Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney softball team pounded out 20 hits, including a three-run homer from junior right fielder Cheyenne Hamilton in the top of the eighth inning, to beat Wayne State, 11-6, Friday afternoon in Hays, Kan.
This was the first of four-games at the Fort Hays State Crossover Tournament. UNK (2-4) will face the Wildcats (0-1) again on Sunday while battling Upper Iowa and nationally-ranked Harding (Ark.) on Saturday.
UNK jumped out to a 6-0 lead after 3.5 innings but the Wildcats fought back and tied things at six thanks to a two-run seventh. The Lopers were blanked between the fifth and seventh innings while WSC scored in four straight innings with the comeback aided by four Kearney errors.
In the top of the eighth, with a runner already on second base due to the international tie breaking rule, freshman catcher Karlee Arnold (Parker, Colo.) put down a bunt and reached safely for a single. Hamilton (Fredrick, Colo.), UNK’s cleanup hitter, then cleared the bases with a homer to left. She finished 4 for 5 with two runs and four RBI’s.
Four straight singles allowed two more to score with senior Meg Housholder (Parker, Colo.) earning the win by throwing the final two innings. She coaxed the Tigers to line into a 4-3 double play to end the game.
All nine UNK starters had at least one hit with Omaha freshman designated player Emma Osowski (3 for 4, one run) and Papillion sophomore first baseman Alexis Howe (3 for 5, two runs and one RBI) joining Hamilton as Lopers with more than two hits. Finally, Missouri freshman Sarah Handrahan allowing just one earned run over the first 5.2 innings.