By Michelle Bishop
UNO opened the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association portion of its schedule by splitting a pair of doubleheaders against Emporia State and Washburn over the weekend.On Friday, the 22nd-ranked Mavs rallied to win the opener 8-6, but dropped the nightcap 4-2, to Emporia State at Claussen-Westgate Field.
UNO fell behind early in the first game. A two-run home run in the first inning and two more runs in the third put the Hornets up 4-0. But the Mavs responded with two runs in the bottom of the third when freshman Katelyn Hinton hit a two-run homer.
The Mavs grabbed the lead for good in the fourth with four runs off five hits. Senior Amanda Bader started off the scoring by crushing a solo homer, junior Kristi Meneely hit an RBI double, Hinton followed with an RBI triple and junior Treightin Yates hit an RBI single to left field.
“That was huge,” junior Jenna Dell said. “We got down 4-0 and came back. It felt amazing, it was good to come back and beat them.”
Sophomore Beth Haley started the game and allowed six runs off seven hits through the first five and one-third innings. Sophomore Lindsey Slocum earned her first save of the season.
In the second game the Hornets rallied for the win.
UNO jumped ahead 1-0 in the second inning but the Hornets tied the score in the third on a solo homer. Emporia added one more in the sixth and two in the seventh to take a 4-1 lead.
The Mavs scored one in the seventh when Yates scored on an error. UNO had the tying runs on second and third with two outs but couldn’t get any closer.
Junior Melissa Negrete started for UNO and picked up the loss after allowing three runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Slocum pitched the final two innings, allowing a hit and a run.
On Saturday, UNO suffered its first two-game losing streak of the year with a loss in the opening game against Washburn.
The Lady Blues scored six runs in the fourth inning off five hits to take a 6-0 lead in game one. UNO responded with three runs in a rainy fifth inning where the Lady Blues threw three wild pitches.
Washburn was able to quiet the UNO bats as only one runner reached base in the final two innings. The Lady Blues added three runs in the top of the seventh to take the first game 11-4.
Haley started in the circle for the Mavs and allowed six runs off seven hits with a pair of strikeouts. Slocum pitched the final three and two-thirds innings, allowing five runs off seven hits with six strikeouts.
The Mavs bounced back in the second game to win 1-0. UNO needed just one hit and one run to salvage a split of the series.
Freshman Molly Feichtinger led off the third inning with a walk and then advanced to second on Slocum’s sacrifice bunt. Feichtinger moved to third on a grounder and then scored on a wild pitch for the game’s only run.
UNO’s only hit of the game was a double by Feichtinger in the first inning.
Negrete earned the win to improve to 10-3. Negrete allowed three hits with seven strikeouts and a walk.
Washburn stranded two runners in the fourth after a leadoff double and then in the seventh inning two runners reached on a hit and an error, but Negrete ended the game with a strikeout.
UNO improved to 26-7 overall and 2-2 in the MIAA.
Before this weekend, the Mavs swept a nonconference doubleheader at Nebraska-Kearney on Wednesday.
UNO beat the Lopers 7-4 in game one and 7-1 in game two.
In the first game, UNO went up 1-0 in the second inning when Dell singled and then sophomore Ashley Lynch, who pinch ran for her, scored on an error.
The Mavs scored two runs in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Yates and junior Julia Krejci had back-to-back homers in the fifth and Feichtinger hit a two-run single in the sixth.
Haley picked up the win with the complete game. She allowed four runs off six hits with five strikeouts.
In game two, the Maverick bats exploded for 16 hits. Dell hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning of game two, giving UNO a 3-1 lead.
Dell finished 2-for-4 in game two, while junior Kristin Wellwood and Yates each finished with three hits.
“Our bats really came alive,” Dell said. “We hit the ball really well, our second game we had 16 hits. We all came together, put our swings together and we won.”
Negrete earned the win, allowing eight hits with two strikeouts and a walk.
UNO now hits the road for a doubleheader against Northwest Missouri State today at 2 p.m.
The Mavs return home to face Upper Iowa Wednesday. First pitch for the doubleheader is set for 3 p.m. at Claussen-Westgate Field.