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UT Southern senior pitcher Samantha King fires a pitch home during a home game versus Bethel University earlier this season. King and the Firehawks will meet Bethel in the opening game of the MSC conference tournament’s final site, which begins this Thursday in Bowling Green, Ky.  Guy Schafer / UTS Athletics

The UT Southern softball team cruised to two easy wins versus Shawnee State (Ohio) at Royce Hughes Field last Thursday in the opening round of the Mid-South Conference tournament.

The Firehawks made quick work of the Bears in the best-of-3 series, winning the first game 5-0 and the second 8-0.

In the first game of the day, UTS jumped out to an early lead, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first and never looking back. Hayley Parrott, Bree Brady and Samantha King each drove in a run in the fourth frame to cushion the lead for the Firehawks, leading to the eventual 5-0

scoreline.

Savannah Sands notched her sixth victory of the season in the circle, allowing just four hits across seven innings of work.

The second game broke in favor of the Firehawks just as easily, taking the lead on the very first at-bat of the game thanks to Parrott’s leadoff homer to center.

The Firehawks cranked out seven hits in the victory, which was halted after six innings of play when the Firehawks scored the game’s final two runs.

King picked up the win (12-5) in the circle, scattering seven hits across six innings of work.

The wins send the Firehawks (25-23) to the final site of the conference tournament, which begins this Thursday in Bowling Green, Ky. The Firehawks will meet rival Bethel University in their first game, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. Central Time.

— Staff Reports

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