By Paul Freelend
UNO’s softball team solidified its place atop the standings of the North Central Conference, winning four out of five games at the North/South Showdown in Sioux City, Iowa.
Power was the name of the game for the Mavs throughout much of the tournament. UNO hit three homeruns as it cruised to an 8-3 opening win in the tournament over St. Cloud State. Jennifer Carson, Kelly Moats and Tiffany Jones provided the long balls for the Mavericks.
South Dakota State, a team languishing in the bottom third of the NCC table, surprised the Mavericks with a 4-3 win in UNO’s second game. The Mavs remained unfazed in the third game of the day, however, as Erin Drinnin’s two-run homerun for UNO helped the Mavs beat Minnesota State-Mankato 3-0.
Krista Unger ensured UNO started the second day of the tournament on a winning note, tossing a two-hitter and limiting North Dakota State to a pair of singles. Unger (22-5) walked two batters and struck out four as UNO won the game 4-0. Jones and Nicole Vos each hit homeruns for the Mavericks.
UNO closed out the tournament with a power surge against North Dakota. The Mavs cranked out five homeruns in their 11-2 win over the Fighting Sioux, scoring six runs in the bottom of the third inning to break a scoreless tie and adding five more runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Drinnin hit her 13th and 14th homers of the season for UNO (33-5, 7-2), while Moats, Jones and Sarah Scheppers each hit one round-tripper apiece. Emily Adkins limited North Dakota to two runs on four hits to improve her season record to 11-0.
UNO will travel to St. Joseph, Mo., today to meet Missouri Western State for the second time this season. The Griffons were swept in two games, 8-0 and 8-0, by the Mavericks April 4. The Mavs will then venture north to Sauk Rapids, Minn., to meet the same five teams they met on Saturday and Sunday in the NCC North/South Showdown II.