Morningside split a GPAC softball doubleheader against Midland on Friday to fall out of first place in the league standings for the first time this season.

Michelle Brockamp

Morningside fell out of first place in the GPAC softball standings for the first time all season after the Mustangs split Friday’s home twinbill with Midland.

The Mustangs won the opener 8-2 before a 4-3 setback in the nightcap dropped the Mustangs’ league record to 13-5 to put them one-half game behind Northwestern (14-5) in the standings. Morningside, which has an overall record of 23-11, has lost five of its last seven GPAC contests since it opened the league season with 11 straight wins.

Morningside will wrap up its GPAC schedule on Saturday with a doubleheader at Doane, while Northwestern has one league game left with a Monday home contest against last place Mount Marty. A sweep against Doane would assure the Mustangs of at least a share of this year’s GPAC championship.

Morningside put Midland away early in the opener when a six-run third inning put the hosts in front 6-1. Michelle Brockamp provided the big blow of the inning with a three-run home run, while winning pitcher Jordan Johnson helped her own caused with a two-run double and Kati Steffen had a RBI single.

The Mustangs added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth inning when both runs scored on a two-out error to increase the difference to 8-1.

Johnson pitched a four-hitter to get the win to improve her record to 14-5. She walked four and struck out seven.

Kati Steffen

Steffen had three singles to pace a nine-hit Morningside attack. The Mustangs also had multiple hit performances from Johnson with a double and single and Taylor Daas with a pair of singles. Brockamp had a home run and three RBIs.

The Mustangs fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first inning of the nightcap when Sammy Hislop put the guests in front 1-0 with a RBI double and Kourtney Wallick blasted a two-run homer.

Steffen put the Mustangs on the scoreboard with a solo home run in the fourth inning and the Mustangs closed within 4-3 in the sixth when Daas was hit by a pitch to force in a run.

Hislop scattered six hits in a complete game performance to get the pitching win. She walked three and struck out three.

Mustang starter Kayla Salonen took the loss after she allowed three runs on two hits over the first four innings. She walked two and struck out three.

Salonen and McKenzie Anderson each had two hits to account for all but two of the Mustangs’ hits. Steffen’s fourth inning home run was her 10th of the season and the 36th of her career to move her within one of the Morningside career record of 37 home runs shared by Mindi Prince and Kirsten Dargy.