Batter Up

J.T. Taylor, sophomore second baseman, throws the ball to first base for the easy out.

J.T. Taylor, sophomore second baseman, throws the ball to first base for the easy out.

T.J. Gerlach

New head softball coach Aron Potter earned her first win and loss Feb. 25.

Arkansas Tech University came to Missouri Southern to face the Lions in a double header. The Lions won the first game 3-1 and lost the second 7-4.

Potter’s team of 16 players consists of seven returning players including three seniors.

Alyssa Park, junior catcher, said the team has come together really well.

“I think there’s a lot of things we need to work on,” Park said, “but I think that we’re going to have a really good season.”

All three of the seniors are pitchers – Callie Stanford, Katy Owsley and Amy Schneider.

“It’s very difficult to lead from their position,” Potter said.

She said the three have done well despite this.

Potter said consistency will be the key for the Lions this season.

“I think the door is wide open for us,” she said. “[We] have the ability to play a big game and win a big game.”

Schneider started the first game, pitching 3.0 innings. She struck out four ATU batters.

Lacee Craig, freshman pitcher, pitched the final 4.0 innings, striking five batters out and giving up one earned run.

Craig also earned the win.

Offensively, Southern’s first run was made by Angie Turner, freshman catcher, off a single from Afton Horst, junior outfielder, who earned the RBI. The next run came in the third as J.T. Taylor, sophomore second baseman, scored after a throwing error from right field.

The Lions’ final run of the game came in the fourth. Alyssa Park, junior catcher, hit a single and Ashley Hayes, freshman outfielder, pinch ran for Park. Hayes was brought in by Missy Clark, junior utility player, who hit a single up the middle.

ATU scored its one run in the seventh inning off a home run.

In the second game, Tara Curtis, freshman pitcher, started the game, giving up two earned runs.

Stanford, came in in the second inning and pitched 3.1 innings. She struck out two batters but had two runs scored against her.

Schneider pitched the next 1.2 innings. She struck out three batters, but ATU scored three runs on her.

Craig pitched the final inning, and Stanford received the loss.

Southern’s first two runs in Game 2 were made by Park and Horst, who were brought in by a single hit by Kate Brittan, junior outfielder.

Racheal Bowen, junior first baseman, scored in the fifth. Horst brought her in with a single to center field.

Brittan scored the final run for the Lions in the sixth inning, unearned after a throwing error by ATU.

Potter said this year, the team will have to manufacture its runs.

“We’re not going to be able to set up at home and think that we’re going to get three dingers back-to-back,” she said. “We’re going to have to stay in there and work the count. We are a base-hit hitting team.”

Southern went to Owasso, Okla. Feb. 28 and March 1.

On Feb. 28, the Lions swept Southwest Oklahoma State University in a double-header.

Southern won Game 1 3-0, with Craig pitching a no-hitter. Game 2 was won 4-1.

The Lions also swept SWOSU March 1, winning their games 4-3 and 1-0.

The Lions’ record before those games was 5-1.

Tuesday, the Lions travel to Bolivar to take on Southwest Baptist University, and Thursday the team returns home to play Northeastern (Okla.) State University. That match will begin at 3 p.m.