By JASON ELMQUIST
The Northeastern State softball team split a doubleheader with Nebraska-Kearney Saturday afternoon at RiverHawks Park.
The RiverHawks (21-11, 8-4 MIAA) run-ruled the Lopers (5-19, 3-9 MIAA) in the first matchup 10-2 but UNK took the second game 9-6.
First game: NSU 10, UNK 2
Northeastern State plated two runs in the home half of the first frame to lead Nebraska-Kearney 2-0. Junior Alyssa Aguilar singled up the middle to drive home senior Allyson Pogue and freshman Randye Sharp. Pogue reached base on a walk while Sharp reached base after getting hit by a pitch.
NSU crept up again in the bottom of the third frame to improve their lead by three to make the score 5-0. Senior Madison Reed reached base on a throwing error. Sharp hit a single straight up the middle to score Reed. Aguilar singled to right field to score Sharp. Freshman Jaicey Robertson spent a sacrifice fly to score Pogue. Pogue reached base on a double down the left field line.
The Lopers were able to score two runs in the top of the fourth frame to make the score 5-2 on a home run from Sydney Trosper. NSU senior Navada Campos answered back with a leadoff home run to center field to improve the NSU score to 6-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
Northeastern State tacked on four runs in the bottom of the fifth to earn the run-rule victory.
Aguilar scoree the first run of the fifth frame after Robison reached on a throwing error. Campos sent a home run blast down the left field line to score Robison and Robertson to defeat Nebraska-Kearney 10-2. Campos hit two home runs in a game for the second time in her career and the first time since accomplishing the feat on Feb. 24, 2013 against Bacone College.
"Some key people finally stepped up and got some big hits," NSU coach Clay Davis said. "Navada Campos with two home runs and four RBI were big for us."
She led the RiverHawks with four runs batted in, while Aguilar added two hits and three RBI.
NSU sophomore Kayce Wooldridge (10-5) threw a complete game tabbed the win in the circle. She allowed only two hits and two runs.
Second game: UNK 9, NSU 6
The Lopers got on the board first with a two-run second inning. Northeastern State answered back when sophomore Saharra Henson homered to center field to bring in Campos and Robison and pull ahead of UNK 3-2. The round-tripper was her first in 15 games.
Nebraska-Kearney sent in two more runs in the top of the fourth frame to pull ahead of NSU by one to improve the score 4-3. Northeastern State played back and plated two more runs to move ahead of the Lopers again 5-4. Robison homered to left field to score pinch runner junior Talia Lattimore. Lattimore pinch-ran for freshman Krysti Cearley, who reached base on a walk.
UNK turned their bats once again and scored two runs in the top of the fifth frame and one run in the top of the sixth frame to take a 7-5 lead.
The RiverHawks battled to load the bases in the bottom of the seventh and scored freshman Ryan Martin after Sharp was hit by a pitch to pull with one run of the Lopers 7-6, but the Lopers would limit the damage and get out of the inning.
Nebraska-Kearney worked their offense and tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh to defeat NSU 9-6.
Robison led the RiverHawks with three hits and two RBI while Henson added two hits and three RBI.
Junior Laura Fleck (4-2) took the loss in the circle after throwing 4 1/3 innings. She allowed six hits and six runs. Senior Kylee Cole entered to throw for two frames and allowed seven hits and three runs.
"We left the ball over the plate too much and with the wind blowing out caused for some big home runs against us," Davis said. "We just have to do a better job of getting the ball down and hitting our spots and carry us through as an entire pitching staff."
NSU will be back in action Tuesday in a pair of nonconference games at Rogers State.