Curtis Meyer reporter
It was a rough week for the Pitt State Gorillas, as they went 0-2 against the Missouri Southern Lions over the weekend. Playing in Joplin, this was the last two games of a season long six straight road games. The Gorillas are now 22-14 overall, while only 7-7 in MIAA Conference play.
Playing the Lions in two games back-to-back on Saturday, the Gorillas fell behind early in the first game and could not catch up. Topfi and Amos of the Lions each hit an RBI single in the first inning to give the Lions the early 2-0 lead.
Things remained close throughout the next couple of innings, with Pitt State junior Hannah Harrison keeping Missouri Southern at bay while the Gorillas bats went cold. Missouri Southern broke it open in the bottom of the fourth inning, hitting a three-run homer from Harrison to take a commanding five to nothing lead.
Pitt State finally found its offense in the sixth, with freshman Heather Arnett hitting an RBI triple to score Pitt State’s first run of the afternoon. Junior Paxtyn Hayes then hit a sacrifice fly to center, allowing Arnett to run in for the score and making it 2-5.
The Lions answered in the bottom inning in a big way, with Topfi hitting a 2 RBI double, followed by an RBI double by Withers. This would be the final nail in the coffin for the Gorillas, as their last gasp came with a one run homer by sophomore Sophia Driver.
The second game was much closer, but yet again the Gorillas offensive woes continued despite a strong first inning. Hayes started off the scoring with a two-run homer in the first to left field, continuing her strong series performance. Junior Gracie Sullivan was then allowed to walk with bases loaded, letting junior Kylee Bohle get on base.
Despite this impressive first inning, the Gorillas failed to score a single run for the remainder of the game. The Lions cut the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the first, with an RBI single. It was a pitcher’s duel for most of the game, with Harrison and sophomore Bree Sexton pitching for the Gorillas and Natalie Bates pitching in relief for the Lions after the rough start by Avery Tallman.
Missouri Southern evened things up in the fifth, hitting a two-run homer to make it 3-3. The stalemate continued and forced eight innings, but Missouri Southern was able to take it in the bottom of the eighth with Topfi getting hit on a pitch by Harrison with bases loaded, allowing Missouri Southern to score the game winning run.
It has been largely an unsuccessful road trip for the Gorillas, with their only win coming at Nebraska Kearney last week in six games. The Gorillas will return home to play at the Gene Bicknell sports complex next weekend, when they will face the Emporia Hornets on Friday and the Washburn Ichabods on Saturday.