Weather halts Southern softball schedule

After winter weather knocked out a week of competition, Missouri Southern announced on Feb. 23, that the softball team has rescheduled its home series with Drury and added a doubleheader with William Jewell to the 2015 schedule.

For the series with Drury, the Lions will host a doubleheader on March 18, at Lea Kungle Field at the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex, with first pitch set for 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. The return trip to Springfield will be made on April 7, with the first pitch set for 4 p.m.

In addition, a doubleheader with William Jewell of the GLVC has been scheduled for March 24, at Kungle Field, with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m.

The Lions currently stand at 1-7 on the season with their lone win coming against Ouachita Baptist University in the Ronnie Hawkins Invitational on Feb. 7. The Lions won 11-9 in extras.

Since, the Lions have struggled to find that offensive explosion and consistent defense.

In the Lions’ seven loses, they have been outscored 55-18, with two of those games coming by way of shutout against Henderson State (14-0, 8-0). On defense, the Lions have committed 15 errors in those seven loses, for 16 total this season.

“We haven’t played our best defense,” said head coach Bill Gray. “Defensively, it’s uncharacteristic of how we usually play.”

On offense, the Lions have struggled and shown flashes of becoming a possible threat at the plate.

The Lions have batted in 28 of their 29 runs, showing they know how to hit with runners in scoring position.

That success is due to the speed this team possesses. The Lions have stolen 14-17 bases in eight games.

“We have tons of speed. Speed is our number one strength,” said Gray. “We have a lot of team speed; we have to put pressure on other teams.”

The Lions have also struck out 33 times in their seven losses.

The pitching for the Lions hasn’t been up to par yet.

The Lions have an era of 6.75. Opposing teams are batting .335 with 37 walks against Lions pitching.

The Lions will be back in action tomorrow against Wayne State College and Sioux Falls in the Teri Mathis-Zenner Memorial Tournament at Kungle Field.

First pitch is set for 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

“We are defending our turf, so we come to play with a chip on our shoulder,” said Sarah Williams.

“It’s our first time at home,” said Gray. “It’s always good to play up on the hill. We’re getting the opportunity to show off a little bit. We’re looking forward to getting things back on the right path. Hopefully, we’re going to see a lot of enthusiasm, intensity, and playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”