Peter Yazvac, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
PITTSBURG, Kan. – Senior Meg Housholder tossed a complete game four-hitter and junior third baseman Cheyenne Hamilton belted her seventh homer of the year to help Nebraska-Kearney beat Pittsburg State, 5-2, Friday afternoon in Kansas
The Gorillas (13-25, 3-6) used a six-run third inning to take the night cap, 7-5. The Lopers are now 11-20 (7-7) and sit in seventh place in the MIAA.
Housholder (Parker, Colo.) is now 6-4 with a 2.48 ERA after another strong outing. She blanked Pitt over the final five innings, walked just one batter and allowed only one earned run. Housholder also recorded a season-best nine K’s, pushing her career total to 217.
Offensively, UNK got a two-run shot from Hamilton (2 for 3, one run) in the top of the first. After Pitt tied things in the second, the Lopers tallied two in the fourth and one more in the fifth. Finishing with eight hits overall, Kearney got a sac fly from sophomore center fielder Alexis Ray (1 for 1, one run) in the fourth and an RBI single from sophomore first baseman Sara Sempek (2 for 4, one run) in the fifth.
In game two, UNK led 3-0 after 3.5 innings. Sophomore shortstop Kaitlyn Johnson (3 for 4, two runs) had the key hit, a two-run double to center.
However, Pitt erupted for six in its half of the third thanks to seven hits and one error. Three of the hits were of the infield variety with third baseman Emily Clark (1 for 2, one run) and first baseman Myka Hayward (1 for 3) both delivering two-run doubles.
The Lopers tried to comeback, scoring two in the top of the fifth thanks to four hits and two errors. While freshman designated player Emma Osowski (1 for 2) had an RBI infield single, Pitt senior Brooklynne Simbeck got a pop up and strike out to get out of a bases loaded jam. She tossed 2.2 scoreless innings with two strikeouts to earn the save.
Besides Johnson (Kearney), UNK saw Housholder go 2 for 4 from the nine hole with freshman Sarah Handrahan (Festus, Mo.) throwing 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.
UNK heads to Missouri Southern State (18-20, 5-7) on Friday afternoon.