Lions softball returns after 20-day layoff

Missouri Southern’s softball team was back in action this past weekend following a 20-day layoff. The Lions last played on Feb. 14 and since have announced the cancelation of 10 games due to weather. For the Lions, it was just great to get back on the field.

“We’re just excited to get to actually play,” said Kathryn Goins-Osburn.

The Lions (1-7) faced a familiar rival, the Pittsburg State Gorillas, in the State Farm Trophy Series in Pittsburg, Kan. This was the first meeting between both schools this season, but they are set to reunite on April 6 on Lea Kungle Field.

In game one, the Lions couldn’t find any rhythm on offense, so the Gorillas held the Lions to only one hit and struck out 11 batters on their way to a 6-0 shutout. The only hit for the Lions came in the second inning when Goins-Osburn singled. Kali Hodson suffered the loss for the Lions as she went the distance, giving up six runs, four earned, on seven hits with four strikeouts. The Lions committed three errors.

In game two, the Lions would find their stroke at the plate early. In the top of first inning, the Lions scored five runs off four hits and one error. With runners in scoring position and one out, Dru Coleman hit a three home run to clear the bases. That put the Lions up 5-0. The Gorillas would answer back in the bottom half with three runs.

In the bottom half of the third inning, the Gorillas also put up a five-run inning thanks to a little help from the Lions. The Lions committed one error, one balk, one walk, and two wild pitches.  The Gorillas took a three-run lead, 8-5 heading into the fourth inning.

The Lions were held to nothing for the next three innings before getting a chance in the final inning. Southern, trailing 8-5, had one last shot in the top of the seventh as they loaded the bases on a fielder’s choice and back-to-back singles. Kali Hodson would single home the Lions’ lone run that inning as she ripped a single to left that scored Goins-Osburn. The Lions would fall to the Gorillas 8-6.  Four different batters for the Lions got two hits. Dru Coleman drove in three runs.

On the day, the Lions combined to strike out 19 times and commit six errors.

The Lions suffered two more losses, pushing their losing streak to nine games.

“It is hard losing to them considering they are our rivals,” said Williams. “We are staying positive knowing we get another shot at them.”

Southern will be back in action today on the road in a conference matchup against Fort Hays State in Kansas.