Peter Yazvac, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
KEARNEY – The Emporia State Hornets scored three runs in bottom of the seventh to win game one and then got 4.2 innings of strong relief from freshman BrylieBassett in game two to sweep a double header from Nebraska-Kearney, 8-7 and 11-6 , Saturday afternoon in Kansas.
ESU (20-21, 10-8) has now won six in a row to vault into sixth place in the MIAA standings. UNK (15-21, 9-11) is one of five teams between 11-11 and 9-11 in the league, good for 7th-11th places. Eight teams make the MIAA Tournament the first weekend in May.
The wild first game featured eight runs over the last 1.5 innings. The Hornets erased deficits of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2 by scoring once in the fifth and two in the sixth. UNK countered with a three spot in its half of the seventh as junior catcher Alexis Howe (Papillion) delivered a two out, two-run single to center.
However, ESU’s first four batters reached safely in the bottom of the seventh with the winning run crossing home thanks to an errant throw. UNK committed five errors in its seventh one-run loss of the year, leading to two Hornet runs.
Kearney’s first four batters were a combined 7 for 16 with seven RBI’s and three runs scored. That included senior third baseman Cheyenne Hamilton (Frederick, Colo.) who went 2 for 4 and belted her team leading sixth dinger of the year in the second.
Junior Kelsey Phillips (5-3) earned the win by allowing no earned runs over the final 2.1 innings. Emporia was out hit 10-9 and stranded 14 base runners as they drew eight walks.
The second game featured 17 runs on 18 hits, four walks and two errors. Bassett (1-1) earned her first collegiate win by blanking UNK from the fourth through sixth innings. The Hornets seventh and eighth hitters went a combined 3 for 4 with four runs and five RBI’s to pace a timely offense.
Hamilton had three RBI’s as she belted a two-run shot in the seventh to lead the Lopers. UNK led 2-0 after 1.5 innings but Emporia scored five in the second, three in the third and two more in the fifth to take control. Finally, freshman right fielder Carlee Liesch (Lincoln Pius) went 2 for 4 with a run scored to push her hitting streak to a season-high 11 straight games.
UNK is scheduled to host Chadron State next Wednesday, April 17, at Patriot Park but could be moved up a day due to weather.