By Paul Freelend
Howling winds and poor visibility forced the UNO and Missouri Western State softball teams to play only half of their scheduled doubleheader, but the Mavericks still prevailed 1-0.
Playing into the teeth of 40 mph wind gusts, UNO managed a single run off of 10 hits. Mav pitcher Krista Unger, however, kept Missouri Western State’s offense at bay, holding the Griffons to three hits over seven complete innings while striking out four batters. Unger’s complete game shutout was her 13th this season and it improved her record to 23-5.
With the elements wreaking havoc on the game, the Mavericks had an opportunity to score the breakthrough run in the top of the second inning. Sarah Scheppers singled up the middle to lead off the inning and Scheppers’ pinch-runner Tracy Hortman advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Erin Drinnin.
UNO broke the deadlock in the top of the fifth as Kelli Lentz singled to start the inning. Kelsey Duckworth singled to advance Lentz to second and Kelly Moats’ single in the next at-bat brought Lentz home to make the score 1-0. Lentz was the game’s first runner to advance to third base.
MWSU threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh as Kelly Ulrich reached on an error and was sacrificed to second base. Ulrich advanced to third on a single from Whitney Brownfield, but Unger got the next two batters to fly out and strike out swinging in succession to end the game.
Game two of the doubleheader was called off due to high winds and poor visibility, leaving UNO’s record at 34-5 and MWSU’s record at 14-23. Duckworth was 3-4 batting for the Mavs while Moats went 2-4 with an RBI.
UNO’s next action will be at the North Central Conference North/South Showdown II in Sauk Rapids, Minn. The Mavericks will take on the same teams they faced in the first Showdown — South Dakota State, North Dakota, No. 9 North Dakota State, Minnesota State-Mankato and No. 13 St. Cloud State.