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Pittsburg State keeps Loper softball team on the slide

Pittsburg State keeps Loper softball team on the slide

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Liesch catch

UNK’s Carlee Liesch (7) reaches out to catch a fly ball in the first game Saturday against Pittsburg State at Patriot Park in Kearney.

KEARNEY — The Pittsburg State Gorillas scored six runs in the top of the ninth inning in the first game and scored a run in the top of the seventh in the second game to complete a 7-1, 6-5 sweep of Nebraska-Kearney Saturday afternoon at Patriot Park.

The Gorillas (12-18) get to 6-6 in league play while the Lopers fall to 10-18 (1-11). This weekend homestand was UNK’s first since March 2019.

Now 3-5 in one-run games, the Lopers (10-18 overall, 1-11 MIAA) evened the early contest with a one-out home run to left-center in the bottom of the seventh by sophomore Katie Gosker, her fifth home run of the spring.

Neither team threatened in the eighth but Pitt rallied in the ninth with six hits and a critical UNK error.

Junior Hannah Ice took the loss after allowing two earned runs in 7¹⁄³ innings. She fanned two and didn’t walk a batter.

Pitt State senior Kaylee Burns (5-7) tossed a four-hit complete game, striking out nine.

In the finale, UNK led 4-2 after three innings and a two-run triple by freshman designated player Carly Dembowski in the third.

Pitt answered with three runs over the next two innings and UNK tying things up at five on a sacrifice fly from Kearney junior catcher Avery Wood in the fifth.

The Gorillas won the game when cleanup hitter Kami Zimmerman laced a two-out single to left in the seventh. Sophomore Madison Szymanski then lofted a ball to the outfield that wasn’t corralled, allowing Zimmerman to score.

Junior shortstop Abbie Vodicka led the Loper offense, going 3 for 4 while freshman pitcher Madison Rosenthal allowing no earned runs over the final 3 1/3 innings.


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