KEARNEY, Neb. – The University of Nebraska-Kearney softball team got the final laugh in its series with in-state rival Chadron State Saturday at Dryden Park.
The Lopers, who are leaving the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference this summer for the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association, closed out its four-game series with the Eagles, winning 6-3 and 6-2.
UNK has now won eight games in a row and improves to 19-17 overall and 16-12 in the RMAC.
Chadron State, which will play at nationally-ranked Augustana Tuesday, falls to 13-26 and 11-19 in the league.
The Eagles owned a 2-0 lead in the first game after Amy Schartz knocked in Nikki Ritzen and Katie Londo with a double to left center field but the Lopers responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back en route to their 6-3 win.
After CSC’s two-run first inning, just six Eagles reached base and Katie Londo, who hit a home run to right center field, was the only one who scored.
Saturday’s final game was much more dramatic. UNK had an early 1-0 lead but Brittany Chacon tied things up for the Eagles with a solo homer in the fourth inning. Amanda Einspahr scored the go-ahead run in the fifth after Ritzen nailed a single through the right side of the infield.
The Eagles maintained their lead until the seventh inning when Whitney Frederick tied the game with a home run. UNK then put runners on first and second but CSC pitcher Stephanie Townsend got a fielder’s choice at first base to get out of the jam.
Chadron State was retired in order in the top of the eighth but UNK filled the bases and after an error allowed the inning to continue, Austin Wilson hit a walk off grand slam over the left field wall to give Kearney the win.
Townsend suffered the hard luck loss. She allowed just five hits and struck out nine batters. Only two of the Lopers’ runs were earned.
Becky Dunn went the distance for UNK. She allowed six hits and struck out six, while walking none.
—CSC Sports Information
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