Southern goes 2-4 to open season in Durant, Okla.


Pablo Ortiz, Photo Editor

Sophomore pitcher Kali’ Hudson winding up as sophomore infielder Myranda Stewart is in defensive position on Pink Day against Central Missouri at Lea Kungle Field on Apr. 21, 2015. Southern lost both match ups versus UCM last season.

Durant, Okla. – Missouri Southern softball launched its 2016 campaign at the Southeastern Oklahoma Tournament last weekend. Interim head softball coach Melissa Chmielewski’s team would play six games over a three day span to open the season.

Chmielewski is in her first year as head coach of the Southern softball program as former head coach Bill Gray resigned on May 12, 2015. 

Chmielewski’ team faced Southwestern Oklahoma State and Oklahoma Christian (one of two meetings) in Friday’s doubleheader. 

Southern got their season off to a slow start as senior starting pitcher Ashley Lutz gave up two runs off one hit and four walks in the top of the first inning. Lutz regained her composure and pitched a complete game, finishing with 10 strikeouts and giving up only five hits. 

Heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, the Southern offense was held in check with only two hits. Sophomore from Owasso, Okla. Myranda Stewart led off the inning with a leadoff walk. Just two at bats later and a runner on third, freshman Ashley Caldarella from Staley High School in Kansas City, Mo.  smacked her first career home run and tied the game at two. 

Tied at two in eighth inning, Lutz, with runners on third and first, threw a wild pitch and a runner scored to give SWOSU a one run lead. Southern threatened with two runners in scoring position in the bottom half of the eighth but freshman Kylie Westbrooks flied out to end the game. 

Game two of Friday’s season opening doubleheader was all Lions from start to finish. Southern scored nine runs on nine hits. Freshman starting pitcher Taurean Guzman got her first career win as a pitcher going five innings, giving up three runs on five hits.

On the day, Caldarella finished 3-for-6 at the plate with a double and a home run, Sarah Williams added two doubles and a home run from the plate, and Stewart finished 2-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Lutz suffered the loss in game as Guzman got the first win of the season for the Lions. 

Southern spilt Saturday’s doubleheader losing to host team Southeastern Oklahoma State, 7-4 and shutting out Arkansas Tech 2-0. Sophomore Kali’ Hodson notched her first career pitching win against Ark. Tech. She pitched a shutout giving up three hits and striking out six. 

In the final day of the tournament, Southern would face Henderson State and OCU for a second time. 

HSU got an early lead on the Lions and didn’t look back. Southern dropped that game, 3-1. 

After the Lions put up their tournament high nine runs against OCU, OCU had revenge on their mind. OCU did pull out a 7-5 victory and Southern dropped their final two games in the tournament. 

For the weekend, Caldarella led the Lions batting .313 with four RBIs. Williams hit three home runs and drove in five runs. Senior Dru Coleman had four RBIs. 

Hodson finished the weekend with a 1.34 ERA (Earned Run Average) going 1-1 with 15.1 innings of work and a complete game shutout. Lutz pitched 16.2 innings allowing 11 runs (eight earned) and striking out 13. Lutz was 0-3 on the weekend. Guzman made four appearances pitching 8.2 innings as she won her only start. 

The weird stat of the weekend, Southern beat Ark. Tech without a hit. Southern manufactured two runs without a single hit in the game.

The Lions will be in action today taking part in the UAM D-II Classic hosted in Bentonville, Ark. The Lions are playing six games in three days. The first game is against William Jewel and is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday.