Southern softball prepares for MIAA conference play

The Missouri Southern softball team was scheduled to play for the full weekend at the Teri Mathis-Zenner Memorial Tournament, but could only compete on Friday, March 1, due to inclement weather.

 The Lions would face up with William Jewel College and Rockhurst University both teams coming from the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

In the first game of the day against William Jewel on March 1, Southern would get a lead in the first inning going up 2-1.

Southern would score three runs in the third inning from a double from junior Erika Lutgen, a single from junior Makaila Leonhart, and a single from freshman Josie Tofpi.

In the fifth Tofpi hit another single to bring in freshman Sidnie Hurst to expand the lead to 6-2.

Senior Lexi Ferrari hit a homer to left center to help the Lions expand the lead to 9-2.

William Jewell only had two runs, with Southern getting a win with the final score 9-2. Sophomore Abby Atkin limited William Jewell to one run and five hits while handing out five strikeouts.

In the second game of the day the Lions were off to a great start as they scored four runs at the beginning of the game with senior Angel Badalamenti brining in two off of a single and senior Ashley Caldarella bringing the other two off a double.

Rockhurst responded with four runs in the third, but Southern would gain two runs to take the lead back to 6-4.

Rockhurst had a two-RBI single in the fifth to tie it up, but senior Emily Truitt for Rockhurst homered one of the left fence to take the lead for Rockhurt.

The rest of the game was scoreless, ending the game 6-9 having the Lions fall to 6-5 this season.

The Lions were scheduled to play Missouri S&T, Maryville University, and Cameron University at home on Monday and Tuesday, March 4 and 5, but weather conditions cancelled the meetings.

“Our Teri Mathis Zenner Tournament was shortened to a one-day schedule because of weather,” said Head Coach Hallie Blackney. “Fortunately, we were able to play on our home field.

“Our game versus Jewell was pretty solid all around. We had responsive runs, our pitching was solid, and our defense did enough to get the job done.

“We had a few clutch hits in that game, so it was nice to see kids come thru.”

Blackney said the team started off strong against Rockhurst.

“We left some big runners on, have up too many bases, and they got us in the end,” Blackney said. “Since the first weekend, our hitting has improved. We’ve really simplified our swings and are trying to have a consistent approach.

“Now we are trying to get our pitching and defense to be consistent. We’ll continue to break things down and use every day to get better.” 

The conference season starts at home on Friday, March 8, with two games at 2 and 4 p.m., respectively against Pittsburg State University. Play takes place at the Pat Lipra Softball Complex. During the games, Missouri Southern officials will give out free pizza to all students for the MoSo Mane-iac Day.