By Patrick Cooley, Sports Editor
The UNO Softball team continued its winning ways this past weekend, sweeping both Central Missouri and Southwest Baptist at Claussen-Westgate Field. The four wins moved the Mavs’ record to 34-6 and 11-1 in the MIAA.
In their opening game Saturday against Southwest Baptist, the Mavs used a five-run second inning to lead them to victory. UNO batted through its lineup in the inning. Juniors Emma Wright and Ashley Lynch hit RBI singles in the inning to jumpstart the scoring.
The Mavs scored again in the fourth inning when centerfielder Lindsey Slocum hit an RBI double to score teammate Katelyn Hinton. In the bottom of the fifth, shortstop Molly Feichtinger doubled to score Sarah Elliot and Lauren Larson singled home Feichtinger to end the game in the top of the fifth via the eight-run rule, 8-0.
UNO senior Beth Haley pitched five scoreless innings to improve to 15-3 on the season. The Highland, Ind., native allowed two hits and struck out five batters in the winning effort.
“I just try to go out there and throw,” said Haley, who has a 0.91 earned run average. “My defense played pretty good behind me.”
UNO Head Coach Jeanne Scarpello praised her senior pitcher
“She’s improving on everything and having one heck heck of a senior year,” she said. “She’s really focused.”
In the second game of the day, Southwest Baptist scored in the first inning, but UNO responded with a two-out rally in the third. Walks by Feichtinger and Lynch and an errant Bearcat throw on a groundball by Larson allowed Feichtinger to score from third to make it 1-1.
The Mavs would add two runs in the fifth inning and hold on for the 3-1 victory.
“When we go out and play our game for the full seven innings, we’re tough to beat,” said Haley. “We need to just keep fighting because all the teams in our conference have gotten a lot better.”
The Mavs, who sit tied with Emporia for first place in the MIAA, hope to continue their winning ways when it matters most.
“We’re hoping to peak at the right time,” said Scarpello.
UNO will compete at the MIAA Crossover North this weekend in Kirksville, Mo. The Mavs will play five conference games in three days starting with a 10 a.m. game against Washburn on Friday.