Wayne State College rallied from a 6-0 deficit to tie the score and force extra innings, only to lose to Nebraska-Kearney 11-7 Friday afternoon in the 2018 softball opener for the Wildcats at the Fort Hays State Crossover Tournament in Hays, Kansas. The Lopers improved to 2-4 on the season while WSC is 0-1.
UNK scored one run in the first, four in the second and one in the fourth to build an early 6-0 lead on the ‘Cats.
WSC got on the board with two runs in the fourth, thanks to an RBI single from Emily Chandler and a sacrifice fly by Alyx Hagen, to make the score 6-2.
The Wildcats scored single runs in the fifth and sixth to pull within 6-4. Abbie Hix reached on an error and scored on another UNK error for the WSC run in the fifth while Rachel Shumaker singled and scored on a Hix single in the sixth to make the score 6-4
WSC capped the rally with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to knot the score at 6-6. Jordyn Breitbarth tripled and scored on a Katelyn Wobken sacrifice fly to trim the UNK advantage to 6-5. With two outs, Emily Chandler tripled and scored on Alyx Hagen’s single up the middle to even the score at 6-6, sending the game into extra innings.
But UNK regained the momentum in the top of the eighth, erupting for five runs on six hits for an 11-6 lead. WSC could not score in the bottom of the eighth to make the final score 11-6.
UNK had 20 hits in the game to eight for the Wildcats. Chandler ended 2 for 4 with a triple and run scored for the Wildcats while Shumaker was 2 for 4 with a pair of singles, RBI and run scored. Brietbarth tripled while Hix, Hagen and Wobken also had singles for the Wildcats.
Wayne State used three pitchers in the contest. Junior Riley Vanderveen started the game and worked 2 2/3 innings, charged with five runs on eight hits with two strikeouts. Freshman Maddie Moser worked 5 1/3 innings and was tagged with the loss, allowing five runs on nine hits with five strikeouts and four walks while sophomore Allison Niemeier pitched part of the eighth inning and gave up one run on three hits.
The Wildcats will play two games on Saturday at the Fort Hays State Crossover, battling Washburn at noon and host Fort Hays State in a 4 p.m. contest.