Lady Lions With Hot Start to Opening Round

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Softball | Wed, May 19, 2021

Story by: Freed-Hardeman Athletics

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Lady Lions softball team (41-11) took out both College of Idaho (38-17) and top-seeded host Central Methodist (50-8) 3-2 to open up the NAIA Opening Round, Fayette Bracket, after delays on Monday pushed the games to Tuesday.

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Game one against College of Idaho ended in dramatic fashion after the Coyotes took a 2-0 lead into the final inning of play.

The Lady Lions – the visitors on the scoreboard – started the top of the seventh inning off with a one-out, solo home run from Laiken Page to cut the Idaho lead in half.

Annalise Jarnagin followed Page with a single to center field before the Coyotes were able to record their second out of the inning. That brought in Cassie Hayes, who hit a moon shot over the left-field wall to give the Lady Lions a 3-2 lead.

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After Morgan Crawford retired the first batter in the top of the seventh, Chloe Winters entered the game and was able to force two ground balls to Samantha Morgan at third base to end the game and put the Lady Lions in the winner’s bracket.

Crawford earned the win in the contest after striking out three batters in six and one-third innings pitched.

In their second game of the evening against the No. 1 seed Central Methodist Eagles, the Lady Lions jumped out to a 2-0 lead after four innings of play after Sophie Dunavant and Caitlin Mitchell led off the fourth inning with a pair of singles.

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Destyni Strain entered as a pinch runner for Mitchell, and with one out in the inning, Jarnagin plated both Dunavant and Strain with a double to right-center field to give the Lady Lions the lead.

They added one more to the board in the bottom of the fifth inning after Allie Mitchell drew a leadoff walk and was advanced to second on a Catherine Crabb sacrifice bunt.

Dunavant was able to reach first on an error by the Central Methodist third baseman, which put Mitchell on third base, and she came around to score when the Eagles first baseman dropped a popup.

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Brittany Adair threw five strong innings for the Lady Lions, striking out 10 batters, and Winters earned the two-inning save, despite giving up two runs in the top of the seventh inning.

The Lady Lions await the winter of Central Methodist and the winner of the College of Idaho and Ottawa. The game will take place on Wednesday with the game time still yet to be determined.

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