Softball slides in win, stung by ESU Hornets

An Emporia State University runner slides into the bag safely as Missouri Southern senior Alese Woolard catches the throw at second base during the second game of the April 5 doubleheader at home.

An Emporia State University runner slides into the bag safely as Missouri Southern senior Alese Woolard catches the throw at second base during the second game of the April 5 doubleheader at home.

Noelle Ott

With the threat of rain in the air, Missouri Southern’s softball team split two games against Emporia State University.

On April 5, the Lions played back-to-back against the Lady Hornets on home turf.

The first game started around 1:30 p.m. with 80 people in attendance. As fans watched, both teams fought head-to-head against each other.

The first hit would be made by the Lady Hornets Morgan Viola, centerfield. After Viola’s triple, Amy Schneider, junior pitcher, hit ESU’s Channon Nitz, designated player, with a pitch.

With a little help from defense, both players were stopped from heading home as the Lion’s performed a triple play after another of ESU’s players popped out on a bunt.

With two outs facing Southern in the sixth inning, Trish Masters, junior centerfield, turned the inning in the Lions favor as she singled to shortstop.

Jamie Blalock, freshman second baseman, would be next to take the plate, and she sent the ball to center field as Masters advanced to second base.

However, the next player, Alese Woolard, senior shortstop, fired a triple to right field, which allowed Masters and Blalock to score.

Woolard was left on base after Mary Barrow, senior catcher, grounded out to first base.

The Lady Hornets had four hits against Southern, but they were unable to come away with any runs.

Barrow also threw out two of ESU’s runners who were attempting to steal.

The first game ended with a score of 2-0.

“Team chemistry has been very good,” said head coach Jennifer Jimerson. “Offense has been very good with the exception of the last week. Defense has been very good.”

The next game did not continue as well for the Lions when the Lady Hornets turned the tide and defeated Southern.

Early in the first inning ESU started to make hits against Southern and would end the inning with two runs and two players left on base.

The Lions’ Ashton Turner, freshman third baseman, singled to second base in the third inning, and Shari Gates, sophomore designated player, walked.

However, both players were left on base after Blalock popped out to left field.

The game ended with a score of 0-8.

“We’ve been trying to improve on our short games offensively,” Jimerson said. “That’s one aspect we’ve focused on. The short games are really going to make a difference for us. We feel if we can mix it up the short game with the hits [triples and homers] we’ll be successful.”

Southern is currently 4-2 in the MIAA conference and is 18-18 overall.

The Lions will play next at 2 p.m. on Friday against Truman State University.

They will also play at 12 p.m. on Saturday against Central Missouri State University.

Both games will be at home. The Pittsburg State University game will be at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at PSU.

“Any fans that will want to come over to Pitt State is welcome,” Jimerson said. “[It would] help balance out the fan factor.”