Oklahoma (23-5), Washburn (17-8), Northwest Missouri (15-11), Emporia State (13-12) and Missouri Western (13-13). Fort Hays State is seeded 10th and will face MWSU in the first round at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.