Southern comes up big in late innings

Bentonville, Ark. – The Missouri Southern softball team was scheduled for six games in the three day UAM Division II Softball Classic last weekend but due to forecasted weather, the three final games against Rockhurst University, Drury, and Missouri S&T were all cancelled.

Southern (5-6, 1-2 road, 4-4 neutral) did play a doubleheader on Friday and one game on Saturday.

To begin Friday’s doubleheader, The Lions would face William Jewell. 

Southern got things going quickly by manufacturing three runs off one hit in the bottom half of the first inning. Jewell would answer back by tying the game at three in the third and taking a 6-4 lead into the sixth inning. After loading the bases with two outs in the top of the sixth, freshman relief pitcher and infielder Taurean Guzman got the Lions out of a funky situation with a strikeout to end the inning. 

In the bottom half of the sixth, the Lions manufactured two more runs off one hit to tie the game at six.

In extras (Eighth inning), with a runner in scoring position and two outs, freshman catcher Angel Badalamenti singled in the go ahead run to give the Lions a walk-off victory.

Senior Ashley Lutz got the start for the Lions going four innings, allowing five runs (four earned), on five hits, with three strikeouts in the no decision. Guzman, who came in for relief of Lutz, earned her second win with four innings pitched allowing one run (unearned) on one hit, with four strike outs.

Game two was another nail biter for the Lions. This time against the University of Illinois-Springfield. UIS jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after one inning before Southern put up 2 in the bottom half of the second to take the lead.

After tying the game in the fourth, Southern got three runs in the fifth inning to regain their lead. 

In the seventh inning, UIS was threatening with a runner on third only down by one run. Sophomore pitcher Kali’ Hodson remained on the circle looking for the complete game victory. With two outs, Hodson got the final batter to ground out as the Lions got the victory, 5-4.

On the day, sophomore Abi Corbett went 4-for-7 (.571) at the plate with three runs scored and a double and went 3-for-3 in stolen bases. Corbett also had an on base percentage of .625. Badalamenti finished .500 (4-for-8) at the plate with one run scored and two RBIs. The Lions were perfect on the day nabbing 8 stolen bases.

In their final game of the tournament, Southern would face Minnesota Duluth. Southern would lose in extras (Ninth inning) on a walk-off sac fly, 8-7. 

Corbett finished 2-for-5 at the plate with three runs scored and two stolen bases. Freshamn Ashley Caldarella went 2-for-3 at the dish with two runs scored. Sophomore Myranda Stewart and Badalamenti had an RBI each for Southern.

Hodson started the game for the Lions going two and a third innings allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits. Lutz relieved Hodson and pitched three and two-thirds innings allowing two earned runs and four strikeouts. Guzman, (2-1) who suffered the loss, went two and two-thirds innings allowing two unearned runs.

On Wednesday, Southern hit the road to Claremore, Okla. for a doubleheader against Rogers State. Southern spilt the series winning 13-10 in game one and losing game two, 6-3.

The winning pitcher in game one was Lutz as she pitched 6.1 innings striking out six. She gave up six runs on nine hits and seven walks.

At the plate, junior college transfer from Crowder College, Sydney Fry had a huge game. Prior to her start in game one, Fry had one hit in 25 plate appearances. On Wednesday, Fry went 5-5 at the dish scoring three runs and stealing two bases.

The Lions make their home debut tomorrow against Missouri S&T at Lea Kungle field. First pitch is schedule for 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.