Softball ready for fresh start

Kelvin Duley II

The winter weather plagued another week of competition for the Missouri Southern softball team.

The Missouri Southern Lions softball program have announced the cancelation of this year’s Teri Mathis-Zenner Memorial Tournament, which was scheduled to be played at the Joplin Sports Complex.

Missouri Southern announced on Feb. 27 that the team has added a doubleheader against the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns on March 11. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. Game two will follow 25 minutes after the conclusion of game one.

This marks the tenth game of the season that has been postponed due to weather. The Lions last played on Feb. 14 in the UAM Division II Classic against Rockhurst. Rockhurst defeated the Lions, 6-5.

The loss to Rockhurst marked the seventh straight loss for the Lions. That’s the longest losing streak for the Lions since March 28 -April 4, 2012, where the Lions also lost seven straight matchups.

“The biggest thing is we need to put it all together,” said head coach Bill Gray. “We’ve had good pitching and hitting performances. We’re looking at this break as starting a new season.”

The Lions stand at 1-7 (1-1 away, 0-6 neutral) through eight games this season.

The Lions have spent the first two weeks on the road and have yet to play a single inning on Lea Kungle Field. In the past three seasons, the Lions are 13-43 on the road and 19-17 at neutral sites.

“Any time you get to sleep in your own bed, it makes a difference,” said Gray. “It’s always good to get some innings in on your own field.”

Michala Wood leads the team in hitting. Wood is batting .435 with a team leading nine RBIs and 10 hits. On the season, Wood has four multi-RBI games and two multi-hit games.

Ashley Lutz leads the Lions in pitching. Lutz has the teams only win this season and has struck out 18 batters. Opponents are batting .301 against Lutz.

“I think it was really beneficial for us to be able to take a step back and relax and work on some things,” said Kathryn Goins-Osburn.

The Lions will be back in action today in a doubleheader against rival Pittsburg State University in the State Farm Trophy Series.

The Lions have lost five of their last six (lost four straight) against PSU with their last win coming on Apr. 16, 2013. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at Lea Kungle Field.