By Paul Freelend
UNO’s softball team closed out its regular season on a six-game winning streak after sweeping South Dakota and playing one day of the Central Missouri State tournament.
Day two of the CMSU tournament was canceled due to rain. The Mavs beat South Dakota 10-2 and 1-0 at home while topping Truman State 5-1 and Southwest Baptist 2-0 in Missouri.
Krista Unger went the distance for UNO in game one against South Dakota, pitching six innings while allowing two runs on four hits. Amanda Lehotak scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the first inning to open the game’s scoring and the Mavs took the lead for good with three runs in the second. Trailing 8-0, the Coyotes got on the board with two runs in the top of the fifth, but it would be all the offense the visitors would muster.
Nicole Vos led the Mavericks offensively, going 4-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI, while Lehotak was 2-3 with three RBI, two doubles and two runs. Erin Drinnin was 2-3 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs and Tiffany Jones went 2-4 with two RBI and a run.
USD’s defense tightened after committing five errors in the first game as game two was a stalemate. Emily Adkins held the Coyotes scoreless over five and one-third innings, giving up five hits and walking one batter while striking out three, before Unger came on in relief. Unger pitched a perfect one and two-thirds innings to pick up the win. Kelsey Duckworth hit the game-winner for UNO in the bottom of the seventh, ripping a single to left centerfield that scored Vos and gave the Mavs the 1-0 win.
Unger continued UNO’s roll towards the postseason in the CMSU tournament, allowing one run on four hits as the Mavs beat Truman State 5-1. Unger struck out six TSU batters while walking two to move her season record to 29-6.
Neither club had managed any offense until the top of the fifth, when Truman State took a 1-0 lead on an RBI double. The Mavericks responded in force, however, quickly loading the bases in the bottom half of the inning before an out was recorded. Drinnin then singled to centerfield, scoring Alissa Magistretti and Tracy Hortman. A pair of Bulldog errors allowed two more runs to score before Vos hit an RBI single to cap a five-run inning for the Mavericks.
Drinnin went 2-4 with two RBI and a run, while Vos was 3-3 with an RBI. Sarah Scheppers was 2-3 with a run and Kelsey Duckworth went 3-4 with an RBI.
Adkins scattered seven hits over seven innings of work against Southwest Baptist to move her season record to 13-0 and pick up her fourth complete game shutout. Kelly Moats broke the ice in the bottom of the sixth with a solo homerun for UNO (42-6, 13-3 NCC) and Jones capped the game’s scoring with an RBI single that scored Scheppers. Moats’ homer was her fifth of the season.
UNO will return to action Friday as it travels to Grand Forks, N.D., to take part in the North Central Conference postseason tournament.